Teaching a writing class for co-workers?

Subject: Teaching a writing class for co-workers?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 10:11:34 -0500


Ashley Gottfried reports: <<My manager recently asked me to teach a one-hour
class on writing. My potential students are product support and consultants
who compose articles on our software and its related technology. The
Curriculum Developer and I then edit these articles before they are
published in a monthly newsletter distributed to our users.>>

Probably one of the first things you should do is create a list of learning
objectives. Given that the overall goal is to get the articles written and
edited quickly, here are two things you should ponder as an aid in creating
your list of topics:
- What obstacles do your authors face? Ask them! Then create course topics
that help them solve those goals and write articles faster and better.
- What errors or problems do you spend the most time fixing with your
editing? Create course topics that help reduce the frequency or severity of
those errors.

Anything else you can fit within the hour course is gravy; the above things
are the meat. You may actually find you'll need considerably more than an
hour to cover all the important topics. If so, propose to your manager that
you give a series of shorter (half hour?) courses rather than trying to cram
everything into a single hour-long course. Less development time for you,
less time away from the job (at any given sitting) for the writers, and
probably more effective teaching (fewer topics per course, in more detail,
thus easier to learn and apply).

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"Wisdom is one of the few things that look bigger the further away it
is."--Terry Pratchett

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