Faculty of Engineering & Design staff

Sharing experience and best practice across the Faculty of Engineering & Design

Tagged: confluence

Macro of the month: User profile

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

The User Profile function in Confluence is an easy way to display contact details.

User Profile is a macro that displays the latest profile details of a named user. It can be used to help visitors to the wiki to find up to date contact details for key individuals, should they require them.

Application(s)

User Profile has one simple function:

  • allows you to display a dynamic list of contact details for a named user (based on what they have added to their profile within Confluence)

How to add User profile

First check to see if this is useful by looking to see if the user has updated their profile

  • Place you cursor where you want the User Profile macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type user profile into the search box
  • Type in the required username
  • Click Save

How to use User Profile

User Profile can help visitors to a wiki find contact details, or, in a group project, help members find out more about other members of the group. Using this macro means that the details will remain current as it updates whenever the profile details are updated.

Example

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Macro of the month: Contributors/Contributors Summary

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

The Contributors/Contributors Summary function in Confluence is useful in just about every wiki space where there are multiple authors and editors; it both informs visitors about who is working on a space and also acknowledges those contributors.

Contributors/Contributors Summary is a macro that produces an up to date list of contributors to a page, pages or whole space, enabling you to quickly see to see who has contributed and how recently/frequently.

Application(s)

Contributors/Contributors Summary has the following function:

  • allows you to create and display a dynamic list of contributors for the pages of your choice, arranged by factors such as frequency of contribution
  • the Summary version of the macro has less functionality but by that is easier to use

How to add Contributors/Contributors Summary

First check to see if this is useful by looking to see if the pages or space of interest have, or are likely to have, multiple contributors

  • Place you cursor where you want the Contributors/Contributors Summary macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type contributors into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you may need to experiment until you get a table that works for your data)
  • Click Save

How to use Contributors/Contributors Summary

Contributors/Contributors Summary can help acknowledge the team effort that is behind many wikis and encourage participation. This can be useful for staff and student projects.

Example

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Introduction to wiki (again)

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📥  Staff insight

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Wiki, wiki, wiki...

We've all heard about it. Our Faculty's internal web pages. But why should we use it?

Basically it has all the information you need... About everything else.

Imagine this. You need to know what the new email address is for the Faculty Student Centre. Immediately. But oh no, everything has changed and moved around. Oh, if only there was a space where this useful information is held… (hint, hint).

A quick overview

Using wiki allows you to:

  • Create, share and collaborate on information quickly.
  • Easily publish, organise, and access information in one central location.
  • Capture, store, and grow your team's knowledge so you can stay up to date and on the same page - quite literally.

Sure, it’s another system to learn. But if I can use it so can you. I mean, just look at this amazing page on E-Communications I made… *whispers* all by myself!

wiki

E-Communications Design Best Practice wiki page

I’ve used loads of different ‘macros’ which have helped me make the page more, what I like to say, aesthetically pleasing. Tracey Madden writes monthly posts called (funnily enough) ‘Tracey’s macro of the month’. Check them out to find out more useful information.

My saved pages:

If you’ve made it this far into my blog, I applaud you. By the way, here are some of the pages which I find useful:

  • New staff. I’ve had to look back on this plenty of times when I’ve needed to check out information on person profiles.
  • Faculty Structure Charts. Also incredibly useful.
  • Help with wikis. Because even I have to look back on further support.

And that’s just the beginning!

But hey, don’t ask me… find out for yourself: go.bath.ac.uk/fedstaffwiki

 

Macro of the Month: Task Report

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month, Uncategorised

Introduction

The Task List function in Confluence is useful in its basic form (as a 'tick box') but if it is used to its full extent (i.e. including a name and a deadline with each task) it can be used to help keep track of tasks and produce personalised reports.

Task Report is a macro that produces an up to date list of tasks (i.e. what is written after a Task List 'tick box') which can be filtered on a range of attributes, enabling you to quickly survey progress on single or multiple projects.

Application(s)

Task Report has the following function:

  • allows you to create a dynamic list of tasks from the spaces/pages of your choice, filtered by whether they are complete or incomplete, who they are assigned to, who created them, etc.

How to add Task Report

Firstly, make sure you have tasks recorded on Confluence, beginning with the Task List 'tick box' followed by the Confluence username of the person assigned the task, a brief description of the task and the deadline for the task, e.g. taskThen...

  • Place you cursor where you want the Task Report macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type task report into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (say, whether you want to list tasks that are complete or incomplete)
  • Click Save

How to use Task Report

Task Report can help users monitor their own tasks across multiple spaces; allow project managers to survey progress across all aspects of a project; support managers monitoring the workload of individuals etc.

Additionally, recording tasks in this way (with the username and deadline) means that an email will go to the user mentioned to inform them that this task has been assigned to them and when it is due.

 

Macro of the Month: Attachments

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

It is a straightforward matter to attach documents to a page on Confluence and then link them individually to items of text. However, in the case of a large number of attachments, many lists of attachments within a space, and/or where attachments are updated on a regular basis, dynamic list of attachments that respond to changes could be of more use and save time in amending text and links.

Attachments is a simple macro that produces an up to date list of the current attachments on a selected page, which can be filtered by file type or attachment label, making it ideal to manage attachments across a space.

