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A team of courseware developers at Texas A&M University is designing a computer-assisted course in statics, as part of a computer-based undergraduate engineering curriculum being developed by a major corporation. On such a project, the technical writers' tasks include not only documentation and editing, but also reinterpretation of the role of the written word as it functions in the new context of computer-assisted-instruction (CAI). The technical writers share with the subject-matter experts in engineering the responsibilities of course development. Because of constraints imposed by programming and hardware parameters, lesson planning involves systematic thought about rationale and educational issues. The writers must conform to the system's constraints in deciding how much text to include in a lesson and what its role should be.