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Creating Outstanding Online Help: A Self-Directed Study (Software Industry)


The major assignment is to create a detailed online help system outline and submit a mini-essay about WHY a specific approach was chosen.

It is assumed the student is experienced using browsers and Microsoft Office (namely, MS Word).


The student will produce a self-directed online help outline.

This course is unique in that the student decides which areas they want to focus on; the instructor acts as an experienced mentor.

This course is not meant to provide instruction about any online help creation software.


  • The student demonstrates his or her understanding of what good online help is by recognizing the need for, and demonstrating, upfront analysis.
  • By performing a "Needs Analysis" the student will determine the goals and audience of the help system and the approach to take.
  • The student will submit a final help system outline for assessment in the following areas: usefulness based on user and business needs, overall organization, and clarity of tasks.
  • This course mirrors the work of Technical Writing; it is about continuous improvement and analysis, not "correct" answers. The student's final grade will be based on their ability to demonstrate toward continuous analysis and improvement.

course quick facts
course code DED297
cost $110.00
estimated time to
complete course
24 Hours
course materials
6 Weeks

Diane D’Amico has designed and developed curriculum for online courses in such areas as creating online help and technical writing. She formed a technical writing team that creates the entire documentation set (including technical reference guide, configuration manuals, and online help) for administrative software in the field of higher education and continued in that capacity as the lead technical writer and advisor for a number of national technical writing projects.