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November 12, 2004

SiteBuilder training for Medical School and Personnel EO

Yesterday we did a sb training session for about 18 people from the Medical School at Westwood. I think these were mainly course coordinators from the Division of Health in the Community section and some others from Walsgrave.

It was good to have so many turn up this time (many thanks to Julie Sherriff for rounding them up!) as the last couple of times we did training for the medical school, only a couple of people turned up.

The course was a short session, comprising a brief talk about what makes a good website, how websites are structured, what sb is and a demonstration of how it works. The delegates then worked through the 'Getting to Know the Basics' module at their own pace.

There were a couple of server type errors and pages sticking but nothing too major to report.

Site wtr13 – some problem with this site. The edit content page came up as 'page not found' – need to investigate.

Adrian Stokes raised some issues:

On creating a table of contents page, he found that the toc page itself was added to the top of the list, but we couldn't edit the page to delete it as it works like the 'get content from' feature. Will this be refined?

He wondered whether it would be possible to edit the forums in sb when you create a forum page, rather than having to go into the forums itself to do the editing.

Karen did speak to him in more detail on this and may be to shed further light here.

Everyone fairly okay with it. Some would like their site for longer:

Charmaine Smith – wtr07
Carmel Parrott – wtr25
Jeanette Pratt – wtr19

On Wednesday I went over to the Personnel Office and spent a bit of time with a couple from the Equal Opportunities section, going through basics such as creating pages, uploading documents, creating links and using relative links.

There were some problems uploading word documents, which turned out to be technical problem that was at the time being fixed, so hopefully should now work okay.

There was also something wrong with the relative links picker. A couple of times we uploaded documents but when trying to find the relative link – they weren't there.

October 27, 2004

SiteBuilder Training Course – 22nd October 2004

Friday was the termly SiteBuilder training course.

Unusually we had a full quota (20) of people attend.

At first there was some confusion as the usually efficient booking system (aka Gill) had broken down which resulted in a few people not being booked on or written on the sheet and the sheet we were given seemed not to be the comprehensive copy. Luckily a few people did not turn up, so this accommodated the new people and everything worked out okay. Having since spoken to Gill it transpires that as she was so busy in the run up to the course she had to pass it over to the ITS training team and several different people were dealing with it. Pauline said that the bookings were coming in thick and fast towards the end. I've suggested to Gill that should she get overwhelmed again, that she passes the SiteBuilder bookings directly over to us.

The day was a full day course. I was quite apprehensive as it had been some time since I had given a course, so I clued up in the days before and carefully went through each slide on the training site only to find that when going through the slides in real time that the slides on the tutor's machine are a different set and in a different order. arrgh!! That'd be right! I think I managed to wing it okay though and it turned out to actually be one of my better presentations – clear, not too woolly, didn't get lost too much and don't think I repeated myself repeated myself (yes I know – shamelessly old gag!) too many times. I felt as though I had most people engaged throughout.

We went through what makes a good website and did a brief evaluation of the School of Archeology web page and later the original School of Architecture site.

We then did the website structure exercise. I wasn't sure about doing this as Joanna seemed to think that in the last term's course, Karen had decided not to do it, but according to my notes it was scheduled in and so we were going to do it! As it happened it seemed to fit in well and in retrospect I'm glad that we did do it. I think it is quite a useful exercise to get people thinking about their web pages in the context of their overall web structure, rather than just creating arbitrary pages that don't logically fit together. I gave the delegates half an hour for this exercise.

After discussing the possible results, I then did a demonstration of SiteBuilder and NewsBuilder, which took us up to 12.05pm and this seemed a logical break for lunch.

After lunch the delegates started to work through the exercises at their own pace. There wasn't too many problems and no awkward customers luckily but all three of us (including Jamie on work experience) were kept busy all afternoon just answering general questions.

There were just a couple of things that came up:

A delegate was editing the right hand column and wanted to put things in different fonts and colours. At first she tried using the different headings options in the editor, but this seemed to screw up the spacing between each item (the heading closing tag didn't come in properly and this meant going into the html to change it). She didn't like this as she's not familiar with html and thought the whole purpose of sb was that you didn't need to know html. I suggested that she tried editing the rhs using edit live, but we discovered that we could only edit the main content and not the rhs. I guessed that as it is still under beta that this hasn't been considered but I said that I would bring it up. Will enter it onto the forum.

Someone else was editing wtr16. After doing her latest changes all her work seemed to have disappeared. I asked her if she had inadvertently gone into another site but she didn't think she had. On speaking to Chris we learnt that she had been editing site wtr07. We didn't understand how this had happened as it wasn't on her browser history, she hadn't entered it and also said that she wasn't a careless clicker, so not quite sure what happened here.

A third delegate (who works for IT Services) said that he had been given a staff page directly from the Warwick site:
link He wanted to know how to edit it using sb. I couldn't help as I didn't think pages like this were still being used and thought that everything was in sb. Is there someone I should notify about this?

There were a number of people who want to continue using sb for a bit longer – need to drop emails to these:

Helen Viney – wtr12
Tania Page – wtr14
Chae Jung – wtr21
Jenny Bull – wtr22

The feedback received was very good. I've created a spreadsheet with the replies and created a couple of graphs from it – below. Everyone but one said the course was delivered at the right pace, everyone said they would recommend it to their colleagues and most found that it would be helpful in their work and were generally satisfied with it. Interestingly the only negatives were one who said there should have been less talking and more doing and conversely another couple who said there should have been more talking and less of the doing on their own! It seems you can't win! Other points raised were:

  • copy of slides for making notes on (good idea)
  • people with poor eyesight found the documentation text too small to read (don't think there is too much we could do about this other than referring people to the electronic version where they can increase their own text size).

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