When it comes to training material, I like to develop my own. That way I can tailor it to my needs and the audience. But this takes time, a lot of time. You need to decide if it will be an outline for an instructor lead class or a handout that people will read on their own.
An Outline has the purpose of keeping the class flow on track. It is not really meant to be used apart from an instructor lead process.
A handout to me is meant to be read without input and should contain more information. It may even be read without any instructor involvement.
An Outline should have some of the following principles in place as you write it:
- It is not exhaustive. It is assumed that the class will cover more than the handout.
- It is used to remind people of what they have learned. They should be paying more attention to the teacher than the notes.
- It is to provide content flow from one subject to the next. The instructor can use it to make transitions and to stay focused. The flow of the class should mimic the outline.
- It is to have ample space for notes. The outline should encourage note taking and leave room to allow it to happen.
A Handout is something is used in and beyond the classroom:
- Make it easy to read. A nice flow of words to the reader.
- Use a balance of words and screen shots
- Use a large amount of screen shots that are annotated with arrows and circles. Snag-It is a great tool for this.
- Introduce any new concepts but not too much. A good balance is to have a paragraph or so before the body of the instruction.
- Include step by step procedures that tell people why and not just what to do. You should intersperse the reasons for each step when they are not obvious. Like: “Select all entities (It is easier to grab them all and then remove some later)”