Saturday, December 26, 2020

2020 BIZ: Preparing instructions for a skill? Include a JIT glossary Use hypertext to let users control what they read.


Preparing instructions?  
Include a JIT glossary   
Use hypertext to let users control what they read.
How to use common capabilities of digital text to provide instructions aimed at helping users learn now to use a digital product.  
 

Instructions are part of the product

Some basic concepts in instruction

  • We have packages of knowledge labelled with a word or phrase.  
  • Glossary: Index of specific information about important terms in re relevant context.
  • JIT learning:  Give just what the learner needs to do the action implied by the term.
  • Hypertext:  Software-supported links to further information
  • Search on page: Search your current web page for a word or phrase.
  • Adaptive learning   Adjust the content to match the skills and circumstances of the learner
  • Skill learning:  Learning to do something efficiently
  • Use case: A common use that the instructions are designed to support.
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Why one manual does not fit everyone

  • People have different preparation, 
  • different use cases, 
  • and different levels of learning. 

Different preparation calls for different instructions

Different situations need different instructions

  • There will be categories of learners.  Let them separate themselves,
  • Example: instructions for walking in a virtual world
  • That varies with the control device.  
  • You have to give instructions for all devices.
  • Back when used marks on paper you had to put all the instructions together.
  •  With hypertext, you make separate packages for each device.
  • Then you list packages with hyperlinked names like "walk with a pc keyboard."
  • Learners adapt the content to their needs.

They can't do everything at once

  • They only need instructions for what they need to do at that moment.
  • If they actually execute those instructions they will learn the skill.
  • If the merely read the instructions, they may remember much of what they read.
  • Unless you dump a lot of other instructions on them at the same time.
  • With hypertext, you give them the power to choose what they need to read.
  • Yes --flipped instruction.  The learner is the focus, even out of the classroom.

How do you create JIT instruction?

Don't you still need a manual?

  • Sure.  That's where the instructional designer gets the contents for the JIT pages,
  • The best JIT pages will probably carry links to the relevant parts of the manual.
  • And advanced users will probably prefer to work with the manual.
  • But you don't want to start beginners on advanced content.  

Related

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License

  • Original text in this blog is CC By: unless specified public domain.
  • Use as you please with attribution: link to the original.
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  • Screenshots from ShareX
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  • Annotated screenshots made with Techsmith Capture
  • This blog is not affiliated with anything.   Ads are from Google.
  • Selby Evans in Kitely and Hypergrid, Thinkerer Melville in Second Life.



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