Help as Training

Subject: Help as Training
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:54:10 -0400

At our STC meeting last night the subject (once again) came up of using help
files to train, rather than assist, users. My own personal feeling is that
"man who chases two rabbits catches neither and must settle for a tortoise".
But one of the attendees, a non-member, claimed that her help files are
excellent for training. I'm frankly skeptical based on my broad experience
with hypertext as help. I've done little CBT, but I know the principles and
it's radically different from the assistance files we advocate. However, I'm
open to being convinced otherwise and we're going to ask for a sample from
the attendee. As one member put it, we can test the hypothesis that way.

I'd like to throw this open to the entire list, especially if you're willing
to share help files that you've done or run across that seem to train well
and assist well at the same time. I've never seen one yet, but I suppose
it's possible. Does anybody have a file to share?

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Creators of the Clustar Method for task-based documentation

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