IN JUST THREE EASY STEPS: TECHNICAL WRITING FOR ONLINE TUTORIALS
Fix your sink with Ramen noodles! Can’t dunk? Here’s how! Turn that ripped pair of jeans into a new purse! Cake decorating 101! You can learn almost anything online through quick 5-minute videos by Tasty or Creative Hacks. But does it work? We will put it to the test in the first half of the seminar. Through analyzing and running real tests of online tutorial videos, we will determine the successes and failures to apply to our own online manual and tutorial. The second half of the seminar, you will be teaching an audience a skill or creation by first writing a technical manual and then filming the process in the style of those we have analyzed. Get ready to get messy while you fail, succeed, and share your talent with the community. Your final projects will be published online so others can learn from you. The subject of the tutorial will be all your own, with support from professionals, so don’t be afraid to choose something you haven’t perfected yet. Fixing a flat bike tire. Jumping rope. Doing hair. The opportunities are endless.
What will you teach us?
How are instructions made clear or unclear by videos and written manuals, and what is the effect of technical conventions on the outcome or final product?
The process starts by deciding what product or fix you will offer the audience. Then write the instruction manual, using the techniques that best display the steps of creating the product. After, you will create a brief (2-3 minute) video of tutorial. Both the video and the manual will be posted to an online forum and will be tested by your classmates.
fINAL pROJECT OPTIONS
Product Tutorial: Recipe, Craft, Quick-fix
Write the manual and create a tutorial video that teaches an audience how to create, fix, or perfect a product. This could be an amplified, more successful version of a tutorial explored in class or an original product. With this option, the audience physically creates something. Ideas: nail or hair art, pottery, food.
Skill Based Tutorial: Student selected skill
Write the manual and create a tutorial video that teaches an audience how to complete a skill. This could be an amplified, more successful version of a tutorial explored in class or an original skill. With this option, the audience builds confidence or a new direction in a skill. Ideas: Dunking a basketball, multiplying binomials, meditating.