Technical & Professional Pedagogy

ENGLISH 3154: Introduction to Technical Communication[i] for English Majors (Syllabus)

Female human head shape with social media icons design EPS10 fil
Woman head silhouette made with social media icons. 

Instructor: Miranda Egger 

Phone: 303.315.7346

E-mail: miranda.egger@ucdenver.edu  (preferred mode of communication)

Time & Location: Mondays & Wednesdays 12:30 a.m.- 1:45 a.m. in Science 1086

Office Hours: Mondays 11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. (or by appointment) @ 4019 A, North Classroom

Situating Technical Communication

While varied definitions of technical communication are contested, it’s helpful to start with some common understanding. From this common understanding, we can craft a better definition together. Here’s where we’ll begin: technical communication involves a critical composing process using a variety of modes that accommodate technology information to the user[ii]. I’ll add that technical communication is often about seeking problems and fixing them, using the rhetoric of the “world of work.”[iii]

Technical communication is also a product of the community in which you practice. For example, if you’re an engineer, technical communication will be comprised of genres that are most amenable to engineering issues (e.g., instructions, software manuals) while science technical communicators design the participatory[iv] communication that helps solve issues within their field (e.g. scientific posters to present data, grant proposals).

Course Description

ENGL 3154 is a course about technical communication, but technical is not the most important term; communication, in fact, is the key here. We’ll study communication as a technical professional and scholar[v], often engaging the genres—the spaces where that communication serves to deliver complex information— in ethical ways, to a specific audience. We’ll look at solving real rhetorical problems of the workplace using the strategies unique to technical and professional communication. In this course, we are developing your functional, critical and rhetorical literacies, as they pertain to technical communication. We are not only users of technology, but producers of responsible technologies[vi].

In this section, we are also English majors, so we are situating technical communication within a wider field of communicative acts. Consequently, we will explore the unique position of technical communication from a rhetorical point of view. That means we won’t spend 16 weeks merely copying the “formal trappings”[vii] of specific genres like memo or a report; instead, we’ll compose and design tools for corporate public engagement, such as proposals, white papers and use-in-context analyses, as well as design a web portfolio—all projects that call on communicators to navigate the rhetorical choices that are most relevant to the situation, using elements of communication that are ever-shifting.

Required Material

Access to a printer for printing hard-copy drafts and readings that are loaded onto Canvas (when appropriate)

Note that we have no common textbook for this course. That is intentional; I find most textbooks inaccessible and overpriced. However, do not assume that this course will have little reading. In fact, we will more challenging texts—academic journal articles and texts published by communicators in the field. The reading will be extensive and you will occasionally be asked to print lengthy readings. You will access readings in Canvas, via hyperlink and, at times, you’ll be responsible to find the journal through the Auraria database.

 

Classroom Etiquette & Professionalism

A high level of professionalism is expected in the classroom—it is respectful to ask informed and challenging questions, to refrain from interruption, and to always assume there is more to the story.  My intention is not to grade introversion vs. extroversion with these professionalism points, but note that, if you tend to be less vocal in class, you should make an effort to engage with me via email or personally during office hours. Furthermore, it is respectful and professional to show up (1) on time to avoid interrupting the class in session and (2) prepared to fully engage in classroom discussions and activities.

Specifically, please be sure to set your cell phone to vibrate during class and please excuse yourself if you need to make or receive a call or text. Texting (even under your desk) is a distraction to me and a sign that you aren’t fully engaged in the classroom lecture or discussion. Also, please do not use computers for personal purposes during class (including group work time). You are welcome, however, to do so in the few minutes prior to starting class.  Your grade will be affected if I have to ask you to stop texting or to turn off your computer screen more than once in the semester.

 

Course Success

Every college class is different, but to pass this course, you will need to attend class, complete all the readings with care (take notes, etc.), keep up with Canvas (our online companion to this class), and submit all work on time. To receive a high grade, you’ll need to take time with drafts, meet with me during office hours, engage in class discussions, get feedback from the Writing Center, and do outside research to better inform yourself on class topics and exercises. I strive to be a kind and organized teacher, and I expect you to rise to the level of college work and seek my help if you are struggling.

 

Most importantly, please be assured that I want all students to learn and to receive the good grades they deserve. I spend a lot of time seeking the best ways to include all learning styles and invite varied opinions into this course in a way that allows everyone to feel safe and heard.  So, please make an appointment with me should you have undue difficulty with your work in the course or the classroom context.

Outcomes

General Outcomes (general principles of writing that will be reinforced)

I have designed weekly assignments and major projects to achieve the following departmental outcomes (as standardized by the English Department within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences):

Rhetorical Knowledge and Purposeful Writing. Student work demonstrates an understanding of the rhetorical nature of writing and language use and successfully addresses academic and professional audiences by adopting clear and consistent purposes, as well as appropriate organization, tone, and format, according to genre.

 Revision and the Writing Process. Students produce multiple drafts. Student writing demonstrates careful revision in response to commentary from peers (when relevant) and the instructor[viii].

 Argument and Analysis. Students write persuasively and analytically. Student writing contains convincing arguments and is supported with evidence.

 Critical Reading. Students read to inquire, learn, think, and communicate. Student writing demonstrates understandings of assigned readings incorporates relevant and critical outside readings appropriate to the rhetorical situation.

 Research. Student writing evidences understandings of citation and website validity, and avoids plagiarism.

 Technology and Multimodality. Students function in electronic writing spaces, and use technology to compose, revise, and present their writing. Students analyze and produce visual, audio, and online texts[ix].

 

Specific Learning Objectives (what you learn in this class)

  • Explore definitions and purposes of technical writing, including social advocacy;
  • Compare divergent genres and modalities within technical communication;
  • Read complex technical texts critically and strategically;
  • Recognize the key components and controversies of technical communication;
  • Expand understanding of technological literacy as the ability to use, read, write and communicate and think critically about technology[x]; examine systems of technology use[xi].
  • Construct new meaning and knowledge with technology[xii] and practice adapting quickly to new technologies[xiii];
  • Analyze communication contexts closely as designers—not conduits— of information in social relation to larger communities[xiv];
  • Develop a heuristic for ethical conduct in technical communication, using our best judgment[xv];
  • Thoughtfully compose, striving to understand the purposes of multi-modalities of design to inform consumers of technical projects[xvi];
  • Reflect on networks of knowledge[xvii] as well as personal successes and failures to develop a metacognitive awareness[xviii] of self in larger contexts.

