Skip navigation
All Places > Bridge Playbook > Blog

Bridge Playbook

7 posts

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to express endearment towards the ones we love. It’s a time to recognize individuals for the presence they have in our lives! A valentine is often romantic, but it can also be a symbol of gratitude and adoration.


How do gratitude and adoration tie in to learning, you may ask? As human beings, we possess a passionate need to learn, and we recognize that we learn best when we leverage the individuals and collective knowledge around us. In turn, others feed our love of learning!


How often do you recognize those who have fostered your love of learning?  We’d like to encourage you to join us in expressing your affection for individuals or groups of people that have nurtured your learning. It could be a past experience, or a current experience. You may have one or many. Just pick one, or all, of the following, or find your own way, and share it out!



A Community Badge

We’re changing the user badges for three days (Feb 12-14th) to conversation hearts!


The same conversation heart images are available in this blog for you to copy and tweet.  Connect your tweet to the great community of learners by mentioning @CanvasLMS or @GetBridge and using the hashtag #LoveLearning


In the Canvas Community or blog destination of your choice.


Wherever you are in the world—for the love of learning’s sake—we hope that you’ll wake up Monday morning to a flood of love and a desire to share more!


Keep learning,


Adam Williams, Stefanie Sanders, Renee Carney and Friends

Instructure Community & Social Teams

If you look up the word "support" in a thesaurus, you'll see synonyms such as "cornerstone" and "reinforcement". And that's exactly how we'd describe Jeremy Farnsworth, the Bridge Support Manager.


"My role is to continually raise the bar."


Fortunately for us, Jeremy's does raise the bar. The last employee training course he completed (and yes, we use Bridge internally to train employees, too - surprise, surprise) was a leadership course on building strong management skills. His role is to train, lead, and guide the support team so they provide world-class service to every client. And when he's not troubleshooting common issues in Bridge (which usually are related to password resets and how-to questions), he's developing his team to be better support agents, as well as, helping them prepare themselves for future opportunities. 


Community Love


We asked Jeremy to share some tips to help Bridge users effectively leverage this platform. And you know what he said? Utilize the Bridge Community! (No prompts required!) "In the community you can follow new features, find helpful guides, and see our roadmap," he says. But more importantly, he would love to see the Community Q&A space track more activity. "This is a great way to share some of your knowledge with others, from course design, insights into SCORM courses or settings, and really anything in between." For support teams, the collective intelligence of a community can be powerful in troubleshooting, but offering new ways of doing things, as well.


"Everything I do is really centered around my family."

Born in Richfield, UT and currently residing in Salt Lake City area, Jeremy continues to follow his passion. "I've gone back to school and changed careers to put my family in a better position in life and show my daughters the importance of education," he says. With a couple of Associates Degrees plus a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology under his belt, his path eventually led to his job at Instructure. But... if he had an extended weekend to himself, his path might lead him to Alaska for a fishing trip that entails catching halibut and king salmon. "I’ve always loved the outdoors and would that type of experience."


Question for the Bridge Community


When we asked Jeremy what he'd like to know from other Bridge users, he wanted to pick the brains of the creative course designers in Bridge. "I’ve seen some amazing courses built in Bridge," he says. "I’d like to sit down with some of these course designers and learn their processes for planning and putting together these courses."



Have any feedback for Jeremy? Share them by posting your comments below!

We sat down with Ben Bolton, QA Automation Lead, otherwise known as, the guy responsible for quality assurance for Bridge. He set aside his 'non-automated' life to talk passion, talent and ways both lead to his work on Bridge.


Industry best practices attracts the best


When you are in the profession of providing confidence in a product, you leave nothing to chance. "I love the openness and the drive people have [at Instructure] to be their best," says Ben about his team and co-workers. "I work with some first class people!"


When it comes to Bridge, it's not just about ensuring successful end-to-end testing in multi-component environments (although that does sound pretty impressive!). Day-to-day, Ben helps to ensure the product delivers effective performance. But, if you ask him what he likes most about Bridge, he'd tell you why he really supports the efforts being made with Bridge integrations. "Rich content providers like and Open Sesame ... makes a great LMS that much better by giving people access to premium content."


Wood-working to motorcycle restoration


It's not all testing-testing-testing, of course. This Oregon-raised rockstar is all about fueling his passions, which includes his family and "making life better for my kids." If you catch him on the weekends, you might find him playing golf or tackling a wood-working project. He encourages others to be unafraid to try new experiences and foster their passion. As for Ben, he's been hoping to get started on his motorcycle restoration project he's been wanting to do. Maybe after another few rounds of testing...


Question for the Community


When we asked Ben what he'd like to know from other Bridge users, he wanted to learn more about their pain points in using Bridge and ways to overcome them.



Have any feedback for Ben? Share them by posting your comments below!

mensah_family_pic.jpgI had the opportunity to interview Monique Mensah, a trainer on the Bridge Team. I not only learned a few tips about Bridge, but got to know a little bit about the things in life that drive her passion, too.


Courses on Spam


Perhaps one of the reasons why Monique understands Bridge so well is because she also completes her employee training courses in Bridge, too. "I learned how [I] can help protect and filter my email from spam, threats, and attacks," she says, of her last course she took at Instructure.


"One of my favorite features in Bridge is how easy it is to create a course with a nice cover slide, learning content, media and quiz questions." Helping clients adopt and leverage Bridge is at the heart of her work. She loves learning new things, a sentiment that certainly translates when training others, as well.


The feature she's most excited about these days is the new registration process. "Did you know that you can now send a Bridge user a registration link to a live training course or session, so the learner can self-enroll?" Before, you had to enroll the learner in the live training course to send them an invitation to register for one of the training sessions. (Read more about it here 2016-06-02 New Bridge Features.)


"We goofed off a lot and played jokes on one another."


Monique certainly has a zest for life . Before coming to Instructure, she worked as a training development specialist at another software company. However, way, way, way before that, she worked at McDonald's with her two sisters and their friends where they "goofed off a lot and played jokes on one another." But even back then, McDonald's used (and still uses) blended learning to deliver their trainings. "I watched videos on how to do something and then I would go and do it," she says. It's safe to say that all that goofing off paid off. Teaching and training was already in the family... and the hamburgers.


A Question for the Bridge Community


When we asked Monique what he'd like to know from other Bridge users and she wanted to hear more tips using the Live Trainings.


Have any feedback for Monique? Share them by posting your comments below!

This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Zach Pendleton, Development Director for Bridge. He is one of our more seasoned 'pandas' (pandas being Instructure's unofficial mascot, in case you were wondering). Having joined the company over 4 years ago, he has spent the better part of his time managing the Bridge engineering teams.


But that's not all we chatted about...


"Smart groups are my favorite Bridge feature."


It is evident that Zach appreciates and embraces the diversity and contributions of each individual on his team. His effort to personalize management and make his team member's contributions meaningful is also transparent when developing features in Bridge. Which is why it's no surprise that his favorite feature is 'smart groups'. "By bucketing my employees into smart groups, by role, I’m able to automatically assign relevant training to new employees," he says, when differentiating development from the very beginning.


"Came for school, stayed for the Mexican food."


There is more to him than meets the eye. Zach was raised in Utah. During his school years, he played lead guitar and performed back-up vocals in an oldies cover band. "We performed at school dances, corporate parties, community events, and the odd barbecue." After a short stint away, he returned to Utah for graduate school and has been here ever since (partly because of the Mexican food!) A self-proclaimed vinyl enthusiast and foodie, he shares his knowledge of pop music and fine cuisine with his two kids. Some Zadie Smith or George Saunders by day, new restaurants and concerts by night. That's Zach!


"In an alternate universe Justin Bieber is a software engineer."


It's clear Zach loves what he does as a profession. "I am always excited about learning more and improving as a software engineer, and as a manager," he shares. He says not a day goes by that he doesn't have the opportunity to learn or teach something. But if he had his way, Justin Bieber would have been a software engineer and he would be living the life of an international pop star. "But in this universe, it just didn't work out."


We are all so lucky to have such a passionate and energetic gentleman leading the engineering charge for Bridge!


Have any questions or feedback for Zach? Share them by posting your comments below!

We had the opportunity to catch up with Troy Anderson, Director-Talent Management at Instructure. We talked Bridge stuff, DIY projects and the Utah Starzz (more on that later).



"Bridge allows me the possibility of keeping content fresh."


According to Troy, deploying a course with most LMS’s is just like driving a new car off the dealer lot. The minute you do, it has already depreciated. Therefore, Troy constantly strives to keep his content current, relevant and applicable. And he believes that Bridge makes this process quick and easy for him.


It shouldn't come as a surprise to know the company developing Bridge also leverages it to train its own employees. Like other professionals in his role, Troy is tasked to design and deliver company-wide employee development and leadership programs. His latest authoring project was “Being an International Manager at Instructure,” a course targeting those unique global management skills.


"Design to outcome."


When asked about his design process in Bridge, his response is his mantra: design to outcome (or as Dr. Stephen Covey of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People would say: begin with the end in mind). "I always try to think about what needs to be accomplished with a course or training. Starting with the outcome and designing back from there helps me with more effective and relevant content and a better learning experience," he says.


Of course, it helps to gauge employee interest on a topic or series before jumping into the design process. Troy often starts by deploying a simple survey to the employee group he is targeting. "Using surveys can be a great communication method to hone in on the right learning deployment methods," he says.


"People are amazing."


Troy is constantly fascinated with people. He is curious to know how they learn, interact and what they do. "I’m never disappointed because people are amazing." Perhaps that's what drives him to strive to find ways to teach them, as well.


We actually think Troy is amazing, too. When he's not designing courses for everyone, you'll find him working in his yard or taking on his next DIY home furniture projects! He's originally from Bountiful, UT and makes his home there, as well. "It’s a great place to raise a family and still has the charm of a smaller town," he boasts. "[It's got a] great main street that you can stroll down on a summer’s evening!"


And before designing courses in Bridge, Troy had this fun job to start up a slam-dunk and stunt team for the WNBA basketball team in Salt Lake called the Utah Starzz. "It was so much fun creating high-energy entertainment for basketball games with a team of amazing athletes who were down right crazy," he reminisces. (Knowing Troy, we suspect he made them do some tricks and stunts that were outrageous!)


"It would have been cool to have taken a course relating to that [slam-dunk and stunt team] job," he says. "I can see myself learning in Bridge about ways to throw a mascot from the 3-point line through the air to make a slam dunk basket during halftime!" (That would be pretty awesome!)


A Question for the Bridge Community


When we asked Troy what he'd like to know from the community, he was curious to learn ways Bridge users design programs to meet overall learning objectives. For instance, do they couple courses and live training to create a more comprehensive learning experience?



Have any feedback for Troy? Share them by posting your comments below!

1.jpgNikki Bodily is one of the many people working 24/7 to support Bridge users and deliver an amazing user experience.


Nikki is a Level Two (L2) Support Technician for Instructure.  She has been with Instructure since the beginning of 2014.  Nikki rose quickly to L2 and shortly there after moved over to start up the Bridge support team.  “Ooh, Pretty!” was her first reaction when Nikki saw Bridge. She wanted to move to the Bridge team because it sounded fun and interesting and she was looking for a challenge.


nikki painting.jpg

Nikki has been working in various aspects of customer service since she was 17, including several tech support positions prior to coming to Instructure.  “I like working at Instructure because you can’t just let stuff slide.  You have to be yourself and ask questions.  I always know that I will have the tools I need to do my job and that if there is a problem, it will get handled.”  Nikki also says that she also likes working at Instructure because of the informal and comfortable work environment.  "I like working with Bridge users because they are generally pleasant and understand that we are here to help them.  I like working with international customers.  Talking to people from all around the world is exciting."


Nikki has three dogs (Miniature Schnauzer, Maltese, Shitzu mix).  A Salt Lake Native, she loves to cook and bake and draw and watch scary B movies.