As mentioned before, a major component of the Drumbeat Learning, Freedom, and the Web book will be how-tos that people can use in their own learning situations (classrooms, workshops, online book clubs, whatever).

For example: How to adopt an open textbook; how to play with Arduino; how to create and award a badge; and even how to start a Drumbeat festival.
What are the basic components of a how-to? After looking at Instructables, Make magazine, Howcast videos, and other sources online, here’s what I”ve come up with:

1) Some indicators of the degree of difficulty, potential hazards, category of the how-to, and the time it takes. Symbols are helpful

2) Materials/tools needed.

3) Step by step instructions.

Anything I’m leaving out?

3 Responses to “How to Write a How-To”

  1. Josh Baron says:

    Maybe tips/tricks or pitfalls to avoid? I’m thinking of assembling things like a bike or kids toy…the people will often point on out blogs, etc. where the common confusion points are or common mistakes to avoid.

    Might also want to suggest desired outcomes/goals…something like, you’ll know that you’ve successfully adopted an open textbook when your students tell other instructors they should be using open textbooks also…

  2. I agree with Josh’s suggestions.

    Steps should be just one action each, and should describe the outcome or state when you complete the step correctly (unless it’s trivial, obvious, or already covered by the action description).

    Keep all steps together, and don’t interleave them with conceptual explanations. Put concepts before, after, or elsewhere.

    Put warnings and cautions before the step they apply to.

  3. Kasal Payo says:

    Pick up your sword and fight!!

Leave a Reply