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: 127

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

Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Did you know your website’s user experience can impact your marketing efforts? Learn how to assess UX and make it a top priority in today's blog post! "
Wednesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We welcome our friends at Kentucky Community & Technical College System to the OmniUpdate family! "
Tuesday
Profile IconPaul Paire and Amy M Andrade joined University Web Developers
Jul 18
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Spelling errors, broken links, weak SEO, and accessibility issues can negatively affect your site visitors’ user experience. Learn how OU Insights continually monitors these areas and helps keep visitors on your site in today's blog post! "
Jul 13
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Giving a warm SoCal welcome to our newest family member, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District! "
Jul 12
Bryce Anderson is now a member of University Web Developers
Jul 12
Profile IconJeannette Modic and Lisa Jones joined University Web Developers
Jul 11
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are you meeting the high expectations of your technologically savvy site visitors? Found out how to elevate their user experience by focusing on six key areas in today's blog post. "
Jul 7
Cathy Wooten is now a member of University Web Developers
Jul 6
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Train 300+ content contributors after not one, but two website redesigns? No problem! Discover University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s recipe for success in today's blog post. "
Jun 29
Colleen Brennan-Barry posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2016 welcomes LeVar Burton, Kimberly Bryant, more

HighEdWeb is very pleased to announce our outstanding 2016 Annual Conference keynote speakers: Kimberly Bryant, Aspen Institute Fellow and founder of Black Girls CODE, and LeVar Burton, actor, director and educator.We’re also excited to share our full presentation schedule, which includes more than 70 presentations given in 7…See More
Jun 29
Sara Clark posted discussions
Jun 28
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are your digital marketing campaigns effective? Learn how to measure the success of your digital efforts in this Thursday’s Higher Ed Live episode at 1PM ET with Jon Anspaugh from Oral Roberts University! "
Jun 28
Scott Knauer is now a member of University Web Developers
Jun 23
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Get the story behind our newest module OU Alerts and how our customers are helping shape its future in today's blog post! "
Jun 22
Vivek G. Bharathan is now a member of University Web Developers
Jun 21
Marc Boman joined Paul Branham's group
Thumbnail

Community Colleges

Discussions and such pertaining to the unique situations that present themselves to Community Colleges.
Jun 20
Marc Boman joined Mark Greenfield's group
Jun 20
Dan Demmons posted a discussion

SVA - anyone using this for their marketing campaigns

Hello everyone,I'm wondering if anyone is using SVA to help assist with their marketing efforts? Brief info on what SVA is - http://www.carnegiecomm.com/blog/non-traditional-student-audiences-cant-find-them-build-them/Here's a company that provides assistance with incorporating SVA- http://www.semcasting.com/I've a…See More
Jun 16
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Looking for the secrets to success for a website redesign? Check out our latest blog post for some great tips! "
Jun 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

© 2016   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service