 

 

Course Projects

I have designed weekly assignments and major projects to achieve the course outcomes (adapted from the English Department within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences). We will complete four major projects in this course, though the 3rd and 4th are combined. You will work independently on the 1st and 2nd project, but will keep an eye out for people you’d like to collaborate with on the 3rd and 4th project. All projects in this course will help you explore the range, the ethics and the practical application of technical communication.

Grading Policies

Notice that your participation grade is hefty (30%) and is based on various assignments that you will do and hand in throughout the semester. Community is essential to success. The successful participation in this community requires your attendance. You cannot make up full participation points if you are not in class. Work that can be made up is worth only 50% of the original points possible.

The grading of each writing assignment is based upon this general philosophy: that a ‘C’ is an average grade. It is not bad, nor is it excellent; it is average—competent. An above average paper deserves a ‘B’ and an excellent paper deserves an ‘A.’

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Accommodations for Multiple Abilities

My goal is to create an environment where all students have equal access to learning. Oftentimes, we can co-create that environment together, so if you have a disability, or think you may have a disability, I encourage you to contact me so we can work together to develop strategies for your success. Sometimes, however, we need the support of the disabilities office. In such cases, the office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS) provides support for students with disabilities, and you can find them at their website (http://hschealth.uchsc.edu/disabilityresources/) or by calling (303) 556-3450/TTY or (303) 556-4766. To access their services, you will need to provide documentation of disability.

** Students with disabilities will be fully included in this course whether the disability is visible or not. I look forward to having conversations about your learning styles and needs. Please contact me as soon as possible with questions, concerns, and any materials from UCDHSC Office of Disability Resources and Services. My goal, aligned with the official UCD policy regarding disabilities, is to create the most inclusive learning environment.

 

Assessment of Projects

Below is a general rubric that helps you gauge my evaluation of the rhetorical quality of all your work: its ability to communicate effectively to an intended audience for a specific purpose situated within a specific context. The following basic grade descriptions are used to distinguish a document’s relative success in meeting the requirements of a project. I will provide more specific criteria for each major project.

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General Rubric[xix]:

 

A

 

 

 

A superior document exceeds all standards. It conveys a superior understanding of audience, situation, and purpose. The information is well-developed; it is thorough, comprehensive, accurate, and appropriate for the audience and context; and it includes appropriate examples and citations. The visual design is accessible and appealing. It is free from grammatical errors and has a style that is clear, concise and reflects an awareness of the intended and unintended impact of the text on audiences. In short, your document represents your organization and a sound value system well (i.e., a strong awareness of the impact on users).
B A very good document meets the standards for the assignment and engages the audience. It is well written and produced, and it exhibits a solid understanding of audience, situation, and purpose. The information is sufficiently developed and organized, and it contains appropriate examples and citations. It may need improvement in style; it may contain minor flaws in grammar, format, or content that are easily correctable. In short, your document would represent the organization and your value system well, but I might recommend some ways to improve the document before distributing

 

C A competent document meets the standards adequately but may contain several flaws in concept development, details, structure, design, accuracy, and grammar. For example, a document may fail to answer one or two significant questions or fail to identify a significant source; or it may need to be better developed or to be redesigned so that the information is more accessible and appealing. In short, your document could not be distributed to your organization’s clients or users without a revision. Your performance on the task might give your employer doubts about your communication ability and motivation and/or lack significant awareness of the ethical impact of your work.

 

D A marginally acceptable document forces the reader to do too much work to understand or read the document because of serious problems in the document. The document may contain numerous and major errors in logic, data, or grammar. The document may meet some standards of the assignment but fails to meet one or more important requirement(s). Your organization would not send this document, and, in fact, your employer would probably seriously reconsider your future with the organization.

 

F An unacceptable document does not address the assignment. It does not have enough information, contains major or excessive errors, or does not meet the standards of the assignment.

 

 

Policies

Attendance & Late Work Policies

CU Denver Policy: Regular attendance is crucial to success in a writing class. The English department attendance policy dictates that a student may have three unexcused absences. After three absences, each day missed results in a one-third reduction of the final course grade for each additional day missed (an A becomes an A-, a C- becomes a D+, etc.). Being late to class three times (more than five minutes late) is equivalent to one absence. Excused absences are for serious illness, required military commitments, and religious holidays. Students are responsible to follow-up (with another student and/or on Canvas) and find out what they missed when they are absent.

Specifically, in this particular course, all projects submitted after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10% for each day that the work is late. Participation points are earned by being prepared to participate in class discussions, group activities, Canvas postings and other related homework assigned throughout the semester. Therefore, many classroom assignments cannot be made up (exceptions are made only in cases of emergency). If an assignment can be made up (check with me for particulars), then the late submission is worth only up to 50% of the original points possible. Rule for success: work out alternative due dates with me in advance of the absence.

Instructors are not required to accept in-class assignments or homework that is late due to an unexcused absence. Similarly, unless previously arranged with the instructor, students may not submit work via email. If you are absent on a day when a major project is scheduled to be submitted, the assignment must be submitted in hard copy to my office (there is a clear hanging folder outside my door) in North Classroom, Room #4019 A before the beginning of that day’s class session.

Incompletes

The Composition Program follows the CLAS Incomplete Policy, available in the course catalog. Course Completion Agreement is available from the CLAS Advising Office.

Academic & Professional Ethics

You must do your own original work in this course—and appropriately identify that portion of your work which is collaborative with others, or borrowed from others, or which is your own work from other contexts. When you quote passages or use ideas from others, you are legally and ethically obliged to acknowledge that use, following appropriate conventions for documenting sources.  If you have doubts about whether or not you are using your own or others’ writing ethically and legally, ask me.  Follow this primary principle:  Be up front and honest about what you are doing and about what you have contributed to a project.
According to the UCD Course Catalog: Plagiarism is the use of another person’s distinctive ideas or words without acknowledgement.  The incorporation of another person’s work into one’s own requires appropriate identification and acknowledgement, regardless of the means of appropriation.  The following are considered to be forms of plagiarism when the sources are not noted:

  • Word-for-word copying of another person’s ideas or words;
  • The mosaic (the interspersing of one’s own words here and there while, in essence, copying another’s work);
  • The paraphrase (the rewriting of another’s work, yet still using their fundamental idea or theory);
  • Fabrication (inventing or counterfeiting sources);
  • Submission of another’s work as one’s own;
  • Neglecting quotation marks on material that is otherwise acknowledged; and,
  • Falsification (deliberately changing results, statistics, or any other factual information to suit your needs).

