writing courseware, you build a vital link between content, instructor,
users, and existing documentation. You create a lesson plan that
guides the teacher through a course, and deliver content that shows
participants how to solve their problems using our products.
Know Your Audience
In order to serve audience needs, the first thing you need to
know is who you are teaching. Are they beginners? Intermediate?
Advanced? All three?
Find out each task that they want to accomplish. What are their
objectives? What do they need to know in order to meet them? What
are the most common obstacles to success?
Make a List
Make a list of users objectives. Write each as a task that answers
the question, "How do I?" by using the form, "To ."
Underneath each task list topics that users need to learn in order
to accomplish it. When you first learned the subject what concepts
were unfamiliar? What terms did you trip over? What tools were
difficult to find and use? List the concepts, terms and tools
under the task that they support.
If you are writing for intermediate or advanced students, raise
the level of discourse to match their expertise.
Edit the list of tasks so that you do not waste time teaching
tasks that users have already mastered. If you are not sure of
your audience do not assume anything. It is better to review the
basics than to leave the majority of your audience out in the