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Effective Digital Content: 13 years of Writing for the Web

We’ve been providing content training since 2006, and it’s not just for EdWeb anymore.


Our Writing for the Web course, as it was then known, was launched in 2006 at the start of what was then the University Website Project. (The ‘P’ in the acronym UWP has evolved over the years!).

  • 2006: a face-to-face course, mandatory for access to Polopoly, the CMS of the time.
  • 2013: course overhauled, bringing in more University-specific research and up-to-date studies
  • 2017: training brought online using Learn; initially a pilot combining in-house videos with resources. This was the only version of the training available for a while.
  • Early 2019: videos updated with better quality graphics and sound (using the media recording suite)
  • Mid 2019: we brought back the face-to-face training, using the same content from the Learn course

Over the course of its 13 year history, over 2,000 staff members have been trained (probably around half of them by me, directly or via the videos on Learn).

Modular training

A huge advantage of the current version is that it’s in manageable chunks (see the video on chunking for why this is a good idea!). For EdWeb access, you need to complete the whole thing, but if you want a refresher or reminder, you can revisit just one or two videos.

What do people think?

The good news is that people are still getting a lot out of the course. Although the questions we ask have changed a bit over time, in response to the broad question ‘How would you rate the course’s usefulness?’ an increasing percentage of people are saying ‘Good’ or ‘Very good’. (Obviously the attendee numbers aren’t as high for the more recent versions, so I’ve included the response rate for transparency.)

Date Status Rated as good or very good Total respondents
2006 Course launched 83% 169
2013 Relaunch 89% 177
2017 Online pilot 78% 149
2019 Online launch 100% 19
2019 In-person version 100% 6


We’re getting some great comments, too:

I found this training really great and useful! I am already an experienced designer of web content and still found it to be an excellent review, both as a new arrival to the University and with respect of the reminder about accessibility.

Online version feedback

This was probably the best training session I’ve attended at UoE!

In-person version feedback

So what?

If you’re following this blog, the chances are that you’ve done the course at some point in the last 13 years. Things do change, and the course is getting better all the time, so it might be worth revisiting, either by coming along to our in-person sessions or dipping into it online.

Not just for EdWeb

The encouraging thing for us in Website and Communications is that this course isn’t just for users of the central CMS anymore. We’re seeing increasing numbers of people coming along to learn how to maintain content on a range of platforms, and even some digital managers introducing it as mandatory for access to blogs and other content.

Get in touch if you’re interested in introducing it to your own department workflow.

Job done?

It’s great that people seem happy with the course as it stands, but it’ll never be done. We’ll keep on working on it, updating and refining to keep it relevant and interesting, and are always genuinely interested in all of your feedback – just get in touch.

Effective Digital Content – Training and support – University Website Publishing

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