 

In addition, if you plan to use a paper from another class and do not obtain my permission, it is considered plagiarism. For further definition and explanation, go to: http://catalog.ucdenver.edu/content.php?catoid=6&navoid=530

This course assumes your knowledge of these policies and definitions. Failure to adhere to them can result in penalties ranging from failure of the assignment or the course to dismissal from the University; so, be informed and be careful.

 

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Project 1: Technology Instructional User Guide (Cover Sheet)

 

Context: What’s being asked of the student and why? What’s the situation?

 

To begin the semester, I’m asking students to compose in a common genre among technical communicators (hard copy guide or video), respecting the pragmatic and functional literacies that are necessary in a technical communication course: the instructional user guide, but students are being primed for so much more—lessons on usability, accessibility, ethics, and collaboration and community.

Likewise, we’re starting locally, developing a guide for a set of peer users who are knowable, in a discourse community familiar to the student. After surveying each other to find out what technologies they’d find helpful (at what level of guide they need), an assignment with pragmatic ends.

Students are also choosing genres and modes of delivery, as genre is a construction of particular discourse communities in specific rhetorical circumstances[xx] and the modes that best deliver that message are negotiable.[xxi]

 

Connection to Objectives: How does this contribute to class goals?

My Teaching Philosophy begins with this line: Relationships matter. We’re a community of writers helping each other navigate new rhetorical spaces. While those spaces are ever-shifting (based on social needs and technological innovations), we must enter somewhere and begin the process of negotiating complex rhetorical circumstances and we need each other to succeed. Thus, this first project has the initial goal of developing a community-based network of materials, designed for local users, with an immediate rhetorical need (the projects in this class).

This project was conceived, in part, in response to practical needs of technical communicators,[xxii]  encouraging a focus on practical tools to efficient ends in response to the need for students to negotiate a relationship to technology that is ever-shifting. What students need most[xxiii] is a familiarity with particular platforms (such as word processing, database management, desktop publishing, and web authoring),[xxiv] but also an aptitude for how to learn and adapt to shifting technologies and their role in particular rhetorical circumstances. I believe that goal requires a combination of autodidactic skills, confidence in the ability to learn, and a healthy community of knowledgeable peers to rely on.

This project is an example of promoting the symbolic-analytic work of technical communicators: web design that makes intelligible technology and communication together[xxv] as well as development of a functional literacy[xxvi].

Furthermore, students are developing skills in a particular genre that is expected within the technical communication industry and developing an awareness of how readers respond to the delivery of instruction. For example, these instructions must be a blend of illustrations/images and text, as several researchers have found that subjects who viewed instruction formats with both visual and textual information made fewer errors than those who viewed only visuals or only text,[xxvii] applicable to cultures beyond Americans.[xxviii]

Students need both a “competence and critical awareness,”[xxix] however. By asking for affordances and constraints, I’m beginning to hint at a budding awareness that computers are not neutral[xxx] and they are not merely users of a tool that lacks agency. I want them to begin to think about the rhetorical situatedness of the technology in preparation for the final project.

List of Deliverables: What needs to be turned in?

Students will submit an instructional user guide, roughly 7-9 pages, or the equivalent (a video of 2-3 minutes) on a technology (and level of use of that technology) determined in advance by the whole class based on a distributed knowledge[xxxi] model of pedagogy.

 

Assessment: How will students be graded?

Students will be assessed on professionalism and usability, generally, but I want to co-create a rubric with students once they review the rough drafts. I’ll make sure that the rubric they develop includes: professional presentation and ethos established by evidence of knowledgeable, credible and information that establishes goodwill between communicator and audience. As with all assignments, students will go back and re-visit this draft and submit a revised version for an improved grade (since writing is revising[xxxii]).

Teacher’s Notes: How will you be teaching this project?

This assignment opens up the semester, on purpose. Not only is this the most genre-specific project (with limited discussion of ethics and only an introduction to the rhetorical situatedness of the genre), but students become resident experts in a particular technology, developing a sense of community where each student knows they have a network of support in varied technologies.

We will develop a list of necessary technological tools together, as a whole class, to avoid overlap and to meet industry recommendations for basic technological literacies.[xxxiii] To help craft the material that will be most meaningful, to both the guide and future course objectives, we’ll discuss in class: the ways to measure excellence in technical documents, instructional design, awareness of audience skill levels, concept of affordances and constraints, and the use of visuals and text combined to craft clear instructions.

Furthermore, since reflection is a large part of learning something new, students will take time to reflect on their processes of developing this instructional user guide before submission (this reflection then becomes part of a larger course reflection synthesis project housed on their blogs).

This Technology Instructional User Guide also provides material for their 2nd project: a use-in-context[xxxiv] analysis — a common practice among technical writers and my way of enacting Bazerman’s advice to “be open to what experience and thought others ring to [our]formulations.[xxxv]” In fact, this second project highlights students’ role as “agents of change”[xxxvi] in designing materials that put users at the center of all they design, gauging both use or usefulness in the context of the user’s purpose. In fact, according to Mirel, “No other specialists in human-computer interaction [are trained] in the rhetorical perspectives necessary for effectively matching the media and design of software support to particular audiences, purposes, activities, and contexts” (p. 220). This focus places attention in analysis and design on a problem in a certain context and on ways in which the problem space evokes various behaviors, knowledge, relationships between people and things, strategies, and rules of thumb.[xxxvii] Students will develop a heuristic of HCI,[xxxviii] essentially to assess changes in behavior, to gather feedback on how to improve the system, to influence the attitude of the population to adopt the final system. They will collect qualitative (e.g., observations and interviews) and quantitative (e.g., frequency of use) to support this analysis.

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Project 1: Technology Instructional User Guide (Assignment Sheet)

What is the purpose of this assignment? 

No single person is an expert on all the available digital technologies at our fingertips. But together, we can amass an impressive pool of resources–a library of cheat sheets– for a variety of programs that are available and useful to us all (maybe for this class, maybe even beyond this class). You will create a technology instructional user guide that helps us all work through a particular interface (see list of possibilities below or feel free to propose your own).

To start, think about what interface (or feature of a particular interface) Is helpful to this community of technical communicators?

What exactly am I going to learn here?

Composing in digital environments

Instruction design (user awareness)

Learning a new digital tool

The genre of instructions

 

OK, then, how do I get started?

Together, we’ll choose one digital technology per student (maybe from the list below, or maybe a newer one that I’ve yet to discover). You will have a chance to survey classmates to determine their level of familiarity with the technology to best determine what aspect of the technology to cover in this guide.

