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Subject: RE: [dita-help] FYI: One Successful Experience Teaching DITA at the College Level

Thanks for the very interesting and thought-provoking reflection, Stan!


I had very similar experiences in teaching a similar post-graduate course at Swinburne University of Technology. I shared your finding that just when the students were becoming productive with DITA, the semester was over! I was interested to see that you also found your students to be a pleasure to teach. I think the subject matter is appealing in a number of ways. One of my discoveries (admittedly after just two intakes, with statistically invalid numbers!) was that the folk who excelled were the ones most scared of “technology”. The consensus to date is that DITA’s appeal to an experienced writer is a combination of it being methodology, and the separation of the “codey” presentation layer from the semantic mark-up layer. Semantic mark-up appeals to the writer in the student, while presentational mark-up (and the vagaries of page layout tools) does not.


The main issue at this stage is that students leave the course and most go back to the workplace and continue using Word! We need more DITA adoption!




Tony Self






From: stan@modularwriting.com [mailto:stan@modularwriting.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 6 January 2009 2:44 PM
To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Cc: dita-help@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [dita-help] FYI: One Successful Experience Teaching DITA at the College Level


Hi all --


I just completed teaching an undergraduate course on modular information development and DITA at Bentley University (Waltham MA USA). The course had its bumps, but succeeded in its goals all in all. I thought that you might find the student writing and my summary evaluation of the course (see below) interesting ... I have attached the DITA 1.2 PDF2 distillation. DITA may be more ready to break into academia and the undergraduate curriculum than we imagine.


Stan Doherty



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