My friend and learning community colleague, David Anderson has been a consistent blogger for 3 years now...
...this will be his 3rd post in those three years ;-)
BUT, its a good one and worth talking about. Can we (or should we) offer up our training in smaller chunks and allow the user to pick and choose at will? I remember creating courses where we left the navigation open for users to move around freely but the content list was organized in a way that supported the "right" order of the content.
I'm not sure that I want my tech books to be sold in pieces though. I normally purchase those giant 60+$ books with the idea that they are a resource to be accessed non-linearly anyway. For example, I'm currently getting back into FileMaker Pro. I needed a book to get started. I went with "Learn FileMaker Pro 9" by Jonathan Stars. Normally I enjoy the larger books that are more like resource guides. But knowing that databases are not my strong area of expertise I knew I better let an expert guide me through the process HIS WAY. The review I read mentioned that his book was the best for walking you through a practical example.
Sure enough. Right after chapter 2 I got anxious and tried to skip to chapter 9, to learn the really cool stuff that had been bugging me, but I get totally lost and confused. So back I go to chapter 3 and dig in. By the time I got to chapter 9 THIS TIME it all made sense and I had the aha momment I was so desparately looking for.
In this case I don't think purchasing the book chapter by chapter would have been a good idea.
HOWEVER! Not everything that I had learned was making sense. I still wasn't "getting it" enough to build what I wanted. So, I Google for tutorials and find some great screencasts...BINGO! Now this is the kind of media I want to use MY WAY. I just want the 3.5minute movie that is focused on one topic...the topic that has perplexed me.
Bottom Line: My Way isn't always the best way. But it's MY DECISION and so you better let me make it!!!