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 technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, 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.