Source: Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors “Direct from IBM’s own content design experts, this guide shows you how to design product interfaces and technical information that always place users front and center.”
What I plan to do in this presentation: Introduce you to task-oriented writing Show how it manifests itself in the online environment Talk about how it engages students Back up my claim with arguments from the science of instruction research
Guidelines for task-oriented writing Write for an intended audience Present information from the user’s point of view Focus on real tasks—not products or product functions Use headings that reveal tasks
Revised using task-oriented writing This section explains how to work with a document. You can do the following tasks: Create a document. To do this… Open an existing document. To do this… Rename a document. To do this…
Avoid the information delivery view of learning According to this view, the instructor’s job is to present information and the learner’s job is to acquire information But Research on discourse processing shows that people work harder to understand material when they feel they are in conversation with a partner rather than simply receiving information
Look to research on the science of instruction According to this research, conversational style (which features using second person) can activate a social response and that can increase active cognitive processing and lead to better quality of learning.