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New Book for Technical Writers

A Guide for Writing Training Courses

March 11, 2001 

Companies, pressed to do more with less, are assigning training development projects to their technical writers. However, technical writers, savvy about creating documentation to solve procedural problems, do not have the critical knowledge that is required to create performance-based behavior change, the goal of corporate training. 

Developing Training Courses: A Technical Writer's Guide to Instructional Design and Development, provides an eight-step approach to developing training that has proven to deliver effective training courses in the field. The templates, checklists, assessments, and job aids throughout the steps make the cross-functional job of training development easier for technical writers, and the results more effective for corporate learners. 

This book is unique in its focus on training examples and issues of interest to technical writers, yet the eight-step process that forms the core of this book is based on sound instructional design. It is not theoretical or flavor-of-the-week, but is a hands-on practical guide. This fact and that the training development strategies apply to print and online training development, provide an appeal that includes professional development project managers, trainers, corporate strategists interested in e-learning, and global learning organizations.

In addition to the generous number of checklists, guidelines, assessments, and templates provided for each step of the course development process, the author has included chapters about repurposing user documentation into training content, incorporating ready-to-use programming scripts to automate e-learning, and customizing off-the-shelf courses. These topics are of interest to technical writers because they show technical writers how to take advantage of content that streamlines development time. 

The chapter on managing the course development project is a useful guideline for project planners and managers. The chapter about writing for international markets provides guidelines, instructions, and examples that identify common errors and how to correct them.

Guidelines that overview the hours of development time that are required to create one training hour are widely available in books and articles about training development. Unique to this book are guidelines for estimating how much time each of the eight steps of the development project should take-which enables project team members to better predict and control development time and costs. 

Also unique to this book is a chapter about stormy conditions that signal trouble on a training project, and a list of training tempests at the end of each course development chapter that warns developers and project managers about stormy conditions each step of the way.

The appendices include a list of job aids, which includes all guidelines, checklists, templates, and assessments in the book, cross-referenced by page; a bibliography, organized by topic, including print and online resources (The online resources are annotated.); a glossary of training terms, and an index.

This book is a practical guide for technical writers at all levels of experience, project planners, project managers, trainers, and other corporate education professionals. The how-to approach and practical examples make it a great learning tool for community colleges and universities that have technical writing and instructional design programs.

The author is Rives Hassell-Corbiell, owner of The Learning Edge, a consulting firm specializing in instructional design and technical writing. The content reflects the author's 24 years of experience as a corporate educator and technical writing consultant to corporate and government organizations, such as AT&T, British Columbia Telephone, Cisco Systems, Delta Airlines, IBM, Times Mirror Cable, Scottish Hydro-Electric, Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Cosmo Oil. She has developed over 70 training courses, has published over 150 articles, and has delivered training courses in five countries. She has been an adjunct instructor at Jacksonville University, Western Michigan University, Fitchburg College, Maui Community College, and Bellevue Community College. An active member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI), and Society for Technical Communication (STC), she knows what technical writers need, what effective training requires, and how to incorporate them. Author of two unpublished novels, this is her first nonfiction book.

Category: Business/Writing/Reference
Edition: First
Price: $29.95
Pages: 256
Size: 5 x 8  
Binding: Paper
Back matter: Cross-reference to job aids, annotated bibliography, glossary, and index
ISBN: 0-9701454-0-3
LCCN: 00-193546

For More Information Contact:

Susan Greenway, Marketing Director
The Learning Edge
P. O. Box 97041-W, Tacoma, WA 98497-0041
Tel: 253.588.5174
FAX: 253.588.1594
Internet: info@lepublishing.com

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Copyright 2001 The Learning Edge    Last modified: July 05, 2001