Training in Documentation

Subject: Training in Documentation
From: Thomas Quine <thomas -dot- quine -at- NCOMPASSLABS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 14:45:09 -0800

Train the users in how to use documentation!

Whenever I have worked with trainers to develop training materials for
software, I have always insisting on building in training on the
documentation itself. This involves things like:
1. Walking through the online help with trainees
2. Showing them how to find a topic in the index
3. Giving them a challenge to find out all they can about a topic on
their own
4. Leaving them alone for a half-hour to do a printed tutorial

and so on.
It's also a good idea when approaching a new training topic to get the
trainer to say things like "If you look on p. 67 of the User Guide..."
or "If you open your books to the diagram on p. 22...", etc.

The idea is that this familiarizes them with the use of the manual, and
potentially heads off a lot of support calls for problems that could
have been solved by looking in the documentation.

- Thom

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