re: Tech Writers & Educational Material

Subject: re: Tech Writers & Educational Material
From: <cindy -at- workabledesign -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 11:32:42 -0700


In an educational context, script writing is a subset of technical writing,
and it is equally a subset of instructional design.

An instructor, trainer or subject matter expert sitting/standing in front of
the camera and simply narrating the text from a user manual or PowerPoint
presentation -- or delivering an impromptu lecture -- does nothing to
ensure the students have actually learned anything. In fact, most students
will tune out in about 20 minutes. This approach does not consider the
different learning needs and preferences of the specific audience, and it
does not employ what we have learned about how people learn.

Although a tech writer will very likely improve the learner experience with
a cohesive and focused script, other instructional tools to supplement the
video would more likely provide the students with a true learning

As for a whole new market, there is already a need for people who bridge the
two worlds of tech writing and instructional design.

Cindy Edwards
Instructional Design Consultant
(916) 834-2442

~Any day you learn something new is a good day.


Grant's message <I'm wondering: How many technical writers write
educational material? And, if not many, don't you think the material
would be better if tech writers had a hand in it?

I see lots of videos where a professor just sat down and spewed out
whatever came off the top of his head. I'm thinking these would be
better if tech writers got into preparing scripts for professors to
use when creating these lecture videos.

What does everyone else think? It seems like it could open up a whole
new market for tech writers.>


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