RE: Types of documentation?

Subject: RE: Types of documentation?
From: "David Chinell" <dchinell -at- email -dot- msn -dot- com>
To: "'Mr Smith'" <techwritermw -at- altavista -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 10:04:51 -0500

Mr Smith:

One distinction that comes to mind...

Training material is often used in a sequential
fashion, as an adjunct for a tightly controlled
learning experience. User material is used as a
random access support resource for the entire,
unpredictable range of user application

Thus, the organization of the material and the
richness of the access tools differs.

Another distinction is the experience level of the
audience. Training presumes that the reader is a
novice at the outset and informed at the end of
the training session. Training material builds on
itself, moving from basics to more advanced
concepts. Again, the sequence is important. User
material can be written for multiple audiences
(novices, informed users, experts) but each topic
must be as independent of the others as possible,
because each topic can be reached randomly. User
material can't build on itself outside of a given

Training material is written for novices and
supports their learning experience. User material
is written for all levels of experience and
supports real-world use of the product.


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