The purpose of this post is to provide some of the content for my thesis that I completed July 2013. The full text of my thesis is available through ProQuest (UMI):
The programs that were included in my study are the following: Auburn University; James Madison’s MA and MS programs; Mercer; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Montana Tech of the University of Montana; New Jersey Institute of Technology; North Dakato State University; University of Wisconsis-Stout; West Virginia University.
In this research, I performed a content analysis of the required courses in technical and professional communication (TPC) graduate course syllabi to investigate the prevalence of ethics-related materials included in course instruction. The content analysis for my research included collecting the syllabi of required courses from a sample of TPC graduate programs, and coding for the occurrence of journal articles and textbook chapters that included the word “ethics” in the title, summary, or keywords. My findings show that on average Continue reading
Last semester (Spring 2012), I worked on a collabortive project with students in my International Technical Communication class (Minnesota State University, Mankato) along with students from the German university Hochschule Karlsruhe – Technik und Wirtschaft (Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences). I met with my German counterparts throughout the semester and my Mankato-based team completed a project that documented webinar best practices for online learning and collaboration.
Introduction to the report
With the increasingly global nature of business and education, both have been challenged with adapting current models to facilitate learning to accommodate diverse and globally located audiences.
From the business perspective, webinars are an inexpensive, quick way to reach out to users and employees while still maintaining a semblance of personal contact—using a webinar’s video component, this face-to-face (F2F) capability of a webinar allows for collaboration and interaction among the webinar’s participants. This is preferable to a ‘static’ recording or pre-recorded tutorial that is ‘mass produced’ with a general audience in mind (for example, “customers” or “employees”) but cannot compare to the personal aspect that a webinar has.
Social Constructivist Pedagogy
For education, an example of one pedagogical proponent of webinar and F2F technology is the social constructivist pedagogy. The constructionist pedagogy believes that for true learning to occur, students need to experience knowledge outside of their individual framework and this concept is advanced by “collaborative learning”, which Bruffee defines as “a process that constitutes fields or disciplines of study. Collaborative learning is based on the rationale that the task of learning to think and write as a knowledgeable peer is not solely an individual and mental endeavor but instead occurs through interaction” (Thralls and Blyler 1993, 251).
I really enjoyed John Kohl’s presentation on his extensive work with writing Global English. I particularly appreciate how John Kohl includes many examples to demonstrate the theory behind his suggestions. I will not summarize his session in this post because Sarah Maddox gave a great session recap in her blog, so instead I will focus my time reviewing Jürgen Muthig’s presentation on Functional Design. Continue reading
Last month, I submitted a proposal to present a research paper on technical communications and rhetoric and it was accepted. The conference was in Albuquerque, New Mexico and would be my first academic conference as either an attendee or presenter. I wanted to recap my experience and provide some answers to questions that I had going into the conference. Continue reading
I am excited to be presenting at this year’s STC Summit. Last year I presented in the Beyond the Bleeding Edge session on how technical writers can leverage their skills to contribute to an organization’s social media strategy. An ancillary benefit to attending the conference was that I met Ben Johnson. Proof that STC member networking works, Continue reading
I will be attending The Conference for Software User Assistance (WritersUA 2012) in March 2012. There are so many sessions that I am looking forward to. For instance, below is a list of some of the sessions that I plan to attend and are examples of what makes WritersUA such a great conference:
Enhance your Help with Simulations
Writing Help for Software Trial Versions
Getting Started with UA for Mobile Applications
Integrating Help, Technical Support, and Training Content
Social Strategies for Online Video Syndication
My peer showcase will demonstrate how to Create Flash Rollover Images with Captivate and Snagit. Just as important, my demonstration will show not just how but when and why this dynamic content should be used.
See below for the description of my showcase or read about all the peer showcases at the Conference website. Continue reading