7. Knowledge and Training

The Regulations of the Rules Committee now require that the IT Officer and Webmaster for a Society account (and anyone else registered to use it) shall have an appropriate level of IT knowledge, to be supplemented by IT Services training facilities if necessary.

You can assess your level of IT knowledge by taking some of the tests at the web site http://learnit.ox.ac.uk/. The following tests at the Fundamental IT Skills level are relevant:

  • Windows Fundamentals
  • File Management Fundamentals
  • Web Use and email Fundamentals

or an equivalent level of knowledge if you do not use the Windows operating system. Your score will indicate whether you should undertake additional training.

The following tests will also be relevant if you intend to use the particular facilities:

  • Word Fundamentals: if you will use a word processor, for example to create a simple termcard.
  • Excel Fundamentals: if you will use a spreadsheet, for example to keep a list of members and subscriptions paid.
  • Access Fundamentals: if you will use a database, for example to record special interest groups within the membership.

Account users should familiarise themselves with the information indicated in the following subsections.

7.1. Email

  • Nexus web interface: whether or not you normally use the Nexus web interface, you should familiarise yourself with its facilities for setting the forwarding of messages to another account and for setting a vacation auto-reply during periods when nobody will be available to answer messages. If the account will not be used directly for email, forwarding should be set to an active account (usually the IT Officer's) to ensure that any administrative messages, such as warning of account expiry, are received. Check that these options are set appropriately when a new committee first takes over the account.
  • Netiquette: remember that the ICTC Regulations apply to Society accounts, and Network Etiquette should be followed as for personal accounts.

7.2. Web site

  • Content: general advice is in the IT Services Guidelines for Web Information Providers.
  • Specific Rules: on your webpage, do not include the name of the University in the title of your Society, or use the University crest, unless you have obtained the relevant permission. Do not imply that the University will take legal or financial responsibility for Society activities.
  • Advanced features: you are not expected to learn more advanced web page features such as CGI programming. If you have the relevant knowledge and want to use advanced facilities, give thought to possible maintenance problems in future years.
  • Production: for creating web pages, you should have knowledge at least to the level of the IT Services training course Web publishing: Essentials of creating web pages. If you do not have experience of producing web pages, you should attend this course. Additionally, Dreamweaver: Introduction will be relevant if you intend to use this software. IT Services also provides more advanced courses in Dreamweaver if you wish to build more sophisticated web pages.
  • Accessibility: it is desirable for the Webmaster to be aware of the issues covered in Web publishing: Essentials of creating web pages regarding design factors relevant to disabled users.
  • Publishing: to make your web pages available, see section 3 of the IT Services General Guide To Personal and Societies Web Space at Oxford. Check your space usage from time to time as explained under Secondary Guidelines above.

7.3. Linux account

The linux account provides Unix processing capability and secure storage of 500Mb. This could be used to save backups of Society records, such as membership data, even if the normal processing is with Windows utilities such as Excel. This may be particularly useful at Committee handover time. Account users are not expected to have any in-depth Unix knowledge. Direct use of Unix facilities may cause long-term problems if the next Committee does not have the relevant specialised knowledge. Files can be uploaded and downloaded using a secure FTP (sftp) program such as SSH Secure File Transfer Client.

7.4. Data Protection Act

As non-commercial organisations, Societies will not usually need to register under the Data Protection Act 1998. However, anyone handling information about living people, for example membership lists, is a Data Controller for purposes of the Act and does need to comply with the Data Protection Principles. See the official Government web site if you think you may need to register. A summary of the principles is in the Regulations and Notes of Guidance issued by the Proctors and Assessor. It is important that your data is secure (backed-up) and kept private - if you have your own computer, ensure that all valid usernames (such as Administrator) have a private password. Physical backup media must be locked away. If a public computer is used, programs must be closed properly and any data placed on the hard disk must be deleted (and the Recycle Bin or equivalent emptied) before you leave the computer.

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