Then, you will research the technology and use the questions/prompts below to develop material [note: your guide should not merely answer each question. These questions give you a heuristic to get started, not an organizational scheme] as a guide to help cover the pertinent information; show us all how it’s used; provide tips, tricks; provide additional links to help files.

You must use a blend of text and visuals to create a professional and user-friendly User Guide of the technology. As designers, you should provide step-by-step illustrations as often as possible[xxxix].

 What kind of information should I include?

Use these questions to guide the development of content to include in your study guide:

§  What technology did you choose to become an expert on? What feature of this technology did you focus on specifically (i.e. getting started, creative transitioning between clips in iMovie, editing sound quality in Audacity, etc…)? Make the context clear for users.

§  Summarize this technology’s overall purpose and scope, so users can see its greater application.

§  How is this technology used? Specifically, how might students in this class make use of this technology whether for this class or otherwise?

§  What tips, tricks, helpful hints can you provide for the rest of us who don’t know much about this technology?

§  Provide an additional 2-3 links to professional help files (maybe help files provided by the makers of the technology or YouTube files) that we might access for further help beyond what you’ve provided here. Be mindful here of what common problems users are most likely to encounter.

§  List at least 5 affordances and 5 constraints of this technology. What rhetorical circumstances might this technology best serve beyond this class?

How will you be assessing this User Guide?

We will be composing a rubric together, but the components of the above questions must be evident in the User Guide and professionalism, as well as clarity, usability and rhetorical awareness. These are critical components to any technical communication document.

What sort of format should I use to present all this information?

The genre depends, in part, on the technology being introduced and the way users might best follow the instructions. You can choose to create a YouTube instructional video or compose a brochure. The genre you choose should reflect an awareness of how users might best access the instructions. There is a sample of several delivery methods below.

Remember, though, that these instructions must be a blend of illustrations/images and text.  as several researchers have found that subjects who viewed instruction formats with both visual and textual information made fewer errors than those who viewed only visuals or only text. Furthermore, when possible, designers should include illustration at each individual step.

 Samples of Tech Guides:

  • You might use a video which must be loaded onto YouTube or Video: (sample linked on Canvas)
  • You might use SlideShare (sample linked on Canvas)
  • You might use Jing (sample linked on Canvas)
  • Make a professional brochure via WORD’s brochure template (sample linked on Canvas)

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Projects 3 & 4:  Facebook Proposal for Public User Matrix (Cover Sheet)

 

Context: What’s being asked of the student and why? What’s the situation?

In this final half of the semester, I’m asking students to keep moving beyond crafting within a static genre to problem-based, work-in-context[xl] learning, meeting the criteria of Johnson-Eilola’s symbolic-analytical framework for technical communication work[xli].

The problem posed in this project is one of fake news. The problem of fake news— both mis and disinformation, often shared prolifically on Facebook—  is current, relevant and complex. Students are asked to contemplate the role Facebook has in this complex problem and develop a public sharing campaign to help users determine what is and what is not credible enough to share. On one level, this project is about appeasing a hypothetical employer. On another level, it’s about finding solutions to large social problems—being responsible communicators who are an active part of the solution-making process, not merely conduits of others’ information.

 

When complete, each team[xlii] will present their proposed Public User Matrix to a small panel of fellow faculty who will determine which proposal is hypothetically adopted. Faculty are willing to discuss publishing the user matrix proposal in the university newspaper (The Advocate), depending on quality.

 

Connection to Objectives: How does this contribute to class goals?

 

Students will work with more complex rhetorical, problem-based processes in this final project which positions students in public engagement projects where entering the territory responsibly as ethical and effective rhetorical agents is paramount.[xliii] The literacy I am promoting here is Kathleen Welch’s “literacy has to do with consciousness: how we know what we know and recognition of the historical, ideological, and technological forces that inevitably operate in all human beings.[xliv]

To start, students are given a context that is both professionally and socially complex (challenging the false dichotomy that students must develop either civic literacies or professional literacies), as Selfe (1999), Duggar (2001) and Gurak (2001) tell us that students must “become familiar with the social, rhetorical, and political features of digital communication.[xlv]” Meanwhile, Johnson-Eilola claims that “students must begin by recognizing that technologies are always political in development and use, even if they appear neutral at an abstract level.”[xlvi] This assignment takes a critical humanist approach[xlvii] born of those two assertions— serving a highly critical, as well as rhetorical, literacy.[xlviii]

Social justice also informs my pedagogy here. Jones says that “a method for raising awareness about the impact of technical communication on individual experiences is to adopt a Frerian perspective as a framework for rethinking the field.[xlix]” Considering the human experience from a Freirean perspective emphasizes the humanistic possibilities of the field. Freire (1996) asserts, “[H]uman beings emerge from the world, objectify it, and in so doing can understand it and transform it with their labor.[l]” This means, as Jones echoes, that we are responsible for not only investigating how we and others interact in the world, but we must also reflect and seek to make positive change.” This assignment borrows from Jones, and Freire, but also from Miller, who encourages students to practice their “ability (and willingness) to take socially responsible action. [li]

Students will analyze,[lii] as well. They will work within the concept of “interrogating boundaries” to see those places where physical boundaries, sociocultural and/or political boundaries[liii]  might contribute to conflict among users with differing agendas.[liv] Finally, the social impact report is based on all the above theories of civic and user responsibility, but logistically utilizes Scott’s tenets of cultural critique as a heuristic.[lv]

With this project, students will work with performance (the tools of production), contextual factors (critical evaluation of the social factors and attitudes of FB users) and linguistic activities (how users best read a matrix and use space and color well).[lvi]

 

List of Deliverables: What needs to be turned in?

  1. White Paper (research into the context), developed individually

 

  1. Formal Internal Proposal containing:

Synthesis of the research

User Matrix (developed as a group)

Analysis of Social Impact

 

Assessment: How will students be graded?

While each major stage of this product requires its own assessment criteria (to be disseminated in the appropriate phase of the project), below is a rubric for the final proposal (which I will ask students to help revise, as part of the cooperative process).

