This progression presents a structured approach to client-vendor communications that can enhance quality; ease frazzled nerves; and result in win-win situations for clients, vendors, end users, and their organizations. Participants will discuss how clear, structured communications can strengthen their roles as clients and vendors of publication products and services. Participants will review the checklist that this vendor developed for use from initial contact to contract to project completion. Discussion will address how participants can develop their own customized checklists.
Understanding organizational behavior and using creative problem solving are as much a part of being a technical communicator as is expertly applying the English language. Recognizing this, the authors-two senior technical communicators—have identified several typical, but not predictable, organizational problems that involve technical communicators. Solutions will be provided when the paper is presented at the conference.
So, as a freelance technical author, how do I think cloud computing can help me and my business? The following sections describe some of the concepts discussed at the Club Cloud Computing Conference, and how I hope to apply them to my business.
I’ve been fascinated by businesses popping up around major metropolitan areas that create a shared workspace for independent workers. Imran Ali wrote about the trend of co-working spaces back in April, and I’ll be exploring the trend further as I look to set up a co-working space in my town.
Measuring culture is a central issue in international management research and has been traditionally accomplished using indices of cultural values. Although a number of researchers have attempted to identify measures to account for the core elements of culture, there is no consensus on those measures. This article uses an alternative method—discourse analysis—to observe what actually occurs in terms of communication practices in intercultural decision-making meetings, specifically those involving U.S.-born native English speakers and participants from East Asian countries. Previous discourse studies in this area suggest that differences in communication practices may be attributed to power differentials or language competence. Our findings suggest that the conversation style differences we observed might be attributed to intergroup identity issues instead.
From early 1993 through July of 1994, three STC chapters jointly managed a research project on Technical Communication in Western Canada. Based in Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver, the managers were thousands of miles apart, relative strangers and simultaneously engaged in running their own businesses. In this volunteer assignment, they involved committees within their own chapters. As team building and collaborative arrangements become more prevalent in technical communications projects, it can be instructive to look at how such a farflung research project fared. We will relate this experience briefly to some research results reported in Technical Communication.
This document describes ways to implement structure in group projects for effective collaborative learning. Aspects of group membership, individual and group accountability, and grading group work are discussed.
When we determined that the open-yet-structured environment of an internal wiki could provide all the information organization and collaboration we needed, we knew we would be facing push-back from a certain segment of our user population.
I have participated in, led, and suffered major website redesign efforts. Whether at process-heavy consultancies, notable product companies, or design studios, all teams experience the same points of pain: late feedback, lack of common design vision, and complaints that individuals or teams didnt have enough input.
The purpose of this preliminary study was to structure and begin to study how collaborators working across distance perceive and use e-mail and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to facilitate their collaborative and decision-making processes. Students from the University of Western Sydney and the University of Minnesota worked in pairs to respond to four decision-making scenarios over a four-week period. Using e-mail, students came to a decision more quickly than when using IRC, and when IRC was slow, students reverted to a series of rapid-fire e-mail messages to facilitate their work. Students appreciated the cross-cultural experience; however, they struggled to create a shared communicative context via the Internet.
Writing is a complex, cyclical task. The writing task requires more than formulating text to express ideas, it involves data gathering, managing constraints, formulating intentions, planning, and revising goals. Much of the complexity is due to the management of simultaneous activities and constraints. Management of these processes can lead to 'cognitive overload', which in turn can negatively affect the quality of the text produced. With technical writing, these same issues of task complexity are applicable.
I’ve been working on some collaborative authoring scenarios for our Agile teams – we’re going from 5 people to 47 people in total who could author external or internal documentation within our two week sprints. Turns out, we likely represent some trends in the enterprise.
Drawing on rhetorical genre studies and recent work in activity system theory, this study focuses on the collaborative development of a new written form, a municipal plan for protecting and managing natural areas. The author advances a twofold claim: (a) that the written plan is developed in the absence of a stable textual model and (b) that the text, as part of the context, functions, in turn, as a mediational tool for solving the rhetorical problem of audience resistance. Findings show that as participants reconfigure the project into successive cycles of activity, they create corresponding zones of proximal development. This study contributes to our understanding of the dynamics of the text-context relationship and to recent elaborations of genre as an activity system that help explain the relationship between genre and learning.
The purpose of this presentation today is to introduce a collaborative design model, to describe the kinds of knowledge resources that can be found in each part of the model, and to introduce a few principles of design thinking that I believe can help us to effectively recognize, create and use knowledge resources in our design activities.
