250/251: Teaching Technical Communication
This course offers graduate students a theoretical and pedagogical foundation
for teaching introductory courses in technical communication and, in particular,
UCSB's writing courses for freshmen engineering majors. The course focuses
on key issues in the teaching of technical communication through reading
and reviewing articles in professional publications. Preparation for teaching
is developed through observation reports of class visits, analyses of
technical communication textbooks, and/or design of assignments and class
Foundations for Teaching Technical Communication, Katherine Staples
& Cezar Ornatowski, Eds.
Note: additional readings are posted at ERES. The URL is http://eres.library.ucsb.edu.
Find my name under Instructor, select Writing 250, and use the password
to access the readings.
1. There's a "professional" and a "pedagogical" option for the major project
for this course. For the professional option, you can begin (and perhaps
finish) writing a book review, annotated bibliography, conference paper,
or article on a specific issue in the field of technical communication.
For the pedagogical option, you can do a comparative textbook analysis
or produce materials for use in the engineering writing sequence (for
instance, an assignment sequence and rationale). On the final day of class,
I'll ask you to make a brief (10 minute) presentation of your work.
2. I'll ask
you to lead a discussion of one of the articles assigned for weeks 4 through
7. These articles focus on some of the key issues being discussed in technical
communication: workplace/academia, ethics, globalization, service learning,
gender, collaboration, computers, and new media design. Ideally, you'll
be able to choose a topic that interests you (and one that you might pursue
in the project described above).
I'll ask you to visit a section of Writing 50E at some point during the
quarter and informally report to us about your observations.
All readings are in Staples & Ornatowski, unless otherwise indicated.
Coney, "Technical Communication Theory: An Overview"
Ornatowski, "Technical Communication and Rhetoric"
Harrison & Katz, "On Taking Organizations Seriously"
Subbiah, "Social Construction Theory and Technical Communication"
*Faber & Johnson-Eilola, "Migrations" (*available online at ERES)
"Technical Communication and Ethics"
Thrush, "Multicultural Issues in Technical Communication"
*Matthews & Zimmerman, "Integrating Service Learning and Technical Communication"
(*available online at ERES)
LaDuc, "From Schroedinger's Cat to Flaming on the Internet"
Burnett, White & Duin, "Locating Collaboration"
Shirk, "The Impact of New Technologies on Technical Communication"
"The Politics and Practice of Media Design"
Presentations of research