 

 

A

 

 

 

A superior proposal exceeds all standards. It conveys a superior understanding of audience, situation, and purpose. The information is well-developed; it is thorough, comprehensive, accurate, and appropriate for the audience and context; and it includes appropriate examples and citations. The visual design is accessible and appealing. It is free from grammatical errors and has a style that is clear, concise, and forceful. In short, your document represents your organization well, and your employer would be pleased to distribute it. Your proposal depicts evidence of careful analysis of the issue and larger social implications, clarity and usability of the User Matrix, and presentation of the responsible approach to social impact.
B A very good document that meets the standards for the assignment and engages the audience. It is well written and produced, and it exhibits a solid understanding of audience, situation, and purpose. The information is sufficiently developed and organized, and it contains appropriate examples and citations. It may need improvement in style; it may contain minor flaws in grammar, format, or content that are easily correctable. In short, your document would represent the organization well, but your employer might recommend some ways to improve the document before distributing

 

C A competent document that meets the standards adequately but may contain several flaws in concept development, details, structure, design, accuracy, and grammar. For example, a document may fail to answer one or two significant questions or fail to identify a significant source; or it may need to be better developed or to be redesigned so that the information is more accessible and appealing. In short, your document could not be distributed to your organization’s clients or users without a revision. Your performance on the task might give your employer doubts about your communication ability and motivation.

 

D A marginally acceptable document that forces the reader to do too much work to understand or read the document because of serious problems in the document. The document may contain numerous and major errors in logic, data, or grammar. The document may meet some standards of the assignment but fails to meet an important requirement. Your organization would not send this document, and, in fact, your employer would probably seriously reconsider your future with the organization.

 

F An unacceptable document that does not address the assignment. It does not have enough information, contains major or excessive errors, or does not meet the standards of the assignment.

 

 

Teacher’s Notes: How will you be teaching this project?

 

I’ve broken the pedagogy of this lesson into 5 phases to best support students through the steps of the process in a meaningful order[lvii]. I purposefully left these details off the primary assignment sheet for fear of overwhelming students up front. Instead, I’ll hand them the specifics of each phase as we progress. Below is what those step-by-step instructions would look like:

 

Phase 1: Individual White Paper. A responsible, ethical technical communicator analyzes an issue before attempting to solve the problem. We will use an exploratory research approach (individually) that uses both 1st-hand (surveys, observations, polls, interviews) and 2nd-hand (research collected from outside sources) data collection to ensure that you come to your group well informed and prepared to add substantially (and uniquely) to the project overall. Some topics to explore include (but are not limited to) the following:

 

 

Who are Facebook’s primary users?

Do they care about fake news? Do they hold Facebook responsible?

What are Zuckerberg’s/Facebook’s views on ethics and business? [Know your employer.]

Is fake news really a problem? A new problem? An old, ongoing problem?
What’s is Facebook’s role in the problem of fake news?

What are some examples of mis and disinformation that have been circulated on Facebook?

What are other people/companies doing to solve this problem?

What are the (current and potential future consequences of this problem?

What responsibility do users assign to Facebook, in particular?

 

Phase 2: Collaborative research. Together, with your individual white papers in hand, you’re prepared to add meaningfully to your team’s exploration of the issue Facebook is addressing. You must synthesize the individual white papers into one review of the research (eliminate redundancies, find strongest research, etc…). Your final proposal should include one cohesive synthesis of the research into this issue in the proposal, roughly 500-750 words total.

 

Phase 3: Determine the genre that best meets the problem, suits Zuckerberg’s need for a positive public image and assure Facebook users that something is being done (though the software engineers haven’t yet found a solution). For example, this might be a short video to post on user FB accounts, or you might decide a static document is more accessible. Whatever the genre, it must be electronic so that it might be posted on FB.

*Include a justification of roughly 500 words of your genre choice. What are the affordances (and constraints) of this genre?

 

Phase 4: Produce the digital design. The Public User Matrix for Responsibly Sharing News.

*Include the digital design itself in the proposal.

 

Phase 5: Evaluate the social impact using Scott’s tenets of cultural critique as a heuristic[lviii]:

The first tenet of the heuristic, production, asks: Who determined the exigency for your text? Or, who defined the problem to which it responds? How could this shaping of the rhetorical situation involve a fuller array of stakeholders?

The second tenet of the heuristic, Representation, asks: How does the text portray its subjects, especially its targeted audiences, and what are the possible benefits and limitations of those depictions?

The third tenet for, Distribution, asks: How is the text marketed or sold? How could marketing representations more ethically depict the text and its users?

The fourth tenet, Interpretation and Uses, asks:  What cultural norms, patterns of behavior, and other conditions might shape the audiences’ interpretation of the text?

*Include a 500-750 word analysis of the social impact expected, following the heuristic above.

 

______________________________________________________________________________

Projects 3 & 4: Facebook Proposal for Public User Matrix (Assignment Sheet)

 

Problem: Facebook has an image problem. Zuckerberg has been called out (by Obama in 2016—just 9 days after Trump’s election–and now from the media) for not taking an active role in the fake news (perpetuated by bots and by humans) that is so rampant on Facebook.

Back in 2016, he responded to Obama with a dismissal of the issue, seemingly unaware that Facebook played a role in the dissemination of disinformation. Now, he’s prepared to do more, but before the story spins out of control, he wants to control the media cycle in a positive way that reflects his authentic and thoughtful attention to his platform’s role in this social issue.

Zuckerberg has asked that his technical communication team help promote a dual campaign where users take responsibility as he and his tech team develop software. soften the public image with a static (one-page) informational design using visuals that appeal to typical Facebook audiences, strong elements of graphic design and the text necessary to make the message clear: Facebook is aware of the problem and is committed to doing their part. Though you need to craft the message.

Furthermore, Facebook wants users to take responsibility, too, for the proliferation of fake news, promoting a joint effort to solve a societal problem. He wants your team to design a 1-2 page users’ guide to responsibly sharing news on Facebook. Your design must follow visual principles of design, be appealing to typical FB users and clearly deliver tips on how to gauge responsible material worth sharing.

As technical communicators, you are in a unique position to work with developers and the public to affect ethical changes to practice. That’s a lot of responsibility, but the Facebook board trusts you to take the project from here, presenting the proposal (with all elements listed below) in totality. The board asks only for an update periodically, but those will be relatively informal. Just do the work and be smart about it.

 

Your final proposal will include:[lix]

Introduction (1 full page)

Literature Review (a 500-750 word synthesis of the most relevant research from the white paper)

User Matrix (with 500-word justification)

Social Impact Report (500-750 words)

Conclusion (why should the board adopt your proposal, 1 full page)

 

Skills learned:

  • How to adapt to any rhetorical situation in the professional world.
  • How to address rhetorical problems with thoughtful rhetorical responses.
  • How to reflect on your design processes in order to always improve.
  • How to practice listening rhetoric before engaging in the conversation (so as not to blindly follow structures that oppress).