Say you have a document that needs to be presented in two languages and you are the translator. While the translation is in progress, someone revises the original master document. This means you now might be working with an outdated paragraph or one no longer present in the master version. This article tries to map this problem to parallel development, which version control systems solve with the branch and merge model. You will also see how svk helps you maintain translated documents easily.
This article examines the process of collaborative information seeking in intercultural computer-mediated communication (CMC) groups. The authors conducted a field experiment in which 86 students from three distant universities (one in the United States, two in Singapore) participated. The students participated in a collaborative learning practice in which they socially recommended information using a CMC system. The results demonstrate that the social context—that is, preexisting social networks, groups, and intergroup boundaries—significantly constrained the flow of information across intercultural CMC groups. The authors also found that the influence of the social context on CMC collaboration could be moderated by other contingent factors such as national culture and individuals' outcome expectancies of Internet use. The authors present the results from testing their hypotheses using multivariate p* and Quadratic Assignment Procedure network regression analyses and conclude with a discussion of the findings and implications for future research.
Programs in technical and scientific communication educate students from multiple disciplines. As we teach these students from various fields, we often assume they will write to others who are members of the same field. However, professionals commonly communicate across disciplinary boundaries and collaborate with those who do not necessarily belong to their field. We should rethink our approaches in teaching scientific and technical communication to consider how different peoplefrom different areas of expertise engage one another in a communication situation. Based on the understanding that different disciplinary cultures and languages alter contexts for communication, astudy examining how experts from science, engineering, mathematics, and architecture come together as a single group and collaboratively invent discourse can contribute to new knowledge to inform curriculum development.
With the shift in writing pedagogy from product to process, from emphasizing the individual writing--in a vacuum--to emphasizing the social context and social nature of writing, collaboration of some sort has found a place in most writing classes. The inclusion of collaborative projects in technical writing courses has a second, practical justification: the idea that these courses should prepare students for writing on the job, where collaborative writing is common.
hen Capra studied 44 usability practitioners’ evaluations of pre-recorded sessions, this wasn’t observed. The evaluators, made up of experienced researchers and graduate students, reported problems that overlapped at an unexpectedly low rate—just 22 percent. Different evaluators found different problems, and assigned different levels of severity to them. She concluded that the role of evaluator was more important than previously acknowledged in the design and UX community. If complete and objective results couldn’t be achieved even by usability professionals who were evaluating the same recordings, what can we expect from unspecialized teams planning, conducting, and evaluating user testing?
CVW is a collaboration software environment that provides a 'virtual building' where teams can communicate, collaborate, and share information, regardless of their geographic location. CVW takes virtual meetings one step further and enables virtual co-location through persistent virtual rooms, each incorporating people, information, and tools appropriate to a task, operation, or service.
Collaborative walkthroughs are a technique that my team used while rewriting our Help and adopting DITA. We believe that we were able to improve the user experience by improving the collaborative experience.
Many large, hierarchical organizations are segmentalist in their approach to management. Nonetheless, such organizations are capable of supporting integrated, team approaches to particular types of communication problems. For such approaches to be successful, however, there must be strong managerial commitments to team support. This paper discusses how committed leadership, specific production guidelines, and empowerment enhanced the activities of an Air Force writing team assembled to help revise and edit Air Force Policy Directives containing corporate level guidance on a variety of topics.
A great deal of writing in the workplace is done collaboratively, and it’s important to get practice not only in writing, but in writing with others, which can be a very different process. In this exercise, you will write a memo collaboratively with another student, following the directions for assignment 1, text pages 153- 156, in Chapter 5 (“Collaboration in Workplace Communication”). You’ll also revise an information sheet.
Whether a collective mind forms in large-group writing in the workplace is the focus of this article originally given as the 1998 ABC Outstanding Researcher Lec ture. This article is based on a five-year ethnographic study that describes and analyzes a three-month group writing process that created a computer service-level agreement, involving a 20-person cross-functional core more than 100 other collab orators at a major corporation. The article discusses "collective form" in two senses: First, a document's evolving form or superstructure produced a collective schema that allowed the group through a process of equilibration (Piaget, 1981) to adapt outsider boilerplate into a more situated general model and then into a sit uated document. Second, architectural forms motivated and molded group activity in several ways. To combat group apathy, the leaders appropriated an in-demand meeting room for the project, positioning the project as high-status in the center of the workflow. Group leaders prominently displayed a task completion check-off chart that, in a downsizing environment, helped both to coordinate group activity and to encourage completion.