Last week’s EDUCAUSE conference was relatively news free, which is actually a good thing as overall ed tech hype levels have come down. Near the end of the conference, however, I heard from three different sources about a growing backlash against Instructure for their developing plans for Canvas Data and real-time events. “They’re Blackboarding us”, “the honeymoon is over”, “we’re upset and that is on the record”. By all appearances, this frustration mostly by R1 institutions was likely to become the biggest PR challenge for Instructure since their 2012 outage, especially considering their impending IPO.
The first complaint centered on Instructure plans to charge for daily data exports as part of Canvas Data, which Instructure announced at InstructureCon in June as:
a hosted data solution providing fully optimized data to K-12 and higher education institutions capturing online teaching and learning activity. As a fundamental tool for education improvement, the basic version of the service will be made available to Canvas clients at no additional cost, with premium versions available for purchase.
What that last phrase meant was that monthly data access was free, but institutions had to pay for daily access. By the EDUCAUSE conference, institutions that are part of the self-organized “Canvas R1 Peers” group were quite upset that Instructure was essentially selling their own data back to them, and arguments of additional infrastructure costs were falling flat. Continue reading