CBT vs Procedures

Subject: CBT vs Procedures
From: Jonathan Price <jonprice -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 1994 19:01:06 EDT

Most tutorials (paperbased or computerbased) use a scenario, or story, to
generate material for the learner to use, while studying. That's legitimate
in circumstances where the learner has said, "OK, I'm putting aside my work
for an hour, and I am going to learn how to use this software." The trainer
provides sample work materials, through the storyline.

But when I am working online on my own materials, I want generic procedures
(step by step instructions on how to do a task, where I can fill in the
blanks with my own material.) In general, that means I want procedures not

Because cbt, tutorials on paper, and procedures all happen to rely on steps,
we often confuse them. But procedures, particularly in online help, are
designed to get the user back on track (in his or her own work) as fast as
possible. That is a very different function from training materials, which
build on earlier modules, and give someone a set of skills. With a procedure
in online help, I just want to be able to look up step 6. I do not care
about context, cumulative learning, or any of that stuff. I put that off for
a time when I can put my own work aside.

Jonathan Price
Communication Circle
918 La Senda NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107

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