Providing technical training is necessary to all companies. Whether the training is for new employees or new material for established employees, the most effective training tools are those that provide "hands-on" experience and immediate feed back. Microcomputers have provided a platform for training programs which allow simulations of physical or mathematical problems. With video and sound capabilities these programs can include realistic pictures and entertaining segments. Programs can be designed primarily to be used by one person or by several people, each working on different aspects of a problem. These teaching tools can also be straight forward going directly through logical steps or be structured to provide decision branches to allow users to investigate how different paths solve a problem. The software can be designed to evaluate solutions by the "correctness" of the result obtained and resources (time and cost) to achieve the given result.

Authoring languages offer programmers an environment for developing a structure of paths for a learning program. Interactive screens are then defined and conditions set to take users along each path. Using an authoring language, programs can be quickly written.

This paper outlines how an authoring language can be used to develop teaching tools. An example is presented showing how a training need goes from suggestion to finished product. The example used is a training program for PLANIMETER, a software program for computing reserves from isopach maps. This program is designed for geologists, petroleum engineers, and technicians. The paper outlines how the learning goals are organized into a program structure. Screens can then be created by a variety of methods: scanning images, creating graphs, and displaying text. The example utilizes Quest, an authoring language from Allen Communications in Salt Lake City, Utah. Once screens aredefined the user response and interface are added. The example will outline the general procedure for developing a learning tool using an authoring language.

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