Faculty of Engineering & Design staff

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

Tagged: Wiki

Introduction to wiki (again)

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📥  Engineering & Design 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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📥  Engineering & Design 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

Capture(click on image to enlarge)

 

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

Capture(click on image to enlarge)

 

Macro of the month: Children display

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📥  Tracey's macro of the month

Introduction

Children display is another basic macro with one specific use. It is particularly useful for spaces with many nested pages ('child pages') which can be hidden from view; this macro enables you to help visitors to find those pages quickly.

Application(s)

Children display has one function:

  • makes a live, dynamic list of pages that are nested under a chosen page (does not have to be the one where the macro is placed)

How to add Children display

  • Place you cursor where you want the Children display to appear
  • Click on Insert (in the tool bar above) then Other Macros from the drop-down menu
  • In the pop-up window, type children display into the search box
  • Set the variables up as you wish (you can, for instance, choose to limit the level of nested pages that are displayed)
  • Click Save

How to use Children display

Look at how a list of the 'child' pages could be added to a page in your space to enable visitors to find the materials they need quickly. The addition of this macro is useful where:

  • you have a large number of pages, many of them nested (so not easily found)
  • you want a list of child pages (e.g. a contents list) to be dynamic to reflect frequent changes in the space

Example

children display

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Introducing our Faculty Staff Wiki space

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📥  Engineering & Design staff new initiative

As part of the CMS transition, our Faculty’s internal web pages have migrated to the University’s Wiki (called Confluence).

Our new Faculty of Engineering & Design Staff Wiki space means:

  • Faculty staff information is contained in one place
  • teams can take ownership of their own content and easily update their pages
  • staff can share information and collaborate more effectively

Since starting the project back in January, we have moved across our current content, as well as creating new content. We’ve also undertaken a user testing process to refine usability and design.

Where is the space?

You can find the Staff Wiki space in the same way as the old internal pages: by clicking the padlock link on the Faculty’s external landing page.

You can also log in to Confluence and search for the space or type in the web address go.bath.ac.uk/fedstaffwiki directly into your browser.

Who can access the space?

All staff at the University (who have a University log on) can view the space but certain pages may have viewing or editing restrictions applied to them. This is so that they can only be seen or edited by a select group or individual.

Design

The space has been designed by Rosie Hart (Postgraduate Taught Programmes Officer) using a colour palette of Faculty Orange, Stylus grey and About blue. All pages have consistent headers and footers. To reduce scrolling we have hidden some content under expandable headings.

Each page has been assigned a webmaster or masters who are responsible for creating and keeping content up to date (these names are listed within the page footer). Page design inevitably varies depending on the webmaster, but should retain the same design ethos and colour scheme as the rest of the space.

Navigation

The page tree in the left-hand sidebar lists all top level pages. Page headings with ‘>’ next to them (rather than a bullet point) expand to reveal child pages beneath them with further content.

The search box in the top right toolbar searches the whole of Confluence (all University of Bath Wiki pages). The search box on the Faculty Staff Wiki homepage only searches the space.

You can always return to the homepage by clicking the Orange Minerva head logo at the top of the Wiki space’s left-hand sidebar.

Each page is tagged with its function or team, which formulates an index (or A-Z) linked to in the left-hand page tree and on the homepage.

Take a video tour of the space


Managing the space

The Staff Wiki space will always be a work in progress. All staff are expected to take an active responsibility for keeping the space up to date. We all have editing rights for any page containing an edit button (located at the top right of a page). Teams who do not wish people to edit their pages can restrict this, so if an edit button is present then the webmaster is happy for others to contribute. The Wiki has a history function so if anything goes wrong you can always publish an earlier version of a page.

The homepage has a feedback link for staff to provide comments on usability, content and design. This feedback will be evaluated tri-annually (October, February, June) by the Wiki space editorial group consisting of Becky Garner, Beth Jones, Rosie Hart and Tracey Madden. The group will also review the space to ensure design and content standards are being met, and offer advice to webmasters.

Creating new pages

Should your team have a presence within our Staff Wiki space? In the first instance, it is best to contact Tracey Madden (Learning Enhancement Advisor) through the new content request table. Tracey can advise on your content needs, the design of your page and provide bespoke wiki training for your team. You may find that the Staff Wiki space is not the correct location for your content or that you only need to link to your own pages from it.

Webmasters of top level wiki pages already in existence can create as many child pages as they wish. All new pages must contain a header and footer to match the rest of the Wiki space and comply with our colour styles and brand principles.

Developing your wiki skills and finding help

Tracey Madden has created a bespoke help section with how-to guides and page templates to aid staff in using the Wiki space and creating their own content. You can also take a look at Tracey’s Macro of the Month feature and Rosie’s Top Wiki Tips on the blog to develop your wiki skills. You can practise editing and using macros on your personal wiki page (everyone automatically has one) or book wiki training with Computing Services. Tracey Madden is also available to provide bespoke training to members of our Faculty.

Thanks to...

Thank you to Rosie Hart (supported by Bex Mills) who transitioned our existing internal content and designed the space, and to Tracey Madden who has worked with teams to create new content. Thank you also to our user testers.