emerging thoughts from UCS FAQ engine

Well we are up and running with the FAQ engine … Thanks Karl … http://faq.ucs.ac.uk

I’ve had a chat with Tariq about ITS Helpdesk needs … they seem to have a large amount of material which is organised around structured categories, and written more as howto guides, for a mixed audience of staff and students. So the use of Tags combined with categories seems a good approach.

Based on this (and a similar need for us, the elevate team) … I’ve written a few FAQs to illustrate the approach

Given the need to identify by team (theme) I’ve included the elevate as a category (http://faq.ucs.ac.uk/index.php?sid=173&lang=en&action=show&cat=3). I have also included Wosley (student focus) on the top level. In this area will be the common FAQs around enrollment, submission of assignments etc.,

emerging ideas / good practice

  • use a obvious and explicit title for the FAQ – a discovery strategy we should adopt is to get students to use the instant search … so very explicit titles are best
  • if you are writing a how to guide (a sequence of faqs to achieve a task) then tag it howto – this will mean people are more likely to find them.
  • make people aware of the PDF option at the bottom of the page … this will allow people to easily print Howto guides πŸ™‚
  • where possible, try to provide an exit point for the FAQ, ie., for more info please contact ….
  • include the options for comments – feedback.
  • encourage people to submit questions they want answers for ….

The next stage is the meeting Ben Juby arranged with respect to the look and feel, a discussion within the elevate team, and a workshop / demo for staff on how to create them (next week?)


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