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Imprint Thousand Oaks, Calif. Physical description xvi, p. Online Available online. Full view. Green Library. S Checked out - Overdue Request. More options.

ENGL Scientific and Technical Communication (Formerly ) | Catalog | Home | UMass Lowell

Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Contributor Collier, James H. Toomey, David M. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index. The first part of the book provides a summary, critique and alternative to recent theoretical perspectives developed in the rhetoric of science and the sociology of scientific knowledge. Part Two applies these critical alternatives to the traditional practices of scientific and technical communication.

The final part demonstrates how these new practices can be applied to the communication vital in forming national and local science and technology policy. Subject Communication in science. Communication of technical information. Bibliographic information. Scientific and Technical Presentations. Presentations for specific situations related to technical or scientific topics. Audience analysis and adaptation, techniques of support and visualization, organization for clarity and accuracy, and techniques of interpreting and answering questions.

Students make and evaluate technical and scientific presentations. Emphasis on seminar reports and professional conference papers. Interviewing: Dynamics of Face-to-Face Communication. Improving interpersonal and interpersonal skills in interviewing situations. Participation in appraisal, reprimand, complaint, persuasion, and problem solving techniques; counseling interviews; and a research interview project.

Equal emphasis on the interviewer and interviewee roles. Communication Program Planning and Evaluation. Examples, materials, and resources for planning, budgeting, and assessing organizational communication programs. Research in Communication Strategies. Introduction to research design and methodology in communication.

Emphasis on application of various research methods to particular communication strategies or settings. Theories and methodologies as they relate to composition and scientific and technical communication. Emphasis on learning to teach first-year college students written or oral persuasive strategies. Students practice assignment and course development, justification, and evaluation. Under faculty mentor, students teach course units, prepare and evaluate course assignments, conduct conferences with student writers or speakers, and help oversee the education within an actual course.

Students share observations and solve teaching problems, usually concurrent with first teaching assignments. Editing for Technical Communication. Introduction to editorial process; editor-writer relationship; copy editing; preparing scientific and technical documents; handling format, visuals, and quantitative materials. Procedures and Policies Manual. Problem analysis, process management, gathering information, writing procedures, verification, and constructing finished manual.

Writing the grant proposal, including establishing credibility, problem statement, program objectives, plan of action, evaluation, budget presentations, and proposal summary. Serves both real and hypothetical situations. Newsletter design and production. Writing and editing newsletter articles.

Scientific and technical communication : theory, practice, and policy

Students produce a newsletter using Macintosh desktop publishing. Forms and software documentation user guides, reference manuals, tutorials, and input sheets for data bases, decision aids, computer-aided instruction, on-line programs, or visual displays. Mandatory lab time as part of project team of programmers, subject-matter specialists, and communication specialists.

Methods of transferring scientific and technical knowledge and practice. Review of research in diffusion and transfer methods at different technical levels. Tools, methodologies, and assessment procedures for managing program. Assessment and design plan. Gender and the Rhetoric of Science and Technology. How cultural gender roles and biological sex attributes influence communication within scientific and technical communities. Communication strategies of professional writers, scientists, and technologists.

Both undergraduates and graduate students are required to complete internships— paid internships. Internship opportunities are posted on a bulletin board in Haecker Hall, and there are many choices, both on and off campus. This speaks well for the quality both of students and of the education they are getting at Minnesota, but it is bad for numbers—a problem, since some funding for the department is indeed based on numbers of graduates.

In recent years, though, Earl, Billie, and other faculty have been laying the personal touch on students to finish their degrees. Now, they also focus on the issue of finishing during the process of admitting new students. The percentage of graduating students has risen considerably in recent years. Students may take up to 6 credits of internship but not less than 4 credits. They enter upon the internship by writing a proposal for their advisor. During the internship the student keeps a journal; at the end of the experience the student submits the journal, a report, and samples of work produced on the job.

The internship often provides the site and the research problem that Option B students use for their project. Computer facilities and computer-based instruction. Internet users have long known the University of Minnesota as the developer of Gopher [5] , a powerful Internet tool that allows one to access information and various other tools. This tool is the product of a large and well-staffed computer support system at the university, Distributed Computing Services DCS.

This is the main lab for the rhetoric department. The department also has smaller labs in Haecker Hall. The most interesting of these smaller labs is equipped with digital video cameras and microphones; this allows users to see and hear each other as they work interactively.

What is technical communication?

The document s being worked on are displayed on the screen simultaneously with an almost real-time video of the person one is communicating with. West, the suppliers of some of the digital camera technology used in the lab. Such connections also provide essential technical consulting help. Ann has made agreements with a Minnesota high school whereby her undergrad students teach composition to high school students the high school has been similarly equipped [6].

