At Millersville we’ve been blessed with a large contingent of student workers, willing and capable of updating and creating content for our website. Each year brings a new group of students, and new Cascade accounts are created to enable them to make edits to various department sites.
For those who have requested an account, you’ve probably received a message regarding Cascade training. We encourage all our Cascade users to attend training to gain a better understanding of the application. We also ask that a supervisor attend training with their student workers. In this post we’ll explain the benefits this provides to both students and supervisors.
Most faculty and staff have heavy workloads, and many rely solely on student workers and GAs to update their web content. With good communication, this model works great and helps ensure that our website is regularly updated with fresh content.
It’s important to remember, however, that student workers graduate, and there may be periods of time where there is not a student worker on staff in your department. When supervisors train with student workers, they put themselves in a position to take over these responsibilities when needed.
Collaboration makes better websites
When students and supervisors attend training together, we’ve found that conversations often transition from standard Cascade instruction into sharing of ideas. Learning about a specific layout element may spark a thought about how it could be used on your own site.
Of course, these conversations don’t only have to happen at training, but it serves as a good starting point for collaboration.
Understanding technical capabilities and limitations
Having an understanding of the technical capabilities and limitations of Cascade can help supervisors when assigning tasks to student workers.
Knowing that font colors can’t be changed (for accessibility reasons), for example, will prevent a request for this type of styling. Knowing what type of videos can be embedded may inspire a request for some exciting, dynamic content that wouldn’t have been given thought to otherwise.
A refresher never hurts
Although attending training with student workers may seem repetitive if you’ve attended training the past, many people have commented that they’ve learned something new, or remembered something they’d forgotten from a previous training. Oftentimes it can be many months between updates, and with everything else on your plate, it’s natural not to retain everything from your first training.
Virtual training sessions
We appreciate everything our students, faculty, and staff do to keep our website up-to-date. At the end of the day, having more people trained means better content will be created for our web users. To schedule a training, please fill out the training request form and we’ll be happy to arrange a time.
The content of this blog entry was accurate at the time of publication. You can find the most current Cascade-related information in our Cascade wiki documentation.