Re: Help as Training

Subject: Re: Help as Training
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 15:19:58 -0400

I'd like to see whatever is available on this. My initial reaction is
skepticism, to be honest. I've seen few end users of software that were 1)
able to deal with the technological details of doing this, 2) able to grab
the time to formulate new topics, and 3) able to summon the interest in
actually doing it. Most users I've known would just as soon write on Post-It
notes than enshrine things in a help file. How many users have ever made use
of the bookmark feature in old WinHelp?

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Creators of the Clustar Method for task-based documentation
-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Mallett <roger -at- CSICAL -dot- COM>
Date: Thursday, April 16, 1998 1:22 PM
Subject: Re: Help as Training

>Of interest might be the thread that started yesterday on the Winhelp
>listserver (over 50 responses in a few hours). The topic was concerned
>User Defined Help, a product that enables end users to define their own
>help topics without any knowledge of help systems. With User Defined
>Help, help topics can be added by an end user to a product's help system
>to customize training, procedures, etc., for a specific site. Being
>that the topics are written by the end user, they communicate exactly
>what the user wants communicated, be it training, assisting, or
>If the subscribers on this list express interest in knowing more about
>this winhelp topic and how it can make life more interesting for your
>clients, I will be glad to post the highlights to this list.
>Roger Mallett
>Control Systems
>(714) 458-5040 x239
>>From: Tim Altom[SMTP:taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET]
>>Sent: Thursday, April 16, 1998 6:54 AM
>>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>>Subject: Help as Training
>>At our STC meeting last night the subject (once again) came up of using
>>files to train, rather than assist, users. My own personal feeling is
>>"man who chases two rabbits catches neither and must settle for a
>>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
>>with hypertext as help. I've done little CBT, but I know the principles
>>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
>>the attendee. As one member put it, we can test the hypothesis that
>>I'd like to throw this open to the entire list, especially if you're
>>to share help files that you've done or run across that seem to train
>>and assist well at the same time. I've never seen one yet, but I
>>it's possible. Does anybody have a file to share?
>>Tim Altom
>>Simply Written, Inc.
>>Creators of the Clustar Method for task-based documentation
>>Check out topic summaries at

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