Subject: training/writers
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 12:56:17 EST

I have been silent far too long, and this is one discussion I just
can't pass up ;-) I work for a university. My title is officially
Senior User Education Specialist. What that means is that I develop
training courses, write the documentation, then teach the classes.

The way that I've read some responses is that generally those tasks
require different skills set and the two positions are not combined.
I find that I use very much the same approach to writing as I do to
teaching. I approach the subject from a top-down methodology and work
"til I get done." I particularly think that "having" to teach from
my own writing makes me a better writer because I am continuously
thinking of my classroom approach and trying to anticipate the questions
and possible user problems/difficulties/anxieties/delights.

It usually takes one final revision after teaching from a new
documentation set the first time. That first in-class run-through
demonstrates any sequence problems, any continuity problems with
exercises, and identifies where my expertise masked the questions
that my users had.

BTW -- my audience is primarily staff and faculty. My subjects are
the Internet, net tools (i.e. Gopher, Mosaic, archie...), microcomputer
applications (both Mac and DOS/Windows), and mainframe applications
such as E-Mail and editors (on IBM 3090, DEC VAX 7000, and UNIX AIX).

Cindy Hollingsworth
cholling -at- indycms -dot- iupui -dot- edu
Training and Information
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

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