A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Academics play a significant role in researching and teaching in a wide range of the fields which constitute modern technical communication. This category contains courses, research, and information about such topics as internships.



The 21-Course Undergraduate Program: Strength Through Diversification  (link broken)

How can diversification strengthen a professional communication program? By capitalizing on faculty backgrounds, a broad variety of courses, and student experience. Here’s how that combination of factors works in the 21-course undergraduate major in professional writing at the University of Houston-Downtown.

Jennings, Ann S. CPTSC Proceedings (2000). Academic>Education>Undergraduate


ABET Countdown   (PDF)

How could four letters strike such fear in the hearts of normally stalwart faculty? Why would administrators loathe the mere mention of the word 'accreditation'? The source of their fear and frustration is a cycle of evaluation, assessment, and reporting that constitutes a six-year accreditation period.

Williams, Julia M. IEEE PCS (2006). Articles>Education>Academic>Engineering


Academic and Workplace Genres

Students will be asked to choose and research particular social situations, analyze texts produced in the contexts of these situations, and present the results of these explorations in written assignments and oral presentations. Students will be asked to go through drafting and peer review and revision processes while working on the course assignments. In-class time will be provided for peer review sessions.

Artemeva, Natasha. Carleton University (2003). Academic>Courses>Genre


The Academic Eye: Informing Visually   (members only)

What does it mean to be literate in the digital age? For many of us brought up in the world of print, it means finding ways images can convey information and argument. As academics, it means we need to develop the eye for seeing shapes in data, helping students learn and use images ethically and effectively, and understanding the demands on our counterparts in industry to be communicators skilled in words and images.

Barker, Thomas. Intercom (2011). Articles>Academic>Research


The Academic Job Market in Technical Communication, 2002-2003   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Analysis of the academic job market in 2002-2003 reveals that 118 nationally advertised academic jobs named technical or professional communication as a primary or secondary specialization. Of the 56 in the "primary" category that we were able to contact, we identified 42 jobs filled, 10 unfilled, and 4 pending. However, only 29% of the jobs for which technical or professional communication was the primary specialization were filled by people with degrees in the field, and an even lower percent (25%) of all jobs, whether advertised for a primary or secondary specialization, were filled by people with degrees in the field. Search chairs report a higher priority on teaching and research potential than on a particular research specialization, and 62% of all filled positions involve teaching in related areas (composition, literature, or other writing courses).

Rude, Carolyn D. and Kelli Cargile Cook. Technical Communication Quarterly (2002). Careers>Academic>TC>History


Academic Programs Database

A website to find both undergraduate and graduate academic programs in technical communication in the U.S. and Canada.

STC. Academic>Programs


Academic Programs Directory   (members only)

This section of the ATTW site provides links to academic programs in technical communication.

ATTW. Academic>Programs>TC


Academic Writing: Reviews of Literature

The format of a review of literature may vary from discipline to discipline and from assignment to assignment. A review may be a self-contained unit -- an end in itself -- or a preface to and rationale for engaging in primary research. A review is a required part of grant and research proposals and often a chapter in theses and dissertations. Generally, the purpose of a review is to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles.

University of Wisconsin (2003). Academic>Writing>Style Guides


Accessibility and Learning Technology

Learning technologies offer excellent opportunities to make Higher and Further Education fully inclusive for people with many kinds of disabilities, as well as providing a better learning environment for all students. The drive to deliver ever-increasing quantities of visually attractive learning, support and service material, however, can lead to designs which embody insurmountable barriers to access by a range of people with disabilities. Issues of accessibility to disabled users are beginning to be addressed seriously, but there is a constant need to ensure empirically that materials, which are provided, are actually accessible.

Webb, Ian. TechDis (1999). Academic>Accessibility>Technology


ACM SIGDOC Undergraduate Scholarship

One non-renewable scholarship of $500 will be granted toward school tuition and expenses for the 2003-2004 academic year. The award will be paid directly to the school for crediting to the student's account. To assist a student who is pursuing an established degree program in an area of technical or professional communication. A committee set by the SIGDOC board will evaluate each application with respect to potential future contribution to the field of technical communication. Financial need is not a factor.

ACM SIGDOC. Academic>Scholarships>TC


Active Learning for Software Products   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article shows how principles from the fields of adult learning and situated learning can be applied to the method of Instructional System Design to create classroom-based training for software products. These principles and methods do not need to be antithetical; rather, they can complement each other to create instructional strategies that incorporate context-rich activities for work-oriented instruction.

Hughes, Michael A. Technical Communication Online (1998). Academic>Computing>Instructional Design>Software


Activity Theory

Activity theory was developed in the Soviet Union. The philosophical underpinnings of this theory include the ideas of Hegel and Kant, as well as the theory of dialectical materialism developed by Marx and Engels. The theory evolved from the work of Vygotsky as he formulated a new method of studying thought and consciousness. Vygotsky was working on this theory at a time when the prevalent dominant psychological theories were based on reflexology (stimulus-response - which was later developed into behaviorism) and psychoanalysis. Reflexology attempted to ban consciousness by reducing all psychological phenomena to a series of stimulus-response chains.

Mappin, David, Michele Kelly, Bonnie Skaalid and Sharon Bratt. University of Alberta. Academic>Course Materials>Theory>Rhetoric


Advanced Content Development for the WWW   (PowerPoint)

Advanced Content Development for the World Wide Web is a course for people who wish to explore concepts of content development and management in greater depth than is usually possible in an introductory course. This course is designed to give you a chance to analyze and experience creating effective content for the web.

