This work has included the revision of many documents, the establishment of a documentation model that will allow documents developed at any CSuite site to be easily integrated into another site's document base, thus reducing the work required to maintain documentation at all CSuite sites.
The New HelpDesk is now installed although we are still awaiting several new indexing tools. The new HelpDesk a more consistent 'look and feel including a consistent set of document footers.
We had 8 new Userhelp members join, 6 old members leave, 7 regular members in addition to the Team Leader. Userhelp would like to commend all the participating volunteers for their assistance in making Userhelp run smoothly.
For the first part of the year training courses were held in Room B271 at the Killam Library. We shared the room with Dal. students, and there were many occasions when the room was very crowded.
Over the summer of 1996, we began conducting some of our training using a computer lab at the Halifax Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College on Bell Road. That location gives us the use of a well equipped computer lab for our exclusive use for a two hour time slot on Saturdays - and lots of parking! We are currently conducting all CCN User Training at that location.
Since March 1996 the IP Training has been reorganized into a strictly on-line training system involving on-line tutorials and a series of on-line assignments or tests. This permits applicants to learn at their own pace and within their own schedule, and is more in keeping with the way our on-line community functions. Experienced html editors have completed the training in as little as a day or two. Most others complete in a week or two, once they get going. A few have taken one or two months, because they were very new to computing, or because they were very busy with other things.
The new program has been quite effective. Working actively from their own account rather than sitting inactively listening in a classroom has made the training more realistic. Applicants must practice and apply the skills before becoming IPs, all but eliminating the usual errors and requests for help that used to prevail in launching new IPs.
When I began in March 1996 there was thought to be a crisis in IP Training, and that lack of training was stalling IP creation. This proved to be unfounded. Numerous names were put forward as needing training, but most were not serious about it, many had no intention of becoming an IP editor, some had only toyed with the idea, and some were frankly surprised their names had been forwarded.
Our on-line IP Training resources are quite under-utilized. We are set up to handle far more applicants (up to 200/yr?), but there seem to be few new IP Applications that follow through to completion. Judging from comments from a few of the many who enquire, then disappear, it seems most potential IPs would prefer to be on systems with lots of CGI bells and whistles, and direct FTP transfer of files.