Hello, I am part of the Scratchpad team at the NHM and am responsible for the user support and training. My job in ViBRANT will be to facilitate the transfer of the Scratchpad user support and training to Isa at RBINS.
The user support consists of the training courses Isa presented in the last talk. Then we have a lot of Frequently Asked Questions, which have now moved into an integrated help system that is directly accessible via the sites. We have a feedback system called ‘Issues’, with which users can report bugs, ask for help or request new features. Similar is the help desk, where instead of using the feedback system, users can email or phone us, or if they are at the NHM or Kew, we can meet. We try to keep our users informed about new developments. There is a blog with regular two-weekly updates and a news feed on updated modules, which comes up when a user logs into his or her site. All of these support features are of course in close cooperation with WP2.
I have tried to show the integration between the user support and the IT side on this slide. During the training courses the trainers take note of any new features the participants request and at which points the most problems arise, because this indicates where the workflow on the Scratchpads needs to be improved, or that there are bugs. The feedback system and help desk both also influence the development of new features and improvement of existing ones. They are very useful to make the developers aware of bugs. Especially the help desk, but to a lesser degree also the feedback system are used to request specific support. These range from simple “How do I do this?” questions that can be answered by referring to one of the FAQ, to more complicated questions about how to best structure and present specific data, which involves creating custom content types and views. From the IT side all new developments and improvements obviously need to be reflected in the training courses, help system and FAQ. And as I already mentioned, users are informed via blog and news feed. For this to work there will need to be excellent communication between WP3 and WP2 and regular meetings to discuss current issues and set priorities.
Who are our users… At the NHM we are quite lucky because the use of Scratchpads is encouraged by the management, which has resulted in a surge in interest and a high demand for training. We have given general talks to the scientists and if people express an interest we also do short personal demonstrations to show how Scratchpads could fit the specific needs of the person interested. The training courses are offered according to demand. For example last November we gave a course that fill up within one day of being announced, so on short notice we offered another course in December. The training courses are followed up by individual support if needed.
NHM training and support integration
NHM Training and support integration Irina Brake Natural History Museum, London [email_address] Workpackage 3 Training, outreach and community support ViBRANT Virtual Biodiversity
Scratchpad user support <ul><li>Training courses (training sites, manuals) </li></ul><ul><li>FAQ Integrated help system directly accessible via the sites </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback system (bugs, support and feature requests) </li></ul><ul><li>Help desk (email, phone, consultations) </li></ul><ul><li>Inform users of new developments (blog, news feed on updated modules when user logs in) </li></ul><ul><li>All in close cooperation with WP2 </li></ul>5
Integration <ul><li>Training courses </li></ul>5 Help system FAQ Feedback system Help desk User information Development of new features and improvement of workflow Bug fixes Specific user support User support IT Regular Scratchpad team meetings to discuss current issues and set priorities
Who are our users? <ul><li>Mostly professional and amateur taxonomists </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide, but nucleus is UK, specifically NHM and RBGK </li></ul><ul><li>Interest from science and project administration at NHM to use Scratchpads as communication platform </li></ul>5 <ul><li>Use of Scratchpads encouraged by management </li></ul><ul><li>Surge in interest and high demand for training </li></ul><ul><li>Talks and short personal demos facilitate the decision to create a site. </li></ul><ul><li>Training courses are offered according to demand </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up individual support </li></ul>User support at NHM