We have several topics to cover in order to develop a good understanding of what it means to do technical writing and/or workplace writing. For this assignment you will choose two topics, your first and your second choices for the topic you want to work on.
Topics (Due dates are posted in the schedule. The introduction material for the student presenters must be posted in Blackboard no later than 10am on the first day. Then the student presenters must continue to post responses for the remaining days to moderate the discussion and answer questions and/or respond to comments made by other students. Here are the topics you should choose from. Included is some basic information that you may want to use as a starting point for your discussions, but feel free to go beyond as these are just meant to be starting points.
- What is Technical Writing
- Usability Tests
- Writing Emails, Memos, and Letters
- Instructions and Procedures - Creating Manuals
- Ethical Implications for Technical Writing
- Applying for Jobs
You will write a memo to Dr. Garza indicating what your first and second 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.
You do not have to cover all of these areas. Write about what you think makes the best case for appointing you to a certain topic. Dr. G will then let you know what group you are in.
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:
- 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!!!!%red
The presentations will take place in the Blog area of Blackboard. The time period will be from Thu to Mon with a different discussion topic each week . Students who are presenters for that week will lead the discussion and the rest of the students will be required to post at least twice during the discussion. Student presenters will take on the persona of the person from whom they gathered the information. For example, if you are using an article, you would introduce yourself in the Blog as that person and provide a little background info about yourself. Same for a book, website, etc. If you interview someone to gather the info then you would present yourself as that person. Hopefully this will make that activity a little more fun.
There will be around 4 students per topic. You do not have to present as a group. You have the choice that if you want to work together you can. But you can post your info individually if that is better for you. So there could be several things going on at once, but I think that we will still be able to communicate. As students respond, you can pick and choose which info you want to respond to. You don't have to respond to everything that is posted. You can pick and choose to converse with the people who are posting the info you are most interested in.
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 are these important?
- How do you do these things?
- 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?
- What role does technology play?
Grading 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?