Re: tutorials vs training

Subject: Re: tutorials vs training
From: Scottie Lover <iluvscotties -at- mindspring -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 21:57:00 -0500

At 12:35 PM 02/24/2000 -0700, walden miller wrote:
>I have a client that would like to remove all tutorials from their
>products because (in their viewpoint) well-written/conceived tutorials
>will adversely affect training revenues. In other words, if they have
>tutorials, they won't have full classes. I have argued this point
>vehemently, but their management staff feels strongly about this point.
>They will concede the tutorials if I can come up with a study which
>shows there is no adverse relationship between CBT/tutorials and
>classroom training.

I don't know of any such study. However, have they considered the fact
that many, many people have great problems learning from tutorials, making
it cost-effective for employers to send their employees to training --
especially if tutorials are available for follow-up practice?

Most techie fora include exchanges of horror stories. I always win --
because one of my colleagues once designed a system, trained the user, and
told the user to call her if she had any questions or problems. When a
week passed without any feedback, my colleague went to visit the user --
who snapped that nothing worked and it was all my colleague's fault. She
added, "I kept pressing the [HELP] key, but you never came!"

In my own case, I once sent a user an upgrade diskette -- with directions
printed on both the diskette mailer and the label (and a batch file written
so that all she had to do was insert the diskette and type the word GO).
She phoned me, complaining that my upgrade didn't work, because she still
had WordPerfect on her screen. "Still" was the key word here. It seems
that the mail had been delivered, and she had received my diskette mailer.
She hadn't even opened it, but thought that it would somehow automatically
upgrade her application just by being unopened in her in box.

Now, can you picture either of those people learning solely from a
tutorial? And they were not terribly unusual.

The fact remains that training classes present the best possible way to
introduce new software, hardware, systems, applications, etc. Tutorials
present an unparalleled adjunct to reinforce what was learned at the class,
and enable the user to continue learning until he masters the

Although it is true that some people can learn from tutorials alone, those
people are few and far between. MOST will do much, much better with
training classes to introduce new ideas/procedures/methods, and tutorials
to reinforce what they've learned, and enable them to continue learning.

Good luck!

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