Re: "It Ain't Literature, Y'know" (#675899)

Subject: Re: "It Ain't Literature, Y'know" (#675899)
From: Bill Burns <wburns -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 16:07:53 -0600

5-AUG-1996 15:02:34.39

> Use a hammer to pound the nail into the wall.

This thread is beginning to look vaguely like one that popped up last year
concerning the order of elements in instructional steps (cause-effect--anyone
remember that one?).

The problem I have with this construction is that the verb does not correspond
with the action necessary to complete the task. The desired performance
is "pound the nail," not "use the hammer." Using the hammer is simply a
restriction on how the task is to be performed. The objective? Pound the nail
into the wall. Limitation or guideline? Use the hammer (as opposed to a hand
axe). This distinction in the situation above may not be absolutely critical,
but if the instructions are used for training purposes, the difference may have
an impact on the final skills assessment.

FWIW, this method and these distinctions are outlined in Robert Mager's
*Preparing Instructional Objectives* (ISBN 1561033413). I find the similarities
between performance technology and technical communication allow for easy
transfer from the former to the latter.

Bill Burns
Assembly Training and Documentation Supervisor

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