RE: Differences between Training guide vs User's Guide

Subject: RE: Differences between Training guide vs User's Guide
From: "Lisson, Kristin" <Kristin -dot- Lisson -at- sage -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:16:19 -0700

The company where I work has both a Technical Publications department and a
Training department. Tech Pubs produces the online help, which documents
every feature of the product and a hard-copy "Getting Started" type of user's
guide, which outlines some of the more common tasks in a generic manner.
Training, on the other hand, produces complete training manuals (curriculum)
used in a classroom setting.

What differentiates the training manuals from what Tech Pubs produces is that
training material introduces new concepts, and then provides scenario-based
exercies to help users practice using the new concepts. We provide a training
database with fictional users already implemented so it makes it easy to come
up with examples. The exercises do not outline the functions step-by-step
like the online help does, but rather sets up the scenario, lists the goal
for completing such a task, and gives some sample criteria to use. It's up to
the learner to figure out how to complete the exercise, using the online help
as a guide if necessary. We've found that this approach helps adult users
remember what they've learned after leaving the classroom.

Our training manuals also include a "checking your knowledge" section at the
end of every chapter with questions that users can answer on their own. This
check allows us to recap the major points in the section while prompting for
more user interaction.

These suggestions may not apply to your task (depending on how the Project
Staff intends to set up the training environment) but it's another
perspective to add to your growing definition of a training guide. :)


On 8/17/05, Art Campbell <art -dot- campbell -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

>One book documents the product. The second documents the way the product is
most often used.

On 8/17/05, Daniel Ng <kjng -at- gprotechnologies -dot- com> wrote:
> My team and I are beginning to start work on a training guide.
> The issue is what are the key differences that a training guide should
> offer.

Kristin Lisson
Curriculum Developer
Sage Software
kristin -dot- lisson -at- sage -dot- com


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