Drupal training begins with a meetup

Drupal Warrior in training

April 17, 2017 – Drupalers from across campus will meet April 18, 2017, at the first UNT Drupal Users MeetUp hosted by University Information Technology to kick off UNT's first-ever Drupal Training Program. Working with Drupal experts who volunteered from Willis Library, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health and Public Service, University IT coordinated a Drupal Users Training Series beginning April 20 through Aug. 15, 2107.

Drupal is the free, open-source content management system supported by UNT and happens to power more than a quarter-million other websites too.

At the meetup, Drupalers will draw for door prizes, enjoy Drupal cookies designed by the UNT Bake Shop and receive a flash drive containing a Drupal 7 manual written by Marian Smith, academic affairs analyst, UNT Office of the Provost for Academic Affairs, with contributions from Teresa Schofield, a UNT student assistant.

Several areas of needed Drupal training were identified after UIT conducted a Qualtrics® survey of more than 110 Drupalers on Feb. 22, 2017, receiving 54 completed surveys with an 83 percent completion rate. The areas identified for needed training include basic log-in steps and orientation to the software to more intermediate steps for adding menus, blocks and photos. The first scheduled training session on April 20 is about Drupal basic information taught by Michele Hindman, IT manager and web developer, CAS-IT Services, which filled up soon after being announced. Michele's class has seven people on the waiting list. A second Drupal Basics course is scheduled for May 17 with 20 seats currently available. The survey also revealed that more than half of the respondents had never heard of the web support services provided by Central Web Services, a part of the UNT System's IT Shared Services that provides weekly office hours for web services. Training sessions will continue to be scheduled throughout the summer for full-time employees with openings for part-time employees planned for later this summer or in the fall.

Quote by John MayfieldDrupal has been the supported content management system for UNT websites since it was adopted by the university in 2009, said John Murphy, professor and chair, Division of Jazz Studies, who has used Drupal since 2005. As an open platform for web content management and digital experiences, it is scalable, innovative and fast for building new sites – if you know what you're doing. If you're new to web development, it's another matter and even more of a challenge as described in the February issue of Benchmarks Online.   

Most of the approximately 130 UNT Drupalers who requested Drupal training include 53 administrative assistants, coordinators and specialists, 14 marketing or communications specialists and 12 IT professionals. Others include professors, directors and various other full-time employees who are not trained in using Drupal or have little to no web development experience.

To get a little background about Drupal at UNT, John Murphy and John Mayfield, web developer, College of Health and Public Service, provide some of their recollections of Drupal at UNT. Read more.

The initial Drupal Training Team includes the following participants.

Philip Baczewski, University IT
Mari Jo French, University IT
Sharukh Mithani, UIT Help Desk, University IT
Richard Sanzone, IT User Services, University IT
Monica Scott-Taliaferro, Marketing, University IT
Carrie Stoeckert, Planning, Budget & Communications, University IT
Elisha Van Deventer, HR Talent Management System, UNT System HR

Gregory Altuna, Web Services, URCM
Mike Buras, Central Web Services, IT Shared Services
Michele Hale, Web Content Services, URCM
Cyrus Haskell, IT Services, College of Arts and Sciences
William Hicks, Willis Library
Michele Hindman, IT Services, College of Arts and Sciences
Randena Hulstrand, Publications, URCM
John Mayfield, IT Services, College of Health and Public Service
Monica Scott-Taliaferro, University IT

Supporting Organizations
College of Arts and Sciences: Michele Hindman, Lorenzo Robles
College of Health and Public Service: John Mayfield, Jackie Thames
Office of the Provost for Academic Affairs: Christy Crutsinger, Marian Smith, Teresa Schofield
University IT: Philip Baczewski, Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Sharukh Mithani, Richard Sanzone, Carrie Stoeckert, Monica Scott-Taliaferro
University Relations, Communications and Marketing: Deborah Leliaert, Charity Beck, Stephen McMinn, Julie Payne
UNT System IT Shared Services, Central Web Services: Mike Buras
UNT System HR Talent Management: Terry Ekeland, Elisha Van Deventer
Willis Library: William Hicks, Mark Phillips

A UNT Drupal website currently is under construction by members of URCM's Web Services team and is expected to have links to the ITSS Knowledge Base, documentation about Drupal elements and guidance, frequently asked questions, a discussion forum and other resources.

Please check online for the UIT Drupal Help Desk, FAQs, and Drupal Training Calendar for more information.


Editor's Note: Please note that information in each edition of Benchmarks Online is likely to change or degrade over time, especially links to various websites. For current information on a specific topic, search the UNT website, UNT's UIT Help Desk or the World Wide Web. Email your questions and comments to the UNT University Information Technology Department or call 940-565-4068.