RE: Developing training materials

Subject: RE: Developing training materials
From: "Dana Worley" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 09:45:09 -0600

On Monday, May 12, 2008, Gregory P Sweet wrote:

> Sorry this next bit needs to be shouted: POWERPOINT DOES NOT EQUAL
> While it is a very useful, powerful, and fun tool, just because you call a
> slide show "training" does not mean that you are creating a learning
> experience. Likewise training is not standing in front of a room and
> talking.

At least monthly (lately it's been more like twice or thrice monthly) we teach a training class in
our facility for our customers. We've done this for years. The training consists of two
instructors who stand in front of the room talking <gasp!>, PowerPoint slides <gasp again! :)
>, and hands-on exercises with our equipment & software. A training manual includes the
slides and other background information. The curriculum is well thought out and has been
refined over the years, yet no one involved in the development of the material has a degree in
education or instructional technology.

We hand out an evaluation form at the end of the class that includes a rating section for
competence of the instructors, course material, presentation, relevance, etc. and an open
comment section. Perhaps we "had no business" developing that training on our own, but the
students always provide glowing reviews in the open comment section stating that the course
material was great, the instructors exceptional, and they would definitely recommend the
course to their co-workers (this is a paid-for course, BTW, plus students must pay for their
travel/lodging expenses).

I would argue that a competent, organized writer who knows the product well can be just as
successful as someone who has earned an advanced degree (and much more successful
than someone who has the piece of paper but little or no knowledge of the product). One of
the requirements of a technical writer is to present information in a way that others can
understand it and learn from it. I don't see this as deviating too far off the path of training


Dana W.

Dana Worley
Software Product Manager/Manager, Software Support Group
Campbell Scientific, Inc.
Microsoft MVP, Windows Help


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RE: Developing training materials: From: Lauren
RE: Developing training materials: From: Gregory P Sweet

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