 

Principles Learned:

We create our reality through our language and that we must observe and engage in the conventions as constructed by the community.[lx] Conventions are a product of particular discourse communities[lxi]. Also, navigating the rhetorical circumstances of any situation is a powerful form of problem solving.[lxii] We solve problems collaboratively, thoughtfully, after engaging in a topic from multiple perspectives.

 

**Your final proposal should be professional, carefully edited, using a consistent format, theme and document design.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Schedule for ENGL 3154

Day Agenda To be prepared
8/21 Syllabus & Introductions (networking protocol[lxiii])

 

Create an electronic portfolio (blog site)

 

Read: Articles that discuss the value of professional writing coursework from a professional perspective. Bring 2-3 favorite lines + a personal anecdote (related to these themes) to discuss with peers:

 

Good Writing Can Help You Succeed:

http://business.time.com/2013/04/19/good-writing-can-help-you-succeed/

I won’t hire people who use poor grammar. Here’s why:
https://hbr.org/2012/07/i-wont-hire-people-who-use-poo
Business Perspective: The importance of business communication skills: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/article/2010-08-15/82376/

 

8/23 Discussion Theme: What is technical writing (vs. other forms of writing)?

 

Workshop:  What sorts of technologies do tech communicators need to know—

Examining O-Net https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/27-3042.00

 

Survey of peers for needed technologies/ability levels for user guide (we want to avoid duplication)

Read:  Goodwin & Cooper “Understanding Potential Users and Customers” in Designing for a Digital Age (on Canvas)

 

Due: Syllabus quiz

 

Due: Begin your blog site: choose theme, complete about page, add menu items

8/28 Discussion Theme: Measuring excellence in technical documents. What counts as good?

 

Discussion Theme: Affordances and Constraints of Technology; how technology shapes us

 

 

Read: Critical Theory of Technology” (Feenberg)

 

Do: Blog post on technology role in society

8/30 Theme: Amending our list of excellence (using Markel’s ideas)

 

Reading/discussion theme: Conscientious publishing on your blog site; professionalism in virtual spaces; humanism in technical writing

 

 

Read: Labrecque et al.’s (2001) “Online Personal Branding: Processes, Challenges, and Implications” in Journal of Interactive Marketing 25 (1).[lxiv] (Access via Auraria Library)

 

Read: Miller, C. R. (1979). A humanistic rationale for technical writing. College English, 40(6), 600-617. (Access via Auraria Library)

 

Due: Load your website URL to the course site for access

9/4 * Labor Day*
9/6 Workshop: Navigating the audience’s needs in the genre of instructions

 

Read: Professional and Technical Writing/Instructions” & “Creating Rhetorically Effective Instruction Manuals

 

9/11 Workshop: Learning from bad instructions

 

Workshop: Peer Review of Technology User Guide (early UX testing); developing a rubric for the User Guide

Read: Beason, Larry. (2001). Ethos and error: How business people react to error. College Composition and Communication, 53.1. (Auraria Library)

 

Due: Bring one example of BAD instructions to class.

 

Due: Full, rough draft of Technology Instructional User Guide

9/13 Reflection on Technology User Guide (blog post) DUE: Technology Instructional User Guide
9/18 Theme: What is usability? What is Use-in-Context?

 

Theme: What is the technical communicators responsibility to usability?

 

 

Read: HCI Introduction:  https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/human-computer-interaction

 

Read: UX Introduction:  http://www.experienceux.co.uk/faqs/what-is-usability-testing/

9/20 Pairing Technology User Guides for Use-in-Context Analysis

 

Workshop:  Workshop: examining HCI use-in-context vs. UX; applying use-in-context heuristic; developing a use-in-context heuristic (community-built heuristic)

Read: Mirel’s “Advancing a Vision of Usability” (on Canvas)

 

9/25 Use-in-context (time for data collection among peers)

 

9/27 Use-in-context (time for data collection among peers)

 

10/2 Workshop: examining User Guides for accessible use Read: Interview with Huettner on what technical communicators need to know about accessibility:

https://techwhirl.com/technical-communication-accessibility-brenda-huettner-interview/

 

Read: “Gender, Inclusivity & the Users’ Advocate” on TechWhirl:  https://techwhirl.com/gender-inclusivity-users-advocate/

10/4 Accessibility Workshop:  captioning, describing images, making infographics accessible, etc…

 

10/9 Workshop rough draft of use-in-context analysis Due: Rough draft of use-in-context analysis
10/11 Reflection on use-in-context analysis (blog post) DUE: Final Use-in-context Analysis (posted to Canvas for access)

 

10/16 Workshop: Listing what is relevant for research for FB project

Workshop: White Paper Genre Best Practices

Read and Print: Your favorite white paper sample. See:  https://www.calpoly.edu/~jgphelan/sample_white_papers.html to start.
10/18 Workshop: Read the analysis of your Technology User Guide. What would you change now that you have the use-in-context analysis in hand? (blog post)

 

Workshop: Document Design Principles for the White Paper

Read: Kramer’s “Teaching Text Design” (on Canvas)

 

Read: Morris “How Typography Shapes Our Perception of Truth

 

Read: Mackiewicz, J. (2004). What Technical Writing Students Should Know about Typeface Personality, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 34, 113-131. (Auraria library)

 

10/23 Research Day (in class, online)
10/25 Interrogating boundaries. Share research DUE: Individual White Paper for FB Project
10/30 Workshop/Discussion: Understanding the communication team’s responsibility and possibility in corporate success and public good

 

Forming teams for Final FB Proposal Project: assigning roles, crafting team deadlines

 

Read: We will each take portions of the study, “Reviving the Corporate Brand: McDonald’s Turnaround” and come back as the experts in our assigned section: http://www.instituteforpr.org/wp-content/uploads/MCD-Final-Paper_IPR_PRIME_Deliverable.pdf

 

11/1 Theme: Ethics; measuring ethics in technical writing Read: Katz’ “The Ethic of Expediency” (on Canvas)

 

Read: “Introduction: What is Ethics” in Morality and The Good Life: An Introduction to Ethics through Classical Sources (on Canvas)

 

Read: ATTW Code of Ethics:  http://www.attw.org/about-attw/code-ethics

 

Due: Publish your team’s action plan

11/6 Workshop: How do we know what good visual design is?

