When we develop courseware, we do this for an international audience. We try to make the writing plain, consistent, and predictable so that it is efficient in conveying information to this audience.
We don’t use spoken language or slang
Most technical documentation – when no editorial team is assigned to the project – is written by the subject matter expert (SME). Obviously, this makes sense, since this person knows so much about the topic, that he or she can literally write a book about it. Most of these SME’s naturally have a good understanding of the English language – especially in the IT environment – but they focus on the subject matter, rather than using proper language, let alone grammar, punctuation and spelling.
We try to cater to the lowest common denominator
That doesn’t mean we find that students of our courseware are intellectually not able to follow complicated subject matter – to the contrary, when students arrive at our courses, they have proven that they are actually quite smart. No, what I mean by the “lowest common denominator” is the following: in my experience, the more advanced the material, the more writers assume that the student remembers for example how to arrive at a wizard page from executing these arduous tasks before. They tend to ignore the fact that the student is new and has to understand the concept of provider and organisation virtual datacenters or edge services gateways and distributed firewalls, rather than remembering where the setting was located. So, it doesn’t help if we take shortcuts.
Even though it seems redundant at first, the student – maybe just subconsciously – will have a better learning experience.