On a beautiful fall morning in November, a sizable group of STC volunteers gathered on the SAS campus in Cary for the 2012 Judging Day, an annual event for evaluating and critiquing entries from businesses in the area.
STC membership has declined over the years. Yearly membership fees sharply increased several years ago, and fewer employers pay for membership in professional organizations. Folks question the yearly membership fees. “What do I get for $250 a year? Webinars that I have to pay for and two magazines.”
The Society for Technical Communication (STC) announced today that certification for the technical communication field has been approved. Within the next year, technical communicators will be able to attain certification in their profession.
A profile of Stan Higgins, one of the first editors of STC's journal. Based on archival research and an interview with Higgins. Includes a table of journal titles (e.g., TWE Journal, STWE Review) and names of editors.
The ACM community is in a position to take a leadership role in responding to the challenges brought by last fall’s terror attacks. Some of us have already been contacted to contribute to designs for improving security at airports, verifying identity at check-in, or redesigning cockpits to give more options to pilots and ground controllers. Others will be asked to redesign systems that trace financial transactions across international borders or examine email patterns among loosely affiliated groups. These efforts win the broadest support when our decisions about how to pursue safety and security are coupled with a strong defense of civil liberties and privacy.
Several similarities exist between writing technical documentation and writing dramatic scripts. Technical writers who also write drama find they become much more aware of audience, differentiate more easily between 'need to know' information and 'nice to know' details, and better anticipate reader actions and reactions.
Technical communication is often misunderstood by those outside the profession or the academic field. These outside perceptions of our work, generally based on extremely limited and narrow notions of the field, can influence the opportunities available to technical communicators. In this paper, three faculty members from the University of Washington's Department of Technical Communication describe their academic assumptions and research activities that range far beyond traditional areas from technical writing such as writing, editing and production. They describe projects that represent the expanding boundaries of the field of technical communication, spanning domains (including medicine, corporate, and public service), methods (including contextual inquiry, content analysis, case studies, and log file analysis), and solution types (including content management, user driven content, computer mediated communication, and strategic management of systems). What these projects share is abroad vision of the field of technical communication and a broad vision of the contributions that technical communication professionals have to offer.
This article introduces apparent feminism, which is a new approach urgently required by modern technical rhetorics. Apparent feminism provides a new kind of response that addresses current political trends that render misogyny unapparent, the ubiquity of uncritically negative responses to the term feminism, and a decline in centralized feminist work in technical communication. More specifically, it suggests that the manifestation of these trends in technical spheres requires intervention into notions of objectivity and the regimes of truth they support. Apparent feminism is a methodology that seeks to recognize and make apparent the urgent and sometimes hidden exigencies for feminist critique of contemporary politics and technical rhetorics. It encourages a response to social justice exigencies, invites participation from allies who do not explicitly identify as feminist but do work that complements feminist goals, and makes apparent the ways in which efficient work actually depends on the existence and input of diverse audiences.
Professionalism is a recurrent topic of discussion—formally and informally—among technical communication scholars and practitioners. In the diversity among our programs and approaches to technical communication, the difficult issues surrounding certification in technical communication is a professional goal that major stakeholders have typically considered too complex to be addressed. Increasingly, however, many of these stakeholders agree that we can no longer continue to ignore these complex issues. In an earlier article, I have described twelve issues that must be addressed and tasks that must be undertaken to move the profession towards meaningful certification. In that discussion, I also suggest approaches to begin the work on each of these steps. In this present discussion, I address the first of these steps—codification of the bodies of knowledge through the development of an encyclopedia of technical and professional communication. In order to accomplish this, I describe the categories of knowledge in the field and the editorial and organizational structure of the project.
Professionalism is a recurrent topic of discussion - formally and informally - among technical communication scholars and practitioners. In the diversity among our programs and approaches to technical communication, the difficult issues surrounding certification in technical communication is a professional goal that major stakeholders have typically considered too complex to be addressed. Increasingly, however, many of these stakeholders agree that we can no longer continue to ignore these complex issues. In an earlier article, the author have described twelve issues that must be addressed and tasks that must be undertaken to move the profession towards meaningful certification. In that discussion, the author also suggests approaches to begin the work on each of these steps. In this present discussion, the author addresses the first of this steps-codification of the bodies of knowledge through the development of an encyclopedia of technical and professional communication. In order to accomplish this, the author describes the categories of knowledge in the field and the editorial and organizational structure of the project.