 

Theme: Gestalt principles of visual design

 

Read: Goodwin & Cooper’s “Principles and Patterns in Design Language” in Designing for a Digital Age (on Canvas)

 

Read: Shriver’s “What do technical communicators need to know about information design?”
In Solving problems in technical communication (on Canvas)

 

11/8 Workshop:  Graphics for logical/ethical depiction of data

 

11/13 Workshop: Revision of Final Proposal rubric DUE: 2-page status report on project proposal (250 words from each team member) in preparation for team conferences
11/15 TEAM CONFERENCES (we meet in my office at your assigned time; your team brings questions/concerns)
11/20-11/25  

 

**No Class**

11/27 Workshop: Small groups work together

 

11/29 Practice Presentations (planning timing and transitions): note the gaps and make final preparations

 

DUE: Rough draft of presentation material
12/4 Presentations (4 total @ 20 minutes per) DUE: Present your final proposal to the Board (of English faculty and peers).

 

12/6 Presentations (2 total @ 20 minutes per)

Reflection on group collaboration and product (blog post)

 

12/13

                                   

In-class Final Written Exam

 

DUE: Final blog site due

(10 reflective posts + major projects)

 

 

*Readings are either linked in the schedule, cited for access via Auraria Library, or loaded onto Canvas (book chapters)

**Please be prepared for all classes by bringing notes and readings to each class meeting.

***All components listed below are subject to change as the needs of our course community shift. However, no final due dates (for major projects) will be earlier than scheduled, however. All changes will be made in favor of student needs (e.g., more time).

 

 

 

Activity for ENGL 334

 

Topic: Ethical & Logical Use of Graphics as Evidence

 

Learning Objective/Application to this course: Your survey data for the Informal Report assignment has to be depicted visually– and that visual should be clear, ethical and logical.

 

We’ve already looked at the clarity of graphics (remember the concept of “chart junk” and the confusion of mixing purposes with lines and charts on the same graphic), but we haven’t yet looked at the ethical (as in, not intentionally misleading) and logical use of graphics to substantiate a claim. Here’s the thing: the graphic is a form of evidence and should, therefore, confer validity upon its claim without being misleading.

Below, I’ve given you an example of a source that does not use their graphic in an ethical or logical way. Your job is to try to analyze the problem and transfer that knowledge to your own responsible and logical graphic depiction of survey data.

 

Practice with a Sample

Claim being made by Business Insider: “We have lost the ubiquitous positive financial return on education.” Evidence used to support the claim (graphic to the right):

 

Activity Directions:

  1. In 50 words, explain what the graphic tells you? (i.e. Explain the message being sent by this piece of evidence.)

 

  1. In 150 words, discuss how well the above graphic (line graph) confers validity upon the claim that “we have lost the ubiquitous positive financial return on education.”  In other words, does the graph provide strong, logical evidence for such a claim? Why or why not?

 

  1. In 75-100 words, tell me what you will do as you design a graphic of your survey data in a way that ethically and logically substantiates your claim (Outcome). You want to say more than, “I’ll be ethical and logical.” I know that, so how can you be ethical and logical within your Informal Report context?

 

 Assessment:

 

 Evaluative Description            Assessment
Understanding/Reading the sample graphic               Reading the graphic is the first step to gauging the ethical and

logical application of the evidence.

 

          /2

Evaluating how well the evidence presented in the graphic validates the claim being made After reading the graphic, you must be able to apply that evidence to the claim being made and critically evaluate how well the evidence confers validity upon the claim.  

          /4

Thoughtfully applying the knowledge to plan your graphic (reflect survey data) This learning has to transfer beyond this single example. You need to make some specific decisions about how this learning applies to your own ethical and logical use of graphics in the Informal Report.  

        /4

Total Score         /10

 

 

References

[i] According to Gurak and Bayer (1994), technical writing shifted to technical communication to mark a shift from positivist values to humanist values: Gurak, L., and Bayer, N. (1994). Making gender visible: Extending feminist critiques of technology to technical communication. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 446. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s.

[ii] This is an adaptation of Dobrin’s definition in: Allen, J. (1990). The Case Against Defining Technical Writing.  In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 70. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s.

[iii] Miller, C. (1989). What’s practical about technical writing. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 154. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s.

[iv] Slack et al. (1993) defines technical communication as the creation of common interests, the construction of the ideals of our society: Slack, J.D., Miller, D.J., & Doak, J. (1993). The technical communicator as author: Meaning, power, authority. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 7(1), 12-36.

(p. 13). Slack, J.D., Miller, D.J., & Doak, J. (1993). The technical communicator as author: Meaning, power, authority. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 7(1), pp. 12-36.

[v] This is my attempt to indirectly address and reconcile Readings’ warning in The University in Ruins that the university is moving towards an empty commodity pivoting on “excellence” rather than “culture.” There must be a space where students can be prepared for civic, intellectual, personal and professional learning in their years at a university. I’m balancing these diverse values by noting that we are both professionals and scholars in this space.

[vi] Selber, S. A. (1997). Computers and Technical Communication: Pedagogical and Programmatic Perspectives. Ed. Stuart Selber. London: Ablex, 1-16.

[vii] Bazerman, C. (1988). Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. London: University of Wisconsin Press.

[viii] Sommers, N. (1982). “Responding to Student Writing.” College Composition and Communication 33 (2), p. 148-156

[ix] Selber, S. (2004).  Multilieracies for a Digital Age, Southern Illinois Press, Carbondale, Illinois, 2004.

[x] Inspired by Breuch, L. (2002). Thinking critically about technological literacy: Developing a framework to guide computer pedagogy in technical communication. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 481. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s; Knievel, M. (year). (Re)defining the humanistic: Making space for technology in twenty-first century english studies. In L. Ostergaard, Ludwig, J., Nugent, J. (Eds.), Transforming English Studies: new voices in an emerging genre, p.    . West Lafayette: Indiana Parlor Press.

[xi] System thinking abstraction is an important element of technical work, according to: Johnson-Eilola, J. (1996). Relocating the value of work: Technical communication in a post-industrial age. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 573. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s.

[xii] Breuch, L. (2002) provides much of my background knowledge and framing of technological approaches to teaching technical communication. Breuch, L. (2002). Thinking critically about technological literacy: developing a framework to guide computer pedagogy in technical communication.  Technical Communication Quarterly 11 (3), 267-88. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom (481-502). Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s.

[xiii] Breuch, L. (2002), p. 482

[xiv] This outcome is inspired by both Mirel, B. (2002). Advancing a vision of usability. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 218. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s;  and Miller, C. (1979) A humanistic rationale for technical writing. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 15. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s.

