print
Course Name
Advanced Certificate Course in Structured Writing for Technical Documentation

Contact Hours: 30

Course Description
The field of technical writing has come a long way from writing clearly and concisely using a keyboard into a new world of structured writing and content management. Documents are no longer written and published as individual entities within a documentation set but rather written as data segments for reuse on systems that automate processes for controlling and managing the segments.
 
Information is no longer published as a document solely for paper output, but for electronic access on PCs, cell phones, and other handheld devices. This means that the technical writer today must be familiar with the solutions that employ the features of structured writing for reuse, and the latest standard approaches for segmenting and storing information for output to multiple types of formats and access on different devices.

Students are encouraged to contact the instructor with any questions during the course of study.
They may also submit a draft copy of their assignments for critique and review before submitting the final copy.

This course can be completed in 6 weeks. The student will be given up to 2 months to complete.

Software (free trial software download available online). Instructor will provide details once the course of study has commenced.   

The Fundamentals of Structured Writing for Technical Documentation course contains class materials and information about structured writing for technical documentation however, the Advanced Certificate Courses in Structured Writing for Technical Documentation provides you with an opportunity to use the information to create a documentation set. You will have contact with, assistance, and feedback from the instructor as you step through the assignments that help towards the goal of creating the documentation set using the DITA standard.

You will have the opportunity and guidance to include links, image maps, and relationship tables in your publications, along with attributes to create custom output. You will be able to use your documentation set as part of your professional portfolio for your technical writing pursuits.

There is no prerequisite for the Advanced class. The class materials and information in the Fundamentals course is contained within the Advanced class and is free with the purchase of the Advanced class.

FAQ

This Certificate Course must be completed within the specified time period noted at the time of enrollment. Extension fees are applicable beyond the end date as follows:  1 month, $149.00; 2 months, $179.00; 3 months, $199.00.  Upon successful completion of this course, you may apply for a paper-based certificate from one of our Accredited University Partners by writing to requestmycertificate@jeronline.com. Certificate fees apply.

Outcome
By the end of the course, you will:

  • Know how to interpret a DTD (document type definition)
  • Use XMetaL as an authoring tool
  • Segment your data for maximum use and reuse among a documentation set
  • Use XML to tag your data
  • Learn about and use the DITA (Darwin Information Type Architecture) standard
  • Become familiar with the current trends in technical writing in addition to DITA; the S1000D standard, use of IETMs and CMS.

Assessment
Your progress and understanding of the lessons is assessed based on the instructor’s evaluation of your written assignments, quizzes, contribution to the discussion, and a final project.

Required Book(s)
Introduction to DITA - 2nd Edition. Students may purchase the required text at the following location. http://comtech-serv.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=28_3&products_id=91

Outline
Topic 1: Segmenting Data
  • Reading
  • Lecture
  • Quiz
  • Discussion

Topic 2: Document Type Definitions (DTDs)
  • Reading
  • Lecture
  • Tutorial

Topic 3: DTDs and XML
  • Reading
  • Quiz

Topic 4: DTDs and Using the XML Editor
  • Lecture
  • Exercise: Creating the DTD

Topic 5: XMetaL
  • Tutorial
  • Exercise: Defining and Creating your Documentation Set

Topic 6: DITA (Darwin Information Type Architecture)
  • Lecture/Video
  • Reading
  • Discussion

Topic 7: Reusing Segmented Data
  • Reading

Topic 8: Publishing:
  • Reading
  • Discussion

Topic 9: S1000D and IETMs
  • Reading
  • Demo

Topic 10: Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Lecture
  • Discussion
  • Quiz
  • Final Project