Kunnen experts het met elkaar eens worden over de vraag of een lezersprobleem aannemelijk is en of dat probleem ernstig is? Uit menig onderzoek is gebleken dat beoordelaars sterk van elkaar verschillen in hun oordelen over tekstkwaliteit. In dit artikel wordt verslag gedaan van een poging om met behulp van de Delphi-methode consensus te bereiken tussen beoordelaars. In het eerste deel van het artikel wordt duidelijk dat op deze manier consensus niet haalbaar is, hoewel de mate van overeenstemming wel enigszins stijgt. In het tweede deel analyseren we de argumenten die beoordelaars aandragen voor de stelling dat een probleem (on)aannemelijk en wel of niet ernstig is. Vijf typen minder adequate argumentatiepatronen worden met behulp van voorbeelden toegelicht.
Classical rhetorical theory has been used for relatively discrete, practice-oriented purposes in its application to teaching Scientific and Technical Communication. However effective these appropriations are, they isolate these resources from a comprehensive framework and from that framework's role in shaping disciplinary practice. Because these theoretical assets are integral to each student's preparation to be an effective, responsible practitioner, I have developed and taught an upper level rhetorical theory course for STC majors that is grounded in Aristotle s <em>On Rhetoric</em> and in his understanding that effective communication is a systematic <em>tekhne</em>/art.
Intercom's assistant editor profiles a recent recipient of STC's President's Award. The Securities and Exchange Commission was honored for requiring plain English in all disclosure statements filed with the SEC.
If a single course is to be an effective representation of the discipline it should hope to include rhetoric, critical thinking, formalism, service learning, and civic rhetoric to, depending on how effectively so much can be managed within a semester.
Although much scholarship in recent years has emphasized the need to professionalize technical communicators, those discussions tend to focus on prestige and establishing a clearly defined position within a workplace economy. This essay focuses instead on professionalism as a guiding concept underlying all of our practices, from product to presentation to process. The concept is currently applied in a broad variety of ways in scholarship and teaching practices: existing models for professionalism range from an unreflective, skills-based approach to practice to a system of formal certification reflecting the important social role of technical communicators. The author suggests an assessment-oriented approach to professionalism that grounds the concept in measurable outcomes.
The assessment of engineering products and services is central to the work of engineering, but the evaluation of human communication and its development in engineering and other technical professions has not yet received enough attention in IEEE research and publications. This special section begins to remedy this situation by calling for more research in the assessment of professional communication skills and training programs as well as in the development of better assessment tools and procedures. It features four new articles on the topic in the hope that these will inspire even more research related to the assessment of human communication in scientific and technical professions.
Technical communicators are skilled listeners. Whether interviewing subject matter experts or working on teams, good communication is essential. But if you have a hearing loss, assistive listening systems (ALSs) can help.
This article attempts to summarize the history of ATTW. It focuses on issues that led to the need for an organization devoted to technical writing, and the individuals who were leaders in ATTW, as well as in NCTE and CCCC, whose efforts provided the foundation for the presence of technical writing as a legitimate teaching and research discipline. We draw on existing historical pieces and the contributions provided by many of the first ATTW members to capture the history of ATTW. We describe the major changes in ATTW from 1973-2007 and conclude with our reflections, as well as important questions we believe to be critical to the future of ATTW.
Survey data indicate that current academic programs in technical communication exhibit more differences than similarities in requirements, student support, faculty, schedule, and student support. Moreover, current programs are vigorous, continue to increase, and exhibit three primary needs: increased budgets, more new faculty, and increased involvement with industry.
The ecological metaphor for technological systems provides a useful supplement to others dealing with the question of human control over technologies. However, it fails to develop adequately its own reliance on communication as the means whereby human values may be embedded in technologies, or to recognize the role of professional communicators in that process.
Companies are reducing their training budgets. During these austere times, the technical writer must get more creative than ever to participate in the annual conference. An informal survey of attendees at the 50th Annual Conference in Dallas showed that many people paid their own way to the conference. There are numerous ways to reduce the cost to attend the conference.
Checkliste der wichtigsten Kriterien für die Auswahl eines Tools zum Erstellen von Software-Dokumentation (Handbücher, Online-Hilfen) - sog. Help Authoring Tools, kurz HAT. Viele Help Authoring Tools können Benutzerhandbücher und Online-Hilfen aus einer gemeinsamen Textquelle heraus generieren (sog. Single Source Publishing).