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Song of Software

Five years ago, Magellan Software of Philadelphia wanted to instruct its sales force on the capabilities of its software. They put the software documentation on the web, and told the sales force to read it.

Three months ago, they took it off the web, and replaced it with something more interactive, more subtly structured--but also more collaborative: The instruction program that went on the web bore traces of every comment, every suggestion, every nit-picking criticism given to it during its development.

But what Magellan learned about instructional design bears on a much broader market. The techniques of good web instruction serve as well those companies needing to educate their customers--a category that certainly includes pharmcos--on the development of drug categories and the advantages of individual pharmaceuticals.

The moral of this story? Web instruction takes a village. Or at any rate it takes a team. And that team hopes to produce something more than plain copy rendered electronically for the web. Ideally it produces a learning experience beyond the capability of the typographical, beyond the merely audible and visual. Good web instructional design creates a learning event reaching the synthesis of cognitive and affective, a symbiosis of the senses.


Does your web instruction do that?



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