One common question I receive from people on this site is how they can learn DITA. Scriptorium has published a new online course (their first, I think) called LearningDITA.com. The first course available is “Introduction to DITA.”
The course is well-organized and oriented for beginners. Here are some general characteristics of the course:
Multiple contributors put together the course. From what I could tell, the main contributors included:
The content for learningdita.com was developed using the DITA learning specialization. As explained on the About page:
The content is written in DITA using the DITA learning specialization. LearningDITA.com runs on WordPress; we created XSLT transforms to publish the content here.
It’s interesting to see that Scriptorium created XSLT transforms to publish DITA to WordPress. I think that’s a great example of publishing DITA content.
My overall feedback about the course is that I thought there should be more hands-on activities. People primarily learn by doing, so there should be more activities that help people create the content talked about in the course.
To credit, there is a lesson that shows how to create a topic in Oxygen, but that’s it. I think there should be a walk-through from beginning-to-end on how to get a simple DITA project authored and published.
Most of the information needed to create a project is provided in the course, more or less, with easy code samples that one could copy and paste. But it would be nice to see an actual step-by-step tutorial for executing a project inside Oxygen or some other tool. Since this is just the “Introduction,” maybe a future course will provide this detail.
If you know me, you may wonder why I’m reviewing a course on DITA, since I abandoned DITA for Jekyll some months ago.
Well, I’m interested in seeing different approaches to online courses and learning. Whereas Peter Gruenbaum’s course on API documentation was primarily video-based, the learningdita.com course is primarily text-based.
Also, I’m trying to highlight more newsworthy events on my blog, and this course on DITA is a first of its kind. Congrats to Scriptorium for making this information available for free on the web.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include the following technical communication topics: Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, and certificate programs. I'm interested in information design, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.