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MIS Systems Thread, Question: Documentation in Technical; A question for you and your staff: Do you regually (or at all) use the SIMS documentation, either directly the ...
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    GREED's Avatar
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    Question Question: Documentation

    A question for you and your staff:

    Do you regually (or at all) use the SIMS documentation, either directly the pdf's Capita provide, or via the Documentation button?

    Have you produced any of your own documentation or materials?

    Linked closely to another hot topic at the moment...

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    I try to encourage staff to use the quick reference sheets that Capita provide because I think they're great, but they usually just call and ask me questions instead

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    Kyle's Avatar
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    We also push the QRS from CApita to our staff and most find them useful.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Has anyone created their own user guides for staff, specific for their school?

    I'm interested because I created one for all my teaching staff (back in the day) and it became invaluable to them, expecially new starters to the school.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    We do produce our own QRS for things that are specific to the way we have set SIMS up, particularly assessment manager, just explaining how to enter data in to marksheets, and specifically what data is expected in those particular marksheets

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    apeo's Avatar
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    Mostly use QRS and some custom guides.

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    I regularly use the Documentation in SIMS - usually when new functionality appears and I want to brush up on the best way of doing things. At my rather mature age I do actually forget some things too! What does amaze me is the number of posts that appear on Forums (here and elsewhere) that are asking for advice on procedures in SIMS when it probably takes less time to consult the SIMS Handbooks than it does to post the actual query! Strange ......

    I have several home produced manuals that staff can refer to for various procedures. I usually produce these when new functionality appears. Often the go out of date very quickly however.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    We either look it up using these or the leas versions or direct staff to the data manager who know Sims inside out or an aht who trained the Sims data manager

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    Yes i do all the time. Staff don't.

    Not all things required are available from the built-in documentation!

    I usually circulate QRS if it's relevant, but usually need to produce my own, as we don't use all elements of certain areas, and it's more hassle giving them extra info that just confuses them.

    All new staff, get the configure homepage panels guide, i have handouts showing toolbar at top drawing attention to the main ones we need explaining function. Also have a guide for running reports, training videos (flash) for enabling categories in reports and lowering macro security in office (though defunct since upgrade to office 2010), also have a powerpoint on exporting marksheets from AM7. essentially lots of little snippets, no need for the full manuals apart from for me. certain key users get full manuals e.g. timetabler, etc.

    All my docs are on the intranet, they aren't compiled like your mammoth manual was. i find, even giving out handouts is overkill for new teachers. Better to give snippets, that can be accessed as required. All docs will move to sharepoint libraries / FAQs / Tip of the day webparts in the future.

    We used to give the full lesson monitor / attendance manual out, but they wont bother looking at it.

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    I have tried customised user guides in the past, but find that staff don't. or won't read them. I now circulate the most useful of the A4 quick guides provided by Capita and do customised versions of these specific to our system - for example how to do a register, or how to fill in marksheets for our progress monitoring system; but they have to be brief; no more than 1 or 2 side of A4, or I find they are not used.

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    rh91uk's Avatar
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    I tend to encourage staff to use the QRS (and sometimes *place* them in a central place that they all know where they are...).

    I also have created certain guides specific to our school (like most of you have) to do with Assessment Manager and Lesson Monitor, especially taking registers when you have been assigned cover/or a supply teacher. I know it is easy to understand how to take them, but every littlle helps as they say, you'd be suprised!

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    GREED's Avatar
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    My next question would be would you like your staff to make better use of it, either the official documentation, your customized documents, 3rd party documents and material, forums etc?

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    My next question would be would you like your staff to make better use of it, either the official documentation, your customized documents, 3rd party documents and material, forums etc?
    110% yes. But I doubt that they ever will, it doesn't matter how many times you tell some staff, they refuse to read documentation before asking you.

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    My next question would be would you like your staff to make better use of it, either the official documentation, your customized documents, 3rd party documents and material, forums etc?
    I would be asking for perfection for that to happen. We don't do bad here but I wish everbody would use SIMS to it's maximum functionality!
    Yep - I know - that is a Pipe Dream!

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    36Degrees's Avatar
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    In the main we have produced specific 'how-to' guides ourselves but they end up just being left on shelves, in laptop bags, etc.

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