RE: Training Materials vrs User's Guides/Online Help

Subject: RE: Training Materials vrs User's Guides/Online Help
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 08:31:30 -0500

Johan said...

> Training manuals usually focus on teaching by examples and repetition
> contain more theory, i.e. the concepts and theory behind the tasks. In
> comparison, user manuals focus more on the actual tasks, i.e. when and
> to use specific features and options.

We have a training department that writes all of their own training
materials and our group writes the user manuals, reference materials,
technical data sheets, and other literature that people use throughout
the company.

I'm not sure how other organizations do it, but from what I can tell
training materials here are much more comprehensive: they are written
not only to teach people how to do a single task, but how to do all the
tasks associated with a product or piece of software. In addition to the
actual technical information, they also include exercises, classroom
mnemonics, quizzes, games, and tests that help students learn and retain
the information.

By contrast, a user's manual that I might write for a certain procedure
is tightly focused on the procedure and only that procedure. I might go
a little more in-depth on the procedure than a training manual (such as
providing troubleshooting information in addition to instructions for
completing the procedure), but I will be focused on only the information
my audience needs to complete the job and be certain it's correctly

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