Drupal training helps 75 UNT employees

UNT Drupal Users Group wordmark Full-time employees continue to increase their Drupal content management system skills through weekly training sessions that began in April. The training series, in its pilot-testing phase, has been a campuswide collaboration of Drupal experts who have volunteered to train new users and help website coordinators improve their skills and migrate content from Drupal 6 to version 7. 

The Drupal 6 version reached its end-of-life phase on Feb. 24, 2016, and no longer is supported by Drupal or UNT.Mike Buras, manager, central web support, teaching a Drupal Basics class.

Slated to end on Aug. 15, 2017, this first round of training will be reviewed by Drupal users, instructors and other stakeholders then evaluated before another round of training will be considered. In addition to the training sessions, a monthly come-and-go open clinic has been added to the schedule to support more than 130 Drupal users. Should the monthly clinic meetings provide adequate support for Drupal users, more training sessions may not be necessary.

In the nine classes taught between April 20 and June 7, 2017, 71 full-time employees and four student assistants have attended training with approximately 20 students in each session, according to the UNT System Talent Management System data. The 90-minute sessions have ranged in topics about learning Drupal basics to managing content and calendar building. Each full-time employee who attends earns credit that is documented in the UNT Talent Management System and becomes part of the permanent personnel record.

John Mayfield, web developer, College of Health and Public Service, has taught six classes and supported the first clinic on June 6; Mike Buras, pictured left, team lead, ITSS Central Web Services, has taught two classes and a clinic, Michelle Hale and Randena Hulstrand, from the URCM, taught about the writing style for the web and the UNT Identity Guide; Gregory Altuna, web developer, URCM, taught a class for users who are new to Drupal 7's Foundations theme and created the new Drupal User Group website; and William Hicks, user interface manager, Willis Library, taught a two-part class about managing content. Catherine Parkinson, web developer, URCM, also has supported the open clinic. 

Upcoming classes will be taught by Michele Hindman, senior web architecture manager, CAS-IT Services, Cyrus Hicks, web architect, CAS-IT Services, Jonathan Piott, IT manager, AITS, and Gary Payne, university photography manager, URCM.

Drupal, well known for its steep learning curve, definitely takes the whole village!

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