Fundamentals of Creating Online Documents

The ability to write and present online material is not just an asset in the current job market—it's a requirement. This course will introduce you to the principles and processes of designing effective online documentation.

We'll begin with an overview of online documentation today, and explore how online documentation is changing the role of the technical communicator.

We will also examine how users interact with online documents and what techniques you can incorporate into your documentation design to facilitate these interactions. You will get hands-on practice with several current industry tools to create some basic online documents.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - June Madison $590.00 30 Register

Instructional hours: 18

For online offerings, registration may close up to two business days before the course begins. Your course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Recognize and describe several different kinds of online documents, and begin to evaluate their usefulness and design
  • Examine the changing role of technical communicators in a rapidly changing environment
  • Describe how users interact and respond to online documentation
  • Begin to design and create documentation that takes users’ needs into account
  • Explain how to organize and structure content and navigation to provide optimal access for the users of your projects
  • Use graphics, layout, and visual elements to maximize a user’s positive response to your documentation
  • Write and design the text elements for online documents to improve readability and understanding
  • Use current industry tools to create an online help project and a wiki

How will I learn?

  • Online discussions
  • Readings
  • Individual exercises
  • Individual assignments

How will I be evaluated?

Your grade will be based on four individual assignments.

Textbooks and learning materials

All  course materials are available online.

Hardware and software requirements

  • MadCap Flare demonstration software (links will be available during the course)
  • A PC (Windows XP or later) with full administrative rights so you can install trial software. Due to the trial software requirements, this course is not accessible on a Mac. Mac users may run Flare through a Windows emulator if you choose, however, we do not provide hardware or software support for configuring your Mac.
  • Microsoft Word 2010 or other word processing software that can create PDF files

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

Note: Please submit all assignments as PDF or MS Word files (2010 or later).


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