Re: training material and training sessions

Subject: Re: training material and training sessions
From: Dianne Blake <write-it -at- home -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 10:36:35 -0800

Valerie Gilliotte wrote:
> What I like most about my job is stucturing the
> information, proofreading, indexing, revising
> translations etc. but I don't consider myself an

> expert of the product I am documenting: I don't have
> the consultants' experience with the software. That's
> why I am not too sure if I want/have to do it.

Dear Valerie,

Indeed curriculum development, technical writing, and instructional
delivery are very different animals. There is an overlap of skills, but
they all require different skills at some point. If you are not sure you
would like learning these jobs, then you need to discuss it with your
boss. Sometimes when a boss is thrown into a new situation, he/she tries
to accomodate the new needs with the current talent pool.

Someone should however make it clear to your boss that there will be a
learning curve and that the degree of success will depend upon whether
you are given the appropriate training and tools and whether your
talents are expressed in all three areas.

A very simplistic view of each of these jobs is as follows:

* Technical writers obtain information and document it in a logical and
easy to read format, usualy for a specific audience.

* Instructional designers write curriculum and design objectives set for
learning the material. Multiple audiences may be involved and multiple
objectives may be required. They still have to document in a logical
and easy to read format, but they have to ensure that the material is

* Trainers must be able to stand in front of an audience and manage the
individual needs of each student. They must ensure that the training
objectives set by the instructional designers are met. They usually
must know more about the topic presented than what is documented
because students can request additional and more in depth information
than what is presented in the materials.

I've worked in all three positions, mostly because my bosses were
drawing upon a small pool of resources to get a job done. Over time and
with training I learned how to perform all these jobs. I actually enjoy
them all. But not everyone will.

So again, discuss this with your boss. Not everyone is cut out to peform
all three jobs. You can with effort and desire progress from one job to
another, but I would highly suggest that you get training and understand
whether you really want to.

Dianne Blake
Consultant, Writer, and Trainer
write-it -at- home -dot- com

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