Teaching Journal: Documentum Training

logo-documentum-full.gifOn Wednesday, October 15, 2008, I am scheduled to conduct Documentum Web Publisher (DWP) training for a very small group of students. Presumably, they are working for academic/administrative departments on campus and need to use Documentum to update web pages.

I have conducted this type of training in the past and so I am pretty familiar with the environment I will be working in. I used to do training in Engineering Management Room 235, but the IT Training group has moved their trainings to Library 103, which is a room designated specifically for training purposes. One of the major advantages to using that room is that the software installed on those machines does not change as rapidly as it may for a typical CLC room (like Eman 235). Also, it can be much easier to get into the Library 103 room simply because there are very few groups competing for that resource.

Since I will be training students instead of staff, I do not anticipate too many problems. Students seem to have a much better grasp of the technology than staff members in a lot of ways. I don’t mean that staff members are computer illiterate, only that many of them have had relatively little exposure to some of the technolgy that DWP incorporates. Within a limited time span, it can be a challenge to make sure everyone is keeping up with me. DWP doesn’t help itself by being somewhat finicky. I’ve seen it work on one system, and not on another, even when both systems presumably have identical software builds (we use ghost-casting to clone system builds, among other things–this allows for all machines in a room to have the exact same build in a relatively small time frame).

DWP can be very frustrating to work with. My goal for the training session is to help the students understand some of the “why’s” of the software. I also hope to give them a better understanding of the technical communication principles behind effective web design. DWP doesn’t support everything that students or departments would like to do on the web (we’ve encountered significant difficulties in embedding flash video), so I would like to help steer the students clear of the potential pitfalls inherent in DWP.