This article, subtitled “Audience Analysis and Instructional System Design for Successful Learning and Performance,” by Margaret Martinez is a must-read for all committed to seeing to it that technologies keep their promises and achieve their potential. There is a propensity among technology proponents to disregard, or at least to minimize the importance of, individual differences among learners and the impact of differences in learning. While the research design, execution, and fi ndings are significant it is important to recognize this work for what it is—a meaningful addition to a less-than-adequate body of knowledge. In our (still) instruction-centered educational environment it is still frustratingly diffi cult to elicit recognition that we are all different in many ways and that includes how we learn. Ms. Martinez has provided us with a contemporary update on individual difference data which flows well from her excellent historical review.
It is no secret that businesses around the world need to compete globally in order to survive. What is a secret is that technical communicators in every county in the world are untrained to deal with the issues, deadlines, standards, and quality measures necessary to address the needs of global businesses. This paper offers some ideas and justification for a curriculum in international technical communication.
In today’s global economy, knowing how to communicate in an international environment is more important than ever. The United States leads the world in the number of foreign students attending its educational institutions. The student body is becoming increasingly diverse. Instructors can no longer assume that all students have had the same experiences. Often, in an attempt to treat all students equally, instructors overlook or misunderstand the needs of international students. But if the teachers acknowledge and welcome cultural diversity in the classroom, students can become more aware of the varied audiences they will encounter in their future careers.