Application(s)

Attachments has the following function:

  • allows you to present, on a page of your choice, a dynamic list of attachments to a page of your choice, with files type/labels of your choice

How to add Attachments

  • Place you cursor where you want the Attachments macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type attachments into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (say, the order in which the list appears or the file type of attachment that is included)
  • Click Save

How to use Attachments

Attachments can help users locate the groups of documents they require quickly and easily. It can also help those editing the space ensure version control is maintained.

 

Macro of the Month: Roadmap Planner

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Roadmap Planner is a simple macro within Confluence that creates a map for projects. As well as displaying basic information about a project timeline, it can also be linked to more in-depth information on individual work packages. Roadmap Planner allows you to communicate how a project is progressing and also give viewers the level of detail they require.

Application(s)

Roadmap Planner has the following function:

  • allows you to present details on the progress of a project in the form of a simple Gantt Chart

How to add Roadmap Planner

  • Place you cursor where you want the Roadmap Planner macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type roadmap planner into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you may wish to experiment with the settings)
  • Click Save
  • Type the details of your particular project onto the new chart that appears

How to use Roadmap Planner

Having details of your project can help people who are involved see the progress that is being made and share information with other parties. It can also be use by individuals to enable them to track their own progress and report to managers.

Example

FED Staff wiki

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Using Wiki to improve processes

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📥  Staff insight

I first used Wiki when I started in my current role to share papers for a group meeting. I only used very basic features to start with, such as uploading papers and using permissions to give new members access, but I was curious to learn more.

Learning about Wiki

I was initially a bit nervous about creating my own Wiki pages, but support from Tracey Madden, Learning Enhancement Adviser, gave me an overview of Wiki and also introduced me to macros. Macros allow extra functionality to be added to a page and range from including an attachment to inserting content from an Excel spreadsheet, or embedding a twitter feed or video. Every month, Tracey publishes a macro of the month blog post, which is great for finding out about different macros.

Improving processes

In discovering more about Wiki, I began to see potential for using Wiki to improve the efficiently of a number of processes. I have now created Wiki pages to enhance information sharing and to contain extensive resources for staff to access (for example, the documents for the Faculty’s REF paper grading workshops). I also use Wiki to manage informal meetings, contribute to project work and find information on the Faculty’s Staff Wiki space.

Advantages of Wiki

There are many advantages of using Wiki. You can set up and manage permissions to allow individuals or groups access to all, or some, of your pages. Wiki provides a permanent hub of resources that are available at any time. It is also useful for project work, particularly when working with staff throughout the Faculty or University, as pages can be easily accessed and updated by various staff.

Your turn!

If you haven’t already, now is the time to engage with Wiki, especially since the Faculty’s internal staff webpages have now moved to the Staff Wiki space. For Wiki guidance, have a look at the Faculty’s help with Wikis page. If you want a few tips on using macros, watch out for Tracey’s macro of the month blog posts.

Staff Wiki space

The Faculty’s staff Wiki space

 

Macro of the month: Survey and Vote

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Survey and Vote are straightforward to set up and can be used in different ways. They enable the gathering of information, opinions and general feedback from visitors. Survey allows you to ask several questions and offers a list of responses from which to choose, Vote allows only one question; apart from this they operate in the same way.

Application(s)

Survey and Vote have the following function:

  • allows you to present questions to the user to elicit their knowledge, opinions, needs etc

How to add Survey/Vote

  • Place you cursor where you want the Survey or Vote macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type survey or vote into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you may wish to experiment with the settings)
  • Click Save
  • Type your list of questions into the macro box that appears (for Vote the question is within the settings)

How to use Survey/Vote

Having some interactive elements in your space is a good way of getting your visitors to engage and a great way for you to get some feedback on your work.

Survey/Vote can be a good way to find out from your visitors how they find using one particular page or the whole space. You can use Survey/Vote to find out how visitors would like you to develop the space further or what parts of the space they value most. You can also ask questions that determine what they have learnt from a resource or their opinion on some content.

Example

Staff support

Survey(click on image to enlarge)

 

Macro of the Month: Search box

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Search box is another basic macro with one specific use. It enables visitors to find information on the space relating to their choice of search term

Application(s)

Search box has one function:

  • allows you to create a search box for your space into which visitors can type their own search term

How to add Search Box

  • Place you cursor where you want the Search box macro to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type search box into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you may wish to experiment with the settings)
  • Click Save

How to use Search Box

Bear in mind that different visitors will want to search in different ways. This gives visitors an alternative method of finding what they need, other than browsing through the left hand page tree or using the Index (if there is one). The more complex a space (greater number of pages, greater range of topics) the more useful the search box is to visitors.

Example

Faculty of Engineering and Design staff area

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Macro of the Month: Column

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Column is another basic macro with one specific use. It is useful for breaking up areas of the page to allow you to control the layout.

Application(s)

Column has one function:

  • allows you to subdivide a section of a page

How to add Column

  • Place you cursor where you want the Column macro to appear (must be within a section)
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type column into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you may wish to experiment with the settings)
  • Click Save

How to use Column

Although the Page Layout button allows to you add sections to break up a page, Column allows you much more control over the layout

Example

Faculty of Engineering and Design staff area

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