Training Manual vs. Tutorial

Subject: Training Manual vs. Tutorial
From: "Ashaki K. Hamlett" <ashaki -at- altair -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 10:52:23 -0400


I recently started working at an engineering firm in the documentation
department as a technical writer. My role is unique from the other six
writers. They each create a user manuals for a specific product; my role is
to work with the training department to create training materials for all
the products. The current training materials consist of a training manual
that is used in the classes and an online tutorial that is accessed within
the product. The training manual is organized as follows:
-Purpose
-Problem Statement
-Exercises

The online tutorial looks very similar to a help system. There isn't any
exercises or objectives. It consist of procedures and reference material.

The expectation is the student would take the training class, go through the
training manual with the instructor, and use the tutorial for future
reference and help. However, the training material and tutorial explain the
same concepts and procedures, but using a totally different approach and
even different terminology.

My role is to bridge the gap between the training manual and tutorial. I
know that the same terminology should be used in both documents, but what
suggestions do you have in terms of how each document should be structured?
Should the tutorial be more detailed since this document serves as the
user's lifeline to questions about the product? Should the training manual
omit reference information? How has other writers worked with the training
department? Any and all suggestions are welcomed.

TIA,
Ashaki

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