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Teaching End User Notes Class: Lessons Learned
|Blog Entry - Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
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I spent Monday and Tuesday of this week teaching a class in Dallas. It was an end user Notes class. To be honest, it's been probably 10 years since I've last taught an end user Notes class (or maybe more). It was a great experience, although more tiring than I remembered. Here are a few things I learned or discovered while teaching this class...
- My students were, for the most part, existing Notes users who were preparing for a move to 8. There were so many things that I taught in this class that are NOT new to 8, but they didn't know them. This isn't a new realization on my part (Ed and I used to talk about this in our Selling Notes Internally session), but it became clear once again how vital end user training (of some sort - it doesn't have to be instructor-led) gives users the ability to get value from a company's software investment. We got behind on our courseware because the students had so many questions - business processes that weren't working for them because they didn't understand how they worked in the software. So, once again, let's remember that Notes investments can be protected by ensuring that our users know how to do what they want to do... and know what features Notes offers that let them do things they might not even have thought of doing! Here are some specific examples of questions they needed an answer to...
- Is there a time limit on recalling messages? Yes, there is a time limit on recalling messages. This is a server setting, so the administrator has control over it. The default is 14 days.
- Where are preferences like spelling stored, especially in cases of a shared mail file? Preferences that you'd find under User Preferences...Spell Check are stored in the user's notes.ini file, so they would be individual to each user. Preferences found under User Preferences...Mail are stored in the mail file and are the same across all users and replicas of the mail file. You can find out even more details at this link: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=475&uid=swg21283416
- How does hyperlinking on Notes documents work? By default anything with a URL (including protocol) should work fine. If not, check two things. First, make sure the user preference is set to Make URLs into Hotspots (File...User Preferences...Basic Notes Client Config...Additional Options). Second, check the Web Browser preference to be sure you know what browser is supposed to launch when you click a URL link.
* Default trash interval is also a user preference. The default is 48 hours. I really still like to teach. When I left high school teaching to come back to the technology world, I was clearly burned out on teaching (well, burned out, period, thanks to two years of working and grad school and etc), but what I realized as I helped students in this class is that I'm not done with the vocation. I also realized how different classroom teaching in a public school is from teaching technology - different hours (a one hour course, repeated 6-8 times per day) versus an 8-hour course. My voice was gone by the time I was done Tuesday. Teaching different aspects of a single topic - deeper focus, rather than the across the board focus high school teaching required. Not sure what that means for me going forward other than I plan to get my CLI active again so I can do some teaching when it fits in to my other duties. ;-)
You probably already knew the little tidbits of technical tips that I added to this, but to me the more important truth is that education is a superb sales and marketing tool - teaching can be, and often is, evangelism. So think about who you're learning from, and who you want your clients, customers, and managers learning from.
Author: Libby Ingrassia
Posted at: 08:30:56 AM