TecCOM - Profession of Technical Communication


Training and eLearning

The systematic approach to the development of training materials is based on principles and theories of instructional design and elearning. These are applicable to technical writers, whose work has many parallels with training design and elearning.

Technical writers may be responsible for the development of training programs and courses and elearning modules. They need to understand principles and theories of instructional design and elearning to apply these in a systematic way to ensure that the training is appropriate for the audience and the content, and that it is effective. Technical writers need to apply a methodology and use tools adapted to their purpose and to the learners.

This topic covers definitions of instructional design, elearning and theoretical approaches (including behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism). It also outlines the systematic instructional design and elearning processes.

Teaching approaches
  • Understand concepts and applications of instructional design
  • Understand the differences between training and educational design
  • Understand learning theories (e.g. behaviourism, social learning, cognitivsm, constructivism)
  • Know different teaching approaches (e.g. case-based learning, contextual learning, problem-based learning, cooperative learning)
  • Know about instructional design theories and models
  • Know about learning implementation appraoaches (e.g. blended learning)
  • Apply basic principles of instructional design, e.g., integrating psychology of learning or didactic aspects into communicative functions
  • Know about different learning activities and teaching approaches used for elearning scenarios

see also communication theory and models

see also content development

Instructional design
  • Identify instructional goals
  • Conduct needs, objective and front-end analysis
  • Conduct instructional analysis
  • Conduct learner analysis
  • Write performance objectives
  • Develop instructional strategy
  • Develop criterion-referenced tests
  • Understand media selection in relation to instructional design
  • Develop instructional materials

see also information mining

  • Know the characteristics of elearning and learner challenges
  • Develop different learning activities and teaching approaches used for elearning scenarios
  • Write an elearning concept and create a storyboard
  • Adapt content for elearning purposes
  • Develop learning media

see also information technology

  • Conduct a formative evaluation
  • Conduct a summative evaluation
  • Create evaluation modules to test user satisfaction
  • Evaluate user satisfaction
  • Use feedback from evaluation

see also evaluation and user experience

eLearning tools
  • Understand the scope and role of a learning management system (LMS)
  • Use an LMS platform
  • Use tools to develop elearning content (e.g. Captivate and Articulate Storyline)

see also information technology

Integrated marketing communication
  • Understand the principles of integrated marketing communication
  • Understand the relation between integrated marketing communication (IMC) and integrated technical communication (ITC)
  • Know about the principles of content marketing and the importance of consistent content as a business asset
  • Know the importance of creating content that resonates with target audiences and search engines
  • Know about different marketing messages, media, and channels
  • Know different marketing communication activities (e.g., brands, advertising in the real and virtual world, public relations)
  • Know about digital marketing strategies
  • Know about the basics of consumer psychology
  • Know about strategies for internal marketing and self-marketing


Professional communication
  • Define and exemplify specialised discourse
  • Understand the differences between professional and interprofessional communication (e.g. professional and non-professional audiences)

see also language skills

Genres and genre conventions in professional contexts
  • Understand the basic idea of genre
  • Analyse collections of text to find genre conventions
  • Apply knowledge of genre conventions in text production
  • Understand linguistic features of technical communication (e.g. word choices, sentence, paragraph and document structures, orthography)

see also content development