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: 115

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

M. Arthur Ohm is now a member of University Web Developers
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A lesson about User Experience from our very own User Experience Design Engineer. Check it out in today's blog post!"
Wednesday
Juliana Perry replied to Artur Charukhchyan's discussion Wordpress setup advice needed
"The WP edu list may also be of use to you. http://lists.automattic.com/mailman/listinfo/wp-edu https://wordpress.org/showcase/tag/education/ shows a range of educational sites; some are higher ed sites using WordPress as their CMS; others are less…"
Tuesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"OU Campus Developers: There's still time to build and submit your working gadgets to our 2014 Gadget Challenge for a chance to win free registration + travel reimbursement to OUTC15! Learn more about building gadgets in OU Campus by…"
Monday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Last chance to submit your proposals to present at #OUTC15 "
Oct 17
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A lot of our customers are presenting at HighEdWeb! See who in today's blog post.  "
Oct 16
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Voting has officially begun! Check out the gadget ideas submitted by your higher ed peers and vote for the ones you would like to see incorporated in OU Campus. "
Oct 15
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Happy Tuesday! We are pleased to welcome Nevada State College as the newest addition to the OU Campus user community."
Oct 14
Zack Rosen is now a member of University Web Developers
Oct 14
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Lots to do with this year’s E-Expectations survey. See the discussion in today's blog post."
Oct 13
Jay Massey replied to Cal Anderson's discussion T4 Site Manager Implementation in the group Terminal Four Site Manager
"We just finished our institution-wide, procurement, redesign, development, migration and launch our our university's public web presence with T4 Site Manager. I've been intimately involved in the entire process. AMA... シ Jay"
Oct 13
Jay Massey joined Cal Anderson's group
Thumbnail

Terminal Four Site Manager

For institutions using Terminal Four's (T4) Site Manager CMS.See More
Oct 13
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Only one more week to submit your presentation proposals for a chance to receive free or half-priced registration to OUTC15! "
Oct 10
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out Treasure Valley Community College’s new Course Catalog. Excellent work! "
Oct 9
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please help us welcome to the OmniUpdate family our first new customer of the fall season, Millsaps College!"
Oct 8
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Now you can use the CMS features you know and love in OU Campus to succeed in your institution’s blogging efforts! Find out how in today's blog post. "
Oct 7
Profile IconDiana Muina and Kate Clark joined DNI's group
Thumbnail

Cascade Server CMS

For folks who use (or are interested in) Hannon Hill's Cascade Server CMS productSee More
Oct 7
Profile IconDiana Muina, Kate Clark, Charlie Holder and 2 more joined University Web Developers
Oct 7
Artur Charukhchyan replied to Artur Charukhchyan's discussion Wordpress setup advice needed
"Thank you!"
Oct 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"OmniUpdate customers are invited to join us Thursday, October 9th at 11AM PDT for a free 30-minute webcast all about Email Campaign Manager! Register now. "
Oct 6

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