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: 132

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
"Join Josh from VisionPoint on our next webcast to learn SEO basics and how to position your content in the best way possible. Register today! "
11 hours ago
Holly LaRose-Roenicke posted a discussion

Looking for inexpensive job intake/ work request tools. Anything Office 365?

We are part of University Communications and are looking for a tool or product to take in job requests, project requests, etc. Would prefer something that allows a feedback survey that asks for client satisfaction upon job completion. What are you using? What do you like about it?See More
Friday
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Does your school have international students? Have you received website inquiries from prospective students living overseas? Do any of your alumni and donors live abroad? "
May 15
Katie Ryan-Lambert joined Mark Greenfield's group
May 14
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"With the release of OU Campus version 10.8, Snippets are even better! "
May 11
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"What do higher ed mission statements and refrigerator magnet poetry have in common? "
May 10
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Your site shouldn't be a refrigerator door showcasing your accomplishments. In our next webcast, learn how to request and create better content to meet your site goals! Register today"
May 9
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Drupal has once again made news with two vulnerabilities that make cyberattacks easy. Is your CMS safe? "
May 8
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"If your website, and specifically the content you’re showcasing, isn’t serving your marketing goals, you’re missing opportunities. #CMS #highered "
May 4
Katie Ryan-Lambert joined Anthony's group
Thumbnail

Plone

Discussion about Plone CMS.
May 2
Katie Ryan-Lambert is now a member of University Web Developers
May 1
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Accessibility should be a deciding factor when choosing a web content management system. If a CMS purchase is in your future, consider these factors. "
Apr 30
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"The more you plan and anticipate issues upfront, the smoother your migration from a homegrown CMS to OU Campus will be. "
Apr 26
Profile IconKeith Castillo and Kimberly Prieto joined University Web Developers
Apr 25
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Ever wonder what other colleges and universities are doing to attract prospective students and keep faculty, staff, and existing students informed? Get some inspiration from these award winners"
Apr 23
Profile IconBrian Piper, Kim Brown and Marianne Schneider joined University Web Developers
Apr 23
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Now available in our OU Campus CMS, Global Search doesn’t require knowledge of navigating your website’s structure. It only requires general knowledge of the content or item you want to find. "
Apr 20
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"For months, you’ve reviewed templates and created, deleted, and revised content for your new redesigned website. Now it’s time to move the content. "
Apr 19
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join Caroline Roberts from iFactory for our next webcast on how to audit your content for a new CMS launch. Register today! "
Apr 19
Rachel Burt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are you using your website to your utmost advantage? Learn how to realize your site’s potential and hit your enrollment goals. "
Apr 18

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

© 2018   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service