Hart-Davidson, William. Michigan State University (2003). Academic>Courses>Content Management


Advanced Interactive Multimedia

A website from an undergraduate course on designing complex interactive multmedia for technical communicators.

Sauer, Geoffrey. University of Washington-Seattle (2002). Academic>Courses>Undergraduate


Advanced Professional and Technical Communication  (link broken)

This is the first course you need to receive a Masters in Professional Technical Communication at New Jersey Institute of Technology. It provides the foundation and direction for all MSPTC coursework and includes modules on bibliographic research; usability analysis; working in teams; report writing; visual thinking; communicating with new technologies; and technical writing style.

Johnson, Carol Siri. New Jersey Institute of Technology. Academic>Courses>Graduate


Advanced Professional Writing

This course is designed for undergraduates and graduates interested in the professional writing and publishing of both print based and electronic documents. Through a variety of projects, we will cover advanced theories of document design, web-based publishing, educational media, information delivery, and multimedia production. The course is designed so that students will have opportunities to work on both electronic and print based projects.

Bay, Jennifer. Purdue University (2003). Academic>Courses>Writing>Business Communication


Advanced Professional Writing  (link broken)

English 515 is designed for undergraduates and graduates interested in professional writing for both print and electronic publication. Students learn to produce documents and coordinate writing projects, study and apply principles of document design and electronic publication using appropriate application software, and work in teams in computer-networked environments. Students will work both individually and collaboratively as they document, utilize and analyze writing practices, literacy tools, and research methodologies.

Salvo, Michael J. Purdue University (2004). Academic>Courses>Writing>Business Communication


Advanced Technical Communication

English 497 offers you the opportunity to enhance your skills in planning, inventing, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing technical prose. Most students will develop these skills as they complete a single large project consisting of several parts--perhaps including a technical report and articles written for professional and popular journals. We will emphasize the importance of and strategies for accommodating your presentation to your audience. We will also devote much attention to editing technical prose, yours and your classmates'. Finally, we will recognize that the Web has altered the way that professionals communicate. You will learn to take advantage of the new electronic resources in discovering information and communicating it to others.

Harwood, John T. Pennsylvania State University (1997). Academic>Courses>Undergraduate


Advanced Technical Writing  (link broken)

Technical writing is a growing and dynamic field. Technical writers work in scientific, medical, and technological contexts, and because of that, need to be both good writers and active learners: they need to learn how to understand technologies and scientific concepts; they need to learn how to analyze and understand work and workplaces; they need to learn to write for and with audiences; and they need to learn how to conduct research.

Grabill, Jeffrey T. Michigan State University (2003). Academic>Courses>Writing>Technical Writing


Advanced Technical Writing  (link broken)   (members only)

There are several facts of contemporary business or technical communication that are now nearly universal: the acts of writing or managing any project occur in group settings; directions from employers are goal-oriented and the responsibility for development is left to a team (usually either external or internal to the assigning agency); organizations possess and frequently reassess corporate personae; and communication occurs with multiple audiences, with varying levels of knowledge. The purpose of this course is to give you practice in all of these skills. In addition, I intend to explore at length an issue far too rarely considered today: the ethical considerations of business and technical communication. For all these reasons, the design and specific requirements of the course are unusually (and, you should note, very intentionally) ambiguous. Given some goal, and composition into small teams of four to five people each, you will design and implement your own instruction in technical writing. Operating under certain requirements, constraints, and limitations, groups will propose, design, test, and recommend a specific solution to a particular need. I will base evaluation upon a percentage that reflects how well the groups (and individuals in them) achieve set criteria.

Maddux, Clark. Michigan State University (2001). Academic>Courses>Writing>Technical Writing


Advice on Research and Writing

A collection of advice about how to do research and how to communicate effectively (primarily for computer scientists).

Leone, Mark. Carnegie Mellon University (1998). Academic>Writing>Research


Against the Niche  (link broken)

We should not pursue specialization in our programs. We should not become the multimedia development program, or the computer documentation program, or the medical writing program, or the environmental communication program, or even the critical literacy program. We should build programs around a broad, useful rhetorical education, coupled with a skill set that all students share in writing and document design. We should make sure all students develop productive relationships with communication technologies. And we should allow students to follow their interests and to find the kind of specialization that is rewarding to them individually.

Bernhardt, Stephen A. CPTSC Proceedings (2000). Academic>Education>WPA


An Ajax Tutorial

AJAX is a name given to an existing approach to building dynamic web applications. Web pages use JavaScript to make asynchronous calls to web-based services that typically return XML.

Volkmann, Mark. WePapers. Resources>Computing>Academic>Ajax


American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting

The AAAS Annual Meeting offers an interdisciplinary blend of more than 130 symposia, plenary and topical lectures; seminars on nanotechnology, vaccines and proteomics; the Forum for School Science; poster presentations; career fair; career workshops; and an exhibit hall.

AAAS. Academic>Conferences>Scientific Communication


Analyzing an Organizational Web Site  (link broken)   (PDF)

The Web is still so new that there is very little consensus about what an organizational Web page should be and what purpose(s) it should serve. You will start this exercise by examining some organizational Web sites (preferably organizations in your field). You will develop criteria by which to judge organizational sites, and then use those criteria to evaluate a single Web site, with the site’s creator as your audience. Your criteria will doubtless include elements like the elegance of the design and should certainly include the navigational system and other Web page practicalities. They should also include the fundamentals that are important in all technical documents: suitability to purpose(s) and audience(s), content, organization, and tone.

Burnett, Rebecca E. Thomson (2001). Academic>Course Materials>Web Design>Assessment



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