[xv] Miller, C. (1989). What’s practical about technical writing. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 163. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s.

[xvi] Faigley, as quoted in Breuch (2002)

[xvii] According to Johnson-Eilola (1996), one of the five key projects include metacognitive awareness and network knowledge.

[xviii] Metacognition is a key pedagogical component of social-cognitive pedagogies, as cited in: Thralls, C. and Blyler. N. (1993). The social perspective and pedagogy in technical communication. In Teaching Technical Communication, Dubinsky, J.M. (Ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, p. 117.

[xix] This generic rubric is adapted from the University of Central Oklahoma’s syllabus (from course grid).

[xx] Inspired by Bazerman, C. (1988). Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. London: University of Wisconsin Press.

[xxi] The New London Group. (1996). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures. Harvard Educational Review 66 (1), p. 60-93.

[xxii] Miller’s “practical rhetoric,” as noted in “What’s Practical about Technical Writing?” (p. 154)

[xxiii] Breuch (2002)

[xxiv] Breuch (2002), p. 485

[xxv] Adler-Kassner, L. and Wardle, E. (2015). Naming what we know: Threshold concepts of writing studies. University Press of Colorado.

[xxvi] Called for by Selber, S. (2004).  Multilieracies for a Digital Age, Southern Illinois Press, Carbondale, Illinois, 2004.

[xxvii] Taken from Stone and Glock 1981; Booher 1975; Dechsri, Jones and Keikkinen 1997, as quoted in: Fukuoka, W., Kojima, Y., and Spyridakis, J. (1999). Illustrations in user manuals: Preferences and effectiveness with Japanese and American readers. In J. Dubinsky (Ed.), Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom, p. 458. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s.

[xxviii] Noted in the work of Fukuoka et al. (1999)

[xxix] Miller, C. (1979). A humanistic rationale for technical writing. College English, 40(6), 600-617.

[xxx] Breuch (2002), p. 485

[xxxi] I pulled this from Dr. Phelps, who insisted that because we can’t individually know all things, we can instead distribute the tasks for a grander collection of sources available to all students.

[xxxii] I pull this assertion from Sommers, N. (1980). Revision strategies of student writers and experienced adult writers. College Composition and Communication 31(4), 378-388.

[xxxiii] Breuch (2002), p. 485

[xxxiv] Inspired by Mirel (2002).

[xxxv] Bazerman, C. (1988) says we “need to understand what kind of social reality the text becomes” (p. 330) and a use-in-context assignment helps student writers do that very thing.

[xxxvi] Mirel (2002), p. 220

[xxxvii] Mirel (2002), p. 235

[xxxviii] The concept of HCI is adapted from: Siek, K.A., Hayes, G.R., Newman, M.W. Tang, J.C. (2014). Field Deployments: Knowing from Using in Context. In: Olsen, J., Kellogg, W. (Eds.) Ways of Knowing HCI. Springer: New York, NY.

[xxxix] Fukuoka et al. (1999) argues that this is key to instructions (p. 472).

[xl] Breuch (2002), p. 485

[xli] Johnson-Eilola (1996) explores the challenge of defining technical communication, noting that “the user’s tasks are defined almost completely in relation to the technology,” (p. 247) essentially a content-based definition and challenges that definition by re-examining the purpose of technical communication using a ‘symbolic-analytic framework (symbolic-analytic workers are able to “identify, rearrange, circulate, abstract, and broker information,” p. 574).

[xlii] Working in teams is an effort to realize social-cognitive pedagogies, as detailed by Thralls and Blyler (1993), p. 116.

[xliii] Adapted from Moore, K. (2017). The Technical Communicator as Participant, Facilitator, and Designer in Public Engagement Projects. Technical Communication 64 (3), p. 238.

[xliv] as quoted in Breuch (2002), p. 486; also noted in Bazerman, C. (1988) as he argues that we must “understand the assumptions and aims of the community” to evaluate rhetorical effectiveness (p. 323).

[xlv] as quoted in Breuch (2002), p. 486

[xlvi] as quoted in Breuch (2002), p. 487

[xlvii] Adapted from Garrison, K. (2014). The scientist, philosopher, and rhetorician: The three dimensions of technical communication and technology, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 44 (4), 359-380.

[xlviii] Adapted from Selber (2004)

[xlix] Adapted from Jones, N. (2016). The technical communicator as advocate: Integrating a social justice approach in technical communication. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 46 (3), p. 342–361.

[l] as quoted in Jones (2016), p. 106

[li] as quoted by Jones (2016, p. 345) and Miller (1979)

[lii] Based on Henry’s justification of analysis, not just production in technical communication classes, cited in Herndl, C. and Nahrwold, C. (2000). Research as social practice: A case study of research on technical and professional communication. Written Communication 17 (2), 258-296, p. 282.

[liii] Moore, K. R. (2017). The technical communicator as participant, facilitator, and designer in public engagement projects. Technical Communication, 64(3), p. 250.

[liv] Wilson and Herndl (2007) note that boundary work involves interactions that lead to discussion, collaboration or understanding across boundaries” (as quoted in Moore, p. 250).

[lv] J. Blake Scott’s tenets of cultural critique are adapted from Scott, J.B. (2004). Tracking rapid HIV testing through the cultural circuit: implications for technical communication. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 18(2), p. 213-217.

[lvi] Breuch’s (2002) collection of theoretical frameworks for weaving technology into the tech writing classroom.

[lvii] As inspired by Bazerman, C. (1988) who notes that the “final text is so dependent on the process by which it is produced.” I seek to scaffold the pedagogy of a “well-considered procedure…that results in good rhetoric” (p. 328).

[lviii] Breuch’s (2002) collection of theoretical frameworks for weaving technology into the tech writing classroom.

[lix] Per Katie’s suggestion, I limited the amount of information provided on the assignment sheet and instead provided the detailed stages of this project on the cover sheet. I would offer students portions of the assignment, concurrent with the relevant stages of production.

[lx] Honoring a Social Constructivist approach to discourse, as inspired by Bazerman, p. 129.

[lxi] Bazerman, C. (1988). Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. London: University of Wisconsin Press.

[lxii] Adapting for pedagogical engagement from: Johnson-Eilola, J. & Selbert, S. (Eds.). (2013). Solving Problems in Technical Communication. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[lxiii] Kristen Moore mentioned this as a means of introduction that get students to meet one another with a purpose, to listen to one another for details that are important to professional networking.

[lxiv] I flat out stole this idea from D’An’s schedule!