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Course instructor: instructor_name
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Course start date: start_date

This is your main working page for your noncredit online course in DITA for Content Development (oXygen). SyncRO oXygen is the designated authoring tool for this course. If for some reason you cannot acquire oXygen, contact me (David McMurrey).

When you complete a unit, click the Completed button for that unit. If you mistakenly mark a unit as completed, contact your instructor (or just wait until you've actually completed it.)

Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can easily return.

Links have been removed from this version of the course.

Unit 1: Structured Authoring & DITA: Overview

In this first unit, you explore the background of structured writing and topic-based authoring. You learn why they have become so essential in technical communication and how oXygen is an excellent solution for these needs.

Unit 1: Overview & Objectives
Unit 1: Study Resources

Due date: unit1_date

Unit 2: DITA: Concept & Task Topics

By now you've read that DITA uses three information types: task, concept, and reference. In this unit, you study and practice writing two of those types: task and concept topics.

Unit 2: Overview & Objectives
Unit 2: Study Resources
Unit 2: Practice Project

Due date: unit2_date

Unit 3: DITA: Reference Topics & Short Descriptions

In this unit, you study the third of the three primary DITA topics. In addition, you read about some useful strategies to enable the all-important short description.

Unit 3: Overview & Objectives
Unit 3: Study Resources
Unit 3: Practice Project

Due date: unit3_date

Unit 4: DITA Maps & Navigation

To this point, you've DITA topics--in fact, the three basic topic types. But something is missing: the glue that holds them all together in a coherent, usable document. And that "glue" is the DITA map, which sequences disparate topics into a logical, complete order.

Unit 4: Overview & Objectives
Unit 4: Study Resources
Unit 4: Practice Project

Due date: unit4_date

Unit 5: Formatting DITA Topics with CSS

Formatting documents in DITA is not what it is like in, for example, Microsoft Word. You don't have a bunch of icons at the top of the interface to make things bold or italics, change fonts, or alter page or margin dimensions. Instead, you must use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS is another course in itself, but you'll see the basics here in this unit and can then learn more n your own.

Unit 5: Overview & Objectives
Unit 5: Study Resources
Unit 5: Practice Project

Due date: unit5_date

Unit 6: DITA: Conditional Processing (Single Sourcing)

Unit 6: Overview & Objectives
Unit 6: Study Resources
Unit 6: Practice Project

Due date: unit6_date

Unit 7: DITA Keys and Conrefs

DITA enables three forms of reuse. You have seen one form of reuse already—maps. Two additional forms, conrefs (variables) and keys (notes) are covered in this unit.

Unit 7: Overview & Objectives
Unit 7: Study Resources
Unit 7: Practice Project

Due date: unit6_date

Unit 8: DITA Project Publishing

By now, you've studied and practiced the basics of DITA and at the same time become very familiar with the oXygen interface. Now's the time to use all that learning and practice creating your final DITA project and publishing it as XHTML, PDF, and CHM. It's your time to shine!

Unit 8: Overview & Objectives
Unit 8: Final Project

Due date: unit8_date

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