For the Essentials of Technical Communication 2nd edition textbook (ETC) by Elizabeth Tebeaux and Sam Dragga, you will need to complete two things:

  • First, after reading the assigned chapters as shown on the schedule, you will need to complete a Review Test for each chapter. You will find the tests in Blackboard under the Content link.
  • Second, in order to expand on the discussions in the textbook, each student will choose one chapter to serve as a Discussion Leader. You have to be a Discussion Leader only one time.
    • To choose which chapter you want to serve as Discussion Leader for, you will write a memo to Dr. Garza indicating what your first and second chapter choices are and why you should be chosen for you first choice topic. Info that you might include:
      • What are your ideas for presenting about the topic?
      • Do you have any prior knowledge about the topic? Personal experience with the topic?
      • Do you have access to good contacts from which you can gather information?
    • Post the memo in Blackboard on the Discussion Board.

Here's what you have to do as a Discussion Leader:

  • The discussion material provided by each Discussion Leader must be posted in Blackboard no later than end of day 2 days prior to the start of the class discussion. So, if the discussion starts on a Wednesday, the Discussion Leaders must have their material posted no later than end of day on Monday.
  • After Discussion Leaders have posted their material the other students in the class will respond with comments and/or questions. The Discussion Leaders will moderate the discussion and answer questions and/or respond to comments made by other students. In other words, your job is not over as Discussion Leader once you have posted something. You have to keep checking back during the time the discussion is open and continue to respond, and perhaps, post additional information.
  • If you would like to liven up the conversation, Discussion Leaders can choose to take on the persona of an expert in the area they are discussing. So if you interview someone to gather information, you could pretend to be that person. Or if you use info from a well known expert, you could pretend to be that person. It makes things a bit more interesting, but you are welcome to just be yourself if you are more comfortable with that.
  • Once you know what topic you are presenting on, you will need to gather the information you plan to present. Info could take several forms, such as:
    • Articles
    • Chapters
    • Blog postings
    • Web sites
    • Interviews (ones already published or ones you conduct yourself)
  • You will need to be able to make the information readily available for students to read. If the info is not readily available on the internet then you will need to be able to upload it into Blackboard. If you are gathering primary source info, ie conducting your own interviews, you will need to either provide a transcript, YouTube video, or summary of the info gathered. Make sure to include the source info as to where you gathered the information from!!!!
  • Each Discussion Leader will post their own information. You do not have to try to work together as a group.
  • Here are some of the things you should try to cover in your discussion. You don't have to cover all of these. Again, choose the ones that best apply to what you are trying to present.
    • Why is the info important?
    • How do you do the things you are discussing, ie provide steps/suggestions/examples?
    • What are good/bad examples?
    • What are current/future trends?
    • What do Subject Matter Experts (SME's or folks with first-hand knowledge/expertise) have to say about the topic?
    • What role does technology play?

PLEASE NOTE: The information you provide as a Discussion Leader is in addition to the information we have already read in the chapters in the book. Do not post a summary of the information in the book chapter. The information you post as a Discussion Leader must be information that is not in the chapter. You can refer back to the chapter, but do not simply repeat what was in the chapter of talk about what you liked or did not like about the chapter.

Grading for Discussion Leaders will be based on:

  • Did you present the information in the Discussion area in a clear and interesting manner? In such a way that other students would want to engage in the discussion?
  • How well you lead the discussion?
  • Did you provide useful/pertinent and interesting information?
  • Did you respond to questions/comments from other students in a timely and appropriate manner?

Sample Discussion Leader Posting (where the student has taken on the persona of the person he is reporting on.

For each Chapter Discussion that you are not a Discussion Leader, each student must respond to the information presented by the Chapter Leaders. You must post at least two responses. Responses should do more than just say, "Oh you did a great job." It's nice to pat each other on the back, but the purpose here is to discuss so we can expand on the info from the text. Here are some guidelines for what a good post includes, as well as how posts will be graded:

  • Provides something interesting to the discussion.
  • Asks a question that leads to richer discussion.