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: 131

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

Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Is your campus prepared for an emergency like the fires California schools faced last week? See how California State University Channel Islands kept their campus constituents in the know during the Thomas Fire. http://bit.ly/2z29sMa ;"
Tuesday
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
Tuesday
Billy Biondi commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Hi Everyone.  New user to the site.  I have a question about moving to OmniUpdate.  We're going to be switching from FarCry to Omni next year, and  I was curious if any of you have any comments/advice about content…"
Monday
Billy Biondi joined Lynn Zawie's group
Thumbnail

OmniUpdate

Share your experiences using OmniUpdate CMS
Monday
Billy Biondi is now a member of University Web Developers
Monday
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Registration for the 2018 OmniUpdate User Training Conference is officially open! Visit the site for schedules, speakers, and much more. Register today. http://bit.ly/2j3J5jV"
Dec 7
Elizabeth Haddad is now a member of University Web Developers
Nov 27
German Vargas is now a member of University Web Developers
Nov 13
Rachel Burt joined Lynn Zawie's group
Thumbnail

OmniUpdate

Share your experiences using OmniUpdate CMS
Oct 30
Rachel Burt is now a member of University Web Developers
Oct 27
Will Gwin is now a member of University Web Developers
Oct 25
Todd Easter is now a member of University Web Developers
Oct 17
Profile IconJulia Easton and KATE KWAME joined University Web Developers
Oct 13
Bill Hartley posted a discussion

Job Interview Presentation Ideas

Has anyone ever asked job candidates to do a presentation as part of the interview process? We're in the process of searching for a web director, and are looking for some ideas.See More
Oct 6
Gabriel Nagmay is now a member of University Web Developers
Oct 3
Bill Hartley posted discussions
Oct 2
Geoffrey Campbell is now a member of University Web Developers
Sep 27
Colleen Brennan-Barry posted a discussion

NOW HIRING: Operations Director

Position Title:Operations Director of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association Position Overview:Reporting to the President of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association (www.highedweb.org), the Operations Director is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operations of the Association and its volunteers. The Operations Director will work with the Board of Directors to facilitate the implementation of a strategic plan, and lay the…See More
Sep 18
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Upcoming webcast: Join Robin Kelly from the University of Texas at Tyler as she shares tips and tricks to improve productivity as a web professional. Register today!"
Sep 11
Eloine Chapman replied to Eloine Chapman's discussion Should we migrate to https?
"Thanks Barb!"
Sep 1

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

© 2017   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service