University Web Developers

University Web Developers

CMS training materials -- are printed manuals worth it?

I've seen a few examples of printed, bound training books -- some with tabs.  In the long-term I'd love to grow our training materials into something that's a combination of how-to, style guidelines, and related policies.  I think then it would be worth the effort.

It'll be a while before I have all the content together, so for now I'm curious -- is a training book that is printed and bound effective?

I'm investing quite a bit of time developing "Help" pages for each site -- a page with links to guides, related blog posts, and videos, plus anything specific to their site.  But I'm wondering if folks just like that paper stuff they can hold in their hand.  I want people to be comfortable.

Views: 113

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

My (totally anecdotal) perception is that printed manuals are not particularly useful to most users these days. When you factor in maintenance and updating of the manual, they are really not worth the effort. Contextual online help, along with a FAQ, screencasts, and some key procedures posted online seem to work for almost all users.

The exception I run into in CMS and LMS training is that some users like to write down procedures as they learn them. For these users, a short printed manual with room for handwritten notes allows them to work in a comfortable and familiar way.

These users are almost always also the ones that want to learn just enough to get by in the new system – rather than diving deep into advanced features – so the basics of logging in, editing content, and creating and publishing pages are usually the topics that can use this kind of workbook treatment. The advanced stuff can be omitted, to keep it short and simple and relatively easy to update as the UI changes.

I like the idea of giving them something they can take notes with.  I am not a fan of printing things that go obsolete quickly.  Our old docs held up for 3 years, and I'm crafting the replacements to hold as long as possible -- to cover beginner basics, then anything that more advanced is a blog post I can send them a link to (when it pertains to their site.)

If I had the time I would love to create a "Help" page in each site, with dynamic hooks to topics on the CMS Users blog I update.  So, if their site has our News script in it, I could feed in recent posts with tips and tricks for that.  I'm experimenting with a few Google docs to get started -- they can edit the doc so if anything doesn't make sense they can change it.  But I expect 99%+ of users wouldn't edit what I provide.

Your blog and feed approach to CMS training and support sounds like it will be very efficient... We are going to be rolling out a new WordPress multisite network, and that is definitely something I'll adopt as well. Thanks for the tip!

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
" It’s the last day to submit your gadget ideas! One idea = a free T-Shirt, but more submissions = more chances to win free OUTC15 registration!"
3 hours ago
Ryan Richter is now a member of University Web Developers
6 hours ago
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Calling all presenters! It's time to submit for OUTC15. Learn more on our blog. "
21 hours ago
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Hey, OU Campus developers and site administrators! Don’t miss out on this month’s Training Tuesday on Sept. 30th at 11 AM PST, featuring how to create your own gadgets. Register now! "
Friday
Sara Clark posted a discussion

Oct. 18-19: Web conference for college students in Portland, Ore.

I’m writing to let you know of an awesome opportunity for any of your current students who have an interest in a web-related field, whether it’s on the technical side or content-creation side (or both!): CrowdSource Summit: A Conference for Emerging Web Professionals.This conference is presented by the Higher Education Web Professionals Association, known more affectionately as HighEdWeb. I’m a member, and I attend its Annual…See More
Friday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"  Have you ever looked up your institution’s walk score? Learn why you should share that information in today’s blog post! "
Thursday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Only one week left to nominate OU Campus for a Critic’s Choice CMS award AND University Business Readers’ Choice Top Products award. Thank you for your support!"
Sep 24
Profile IconCesar De La Garza and Timothy Hew joined University Web Developers
Sep 24
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Help build up the next generation of web pros by sending your students to High Ed Web's CrowdSource Summit. "
Sep 23
John Jackson posted a discussion

Web developer

The Web Communications team at Virginia Tech seeks a web designer/developer. This is an exciting time to join our team. We are migrating to a new content management system and expect this person to assist in the effort to develop templates, implement designs, and help us determine how the visual standards will evolve for new devices. Going forward, the successful candidate will work to develop new layouts for the web, mobile devices, and apps. Full job description with a  link to the…See More
Sep 23
C.S. Sherman posted discussions
Sep 23
Jenn Baker posted a discussion

University of Alaska Fairbanks Digital Communications Manager

The Digital Communications Manager is a key member of the leadership team of the Marketing and Communications office. Reporting to the director of Marketing and Communications and working with highly motivated colleagues, the manager will oversee a cohesive, leading-edge digital communications strategy that advances the university's national and global impact and image. The manager will oversee staff responsible for the UAF website, social media, and videography. The Digital Communications…See More
Sep 22
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Another responsive site! Way to go Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Looks fantastic! www.clarion.edu"
Sep 22
Profile IconJenn Baker and Jose Vidal joined University Web Developers
Sep 20
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Loving all the gadget ideas! Have you submitted yours? http://omniupdate.com/campaigns/gadget-challenge/2014/"
Sep 19
Sean Walsh posted a blog post

The Results are in: TERMINALFOUR Higher Education Web Survey

In our first annual higher education web survey report, almost 250 individuals and 169 higher education institutions reveal where they focus their online marketing activities, how they measure their online efforts and how they engage with their audiences. Discover the results for yourself by downloading a free report today: http://www.terminalfour.com/survey2014/See More
Sep 19
Mike Tackett is now a member of University Web Developers
Sep 18
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Look who’s responsive now! Clark College went live with their new site. Congratulations! www.clark.edu/"
Sep 17
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"  How well do your campus emails render on mobile devices? Read about our Email Campaign Manager in today’s blog post! "
Sep 16
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Nominations for the third annual Critics' Choice CMS Awards are closing Oct 1! Don’t forget to submit OU Campus for consideration. Recommended categories include: Best Enterprise JAVA CMS, Best Cloud CMS for Enterprise, and Most…"
Sep 15

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2014   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service