If I have understood Martin correctly then he wants the tutorials to be integrated with the main Moodle distribution. As such they should frequently reference to relevant additional information to be found in the documentation, the help-files and the forums (and why not vice versa?). I think that is a good idea. I have some additional thoughts concerning that. I will here specifically present ideas about the connection between the tutorials and the forums.
The current organization of forums
The current forums are organized in categories referring to the various modules. Internally these forums are organized according to discussions. The discussions can cover overviewing principles or details. Discussions can be opened by 'newbies' as well as by experts. Discussions and postings in discussions are added following a fairly simple chronological principle. Forums can also be searched for specific information.
This is all well but (in my mind) referring to such sources of information is not the best pedagogical approach for a tutorial. Even if the forums are organized in certain ways I still find them a bit chaotic . If you want to refine the didactic strategies here, I would suggest the following (not necessarily as solutions but rather as nourishment for thoughts).
Suggestion 1 'Sticky' discussions
If discussions could be made 'sticky' (always be the first on the list) then the first discussion in each forum could contain an overview of the module in its current version along with a sort of FAQ. A reference in the tutorial should lead to this discussion in the first place.
The way things are now (and as the lists of discussions in the forums are growing) it is difficult to find the 'explaining' and specific information a person using the tutorial is looking for. The verbal descriptions of the discussions are not always clear and even when they are, the discussions still might not contain the expected or needed information presented in a form that could be understood by, for instance, a 'newbie'. Just browsing the forums is time-consuming and potentially tiring if you are not encouraged well by a good, emphatic tutorial. Using the search-function does not necessarily mean that you get at set of well-structured postings responding to your need for information either.
Suggestion 2 (hoping for) moderators and experts
I firmly believe that any environment that wants to promote learning needs to provide the personal and professional presence of an educator/guide/coach/mentor (whatever you prefer to call such a person). A hope (dream) would be if there could be an enthusiastic moderator in each forum to sort of 'host' them. I have experienced and enjoyed that in Moodle from time to time but not in a directly organized way. I realize that this requires more people than those now active. A moderator could see to it that the discussion is organized in some logic form, suggest better descriptions, help add explanations or ask additional 'simple' questions where people do not dare to do that etc. In the best of worlds a real expert, e g the main developer/maintainer of the module could also be called for when really difficult issues come up. If the expert knew that he/she would not be frequently 'bothered' with 'trivial' issues then it would possibly be more convenient for the expert to make her/himself available. A moderator could help judge when this was necessary.
Cheers, Anders B