Schedule

Course schedule

Aside from our presentation days, we will have three kinds of class meetings: workshop (w), practice (p), and theory (t). Roughly speaking these days will cycle through the schedule.

  • On workshop days you should be prepared to work on your current project. This might mean in-class writing, work on group projects, or giving peer feedback.
  • On practice days we will focus on practical, how-to knowledge related to your current project such as using a new technology/application, rhetorical strategies for completing assignments, solving design challenges, and so on. This will usually involve some brief lecture/presentation but mostly will require your active participation in various in-class activities.
  • On theory days we will discuss broader conceptual issues in technical communication such as accessibility/usability, cultural differences in communications, emerging communication technologies, and so on. In part the purpose here is to provide some relevance to the practical instruction both in terms of your academic/professional needs and interests and broader social and cultural concerns. The expectation is that the knowledge developed here will inform your course projects. These days will often involve assigned readings, informal writing assignments, and class discussions.

The schedule is detailed into November with the last few weeks left open (except for due dates). This will allow us to customize the end of the semester to address whatever issues arise as we move forward.

Week Beginning

Topic

Homework Assignment

8/28

Class Introduction

What is technical communication? (t)

Designing Infographics (p)

Read “The 100 Best Inforgraphics” “13 of the Year’s Best Infographics” and “10 Free Tools for Creating Infographics”

9/4 (Labor Day Observed)

Selecting an infographic tool (p)

Graphic design basics (t)

Read Slide:ology chapters 3 & 4

9/11

Identifying a topic and data (p)

Infographic workshop (w)

Begin UB User’s Guide Project (p)

Infographic Draft

Read Team Writing chapters 1 & 2

9/18

Instructions and usability (t)

Examining instructables.com (p)

Topic identification and development (w)

Infographic Due

Read “How to Write an Instructable”

9/25

User Guide Workshop (w)

Planning and organizing instructions (p)

Instructables and maker culture (t)

User Guide Entry #1 Due

Read “The Dilemmas of Maker Culture” and “Making it”

10/2

Producing and editing images (p)

Instructables Testing (w)

Giving effective presentations (t)

Inscructables Draft

Read Slide:ology chapters 1 & 2

10/9

Telling a story (t)

Organizing slides and presentations (p)

Using visual elements (t)

Instructables Due

Read Slide:ology chapters 5-8

10/16

Using animations (p)

Slide workshop (w)

Slide revisions (p)

User Guide Entry #2 Due

Read Slide:ology chapters 9 & 11

10/23

Presentations

User Guide Entry #3 Due

10/30

Presentations

The rhetoric of proposals (t)

Proposal topics and teams (p)

Read Team Writing Chapters 3 & 4

11/6

Organizing proposals (p)

User Guide Workshop (w)

Working in groups (t)

User Guide Entry #4 Due

Read Team Writing Chapters 5-8

11/13

Proposal workshops and group consultations

Multimedia Proposal Drafts Due

11/20 (Fall Recess)

11/27

User’s Guide Workshop (w)

User Guide Entry #5 Due

12/4

Multimedia Proposal Due

UB User’s Guide Project Ends