CiviCRM exercise books

An open source refererence for CiviCRM trainers

22nd July 2011

At the last user and admin training in London we decided to create exercise books to accompany the training. The idea was to move from an online format to a printed format, and we used the same tool that we use to create 'CiviCRM: a comprehensive guide': Booki.

Previously, we'd used a wiki page for these exercises. There were a few advantages to using the wiki page (ability to make last minute edits, additions, etc) but there were disadvantages too.  A few comments from attendees that they had too many tabs open, keep track of where you were was hard, the wiki wasn't a great format for doing exercises, etc.  We also wanted to make something that they could make notes on and take away from the training.  So we thought that the exercise books would be a good step foward.

We got these printed at a local printers and handed them (left) out along with the books (right - low quality smart phone pics, I'm afraid) for each attendee.

As well as transferring the exercises from the Wiki to Booki, we did some tidying up and made some improvements: we created a consistent format to help people go through the exercises; we improved the Greentops Food co-op narrative and tried to make all exercises fit the narrative; and we tried to internationalise the exercises by taking everything that was country specific (stuff like address data, country specific config) and putting it in separate pop out boxes so it is easily identifiable and easy to change. If anyone is interested in working more on the exercise books it would be great to hear from you.

I added more feedback from the evaluation forms to the running great CivICRM training sessions wiki page.

There are still lots of improvements to make to the exercise books, and to the trainings in general.  Erik and Erik and I are meeting up in the Netherlands mid June for a training sprint and we welcome anyone that wants to input and participate in that.  Let us know.