Demo Arigato is a sales support tool that the Instructure sales team uses to populate online courses before they present the Canvas learning management system (LMS) to potential clients. The tool allows Instructure to quickly create a demo course relevant to the content area and age level of the potential client. In addition, Demo Arigato adds student activity to the course so clients can see a realistic picture of what the LMS looks like when you are using it for courses, including analytics reports.
When meeting with clients, Instructure sales representatives knew that a relevant demo course could make all the difference in creating a convincing presentation. For a long time, they used a PHP prototype version of Demo Arigato that a sales engineer had put together to help prepare those demos. Instructure approached Atomic Jolt to rebuild the tool in Ruby, enhance it to report progress status, be driven off of Google spreadsheets, and add student interaction such as forum posts, assignment submissions, and page visits (that would generate analytics). Another motivation for this project was to help Instructure make Demo Arigato available to the Canvas community as open source.
Atomic Jolt took the existing PHP code and rewrote it in Ruby. We hosted it using a streaming server to allow progress status to be reported back to the web browser long-running course import process. We integrated with the Google APIs so that Google spreadsheets could be used as the basis for providing student activity to populate courses with.
BOTTOM LINE: It is now easier than ever for the Instructure sales team to prepare demo courses for their client presentations. The code is also available to the Canvas community, allowing other organizations to use and repurpose it.