This is one form of distance education in which the department is involved or will again be involved, as soon as Ann returns from her leave in Australia!


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Other forms of distance education are an independent study course on the Web called Writing in Your Profession, and an on-line course for educators that teaches about different types of distance learning technologies desktop video conferencing, audio conferencing, video lectures, etc. Other courses, though still taught in the classroom, will prepare educators to deliver distance education.

An example of this is a course called Managing Information on the Internet. Many instructors require assignments to be submitted electronically, and collaborative writing projects are common. The extensive computer connectivity at the university, and especially within the department of rhetoric, is an important feature for working technical communicators coming back to school: they can communicate with teachers and fellow students via e-mail, work collaboratively, do research and submit work from remote locations, and so on.

Billie Wahlstrom explained to me something about the importance of computer connectivity for the department of rhetoric. When I arrived from Michigan Technological University to become chair here, I pushed for computer equipment for all faculty. We all have POPmail e-mail. She answered that the department receives periodic training sessions, sometimes taught by DCS staff and sometimes by their own graduate students! She had been a nurse for 10 years, and she enrolled in the M. Since support for faculty research is so vital to the health of a program in technical communication, I asked quite a few people about it.

I was especially interested in knowing how faculty kept up with the speeding freight train of technology. For example, Billie had told me that she is interested in virtual reality VR , and I asked her how she was learning about it. In this particular case there is a group of three of us who are really interested in this issue. We formed a little task force that meets every Wednesday. We got a small grant from the Ag experiment station that funds some of our faculty—a Parker Sanders grant, about 15 thousand dollars—to explore the issue of virtual reality.

And we hired a graduate student to get us books and to go all around the university to find little pockets of people who are doing similar kinds of things. Sometimes we had to do arm twisting! Yesterday we went over to the department of kinesiology and human factors to look at their project on total immersion virtual reality. They were excited about what were doing and we were excited about what they were doing! We work in informal groups mostly. Billie went on to describe other forms of faculty support:. We have a very strong faculty support system here. Mary Lay will be off next spring.

Then we have seminars and people talk about what they are doing. This week one of the faculty is going to talk about his research on land use on the prairie. He also got a Bush fellowship to figure out how to bring native American perspectives into his class on the prairie. There is a lot of support and the faculty here have been very good at getting it. I discussed single quarter leaves with Keith Wharton. He had recently used such a leave simply to read a dozen books in his area of major interest management , in preparation for a course he wanted to teach. He went out to a tranquil cabin on a lake and read.

No publication was required to come out of this; it was simply leave for faculty development. Keith, like all the faculty I spoke with, expressed satisfaction with faculty support for research. The department of rhetoric has 17 full-time faculty. Michael Bennett, Associate Professor Ed. James E. Connolly, Professor Ph. Richard W. Ferguson, Associate Professor Ph. Alan G. Gross, Professor Ph. Laura J. Gurak, Associate Professor Ph.

Laurie S. Hayes, Associate Professor Ph. Richard O. Horberg, Professor Ph. Mary M. Lay, Professor Ph. Earl E. McDowell, Professor Ph. William M. Marchand, Professor Ph. Paul Campus Theatre. Victoria M. Mikelonis-Paraskov, Professor Ph. Thomas M. Scanlan, Associate Professor Ph.

David Schuelke, Professor Ph. Billie J. Wahlstrom, Professor Ph. Arthur E. Walzer, Associate Professor Ph. Keith Wharton, Professor Ph. On the first floor of Haecker Hall is a commodious student lounge. Naturally, it is graced with refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, couches, big easy chairs, and a variety of house plants. But it also has a large conference table, a well-stocked bookshelf, a Macintosh computer LAN and Internet connected, of course , and a printer.

Understandably, the lounge is a frequent hangout for students. I spent some time in the lounge chatting with graduate students about their studies and their experience in the department. Some confessed that being connected to fellow students by computer, although wonderful, was not always the optimal form of contact; sometimes one wants to be physically face to face with colleagues for planning or collaborating or just plain socializing, but the high percentage of non-traditional students in the department makes this a problem.

Often, such students can come to campus only at night. But overall, the students I talked with seemed quite pleased with the technical communication program, with the support they were getting, with the facilities available to them, and with the departmental faculty. It was a well-designed questionnaire, and her sense of research methodology impressed me.

James H. Collier and David M. Toomey

Other students spoke up and told me about their research. As I listened to MSSTC students talk about their research, I noticed a fundamental theme in many of their projects: they are interested in the social dimension of communication technologies. How are the new technologies affecting human interaction? How well are people adapting to these technologies? What are some of the communication problems the technologies are introducing, and how can they be overcome?

Reputation and Support. We voted to