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Subject:Re: Training and TW From:Pat Madea <madea -at- MMSI -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 19 Oct 1995 10:43:14 MST
To respond to Jane's question:
>Our company just hired a new technical trainer. He is new to the
>Internet and has asked if I can help point him to any training
>resources (WWW pages, etc.). Does anyone have suggestions?
I would suggest ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) as
a place for him or her to start. I would be surprised that the
trainer you hired would be unfamiliar with the organization. Much
like STC, it has local chapters and a national organization and offers
all kinds of support and information to its members. Unfortunately, I
don't have a website URL for their page (or know if they even have
one, since I've switched allegiances from ASTD to STC.)
I have no intention of starting a long thread on this topic, but I
come from a long T&D background and regard technical writing as an
aspect of T&D. While VERY closely allied, a training developer needs
to be aware of many more factors in designing and developing a
training program than does a technical writer. The scope and
responsibility of training development and delivery is much wider than
with tech writing. At least, based on my experience.
While a developer I wrote a lot of material, including manuals, job
aids, videos, role playing scripts, to support the training. I also
delivered or presented a lot of training programs. Stand-up
presentation of training is not within a tech writer's job description,
at least not usually.
>Also, how many of you tech writers also write (or have some input to)
>your company's training materials?
My company is very receptive to some of my training ideas, so far.
(Getting them implemented is difficult because of time constraints.)
>Do you use the master document
>approach, where one body of text is reworked into separate training,
>user guide(s), and online help topics? He's used this at his previous
>job but I have grave reservations about it. We'd really appreciate
As I mentioned above, a trainer's approach, though similar, is going
to be a little different than a writer's approach so there's going to
be some apprehension on everyone's part. As with writing manuals, the
overriding concern in training is what will best benefit the USER, the
participant. Is the instruction best delivered online or on paper?
In a classroom setting or 1-on-1? CBT, self-paced manuals, etc, etc,
The material, the available delivery media, and audience all need to
be considered by a trainer in developing a program.
That's my two-bits. Hope it's been helpful. If you have any specific
questions, eMail me directly and I will try and address them. I'm at
madea -at- mmsi -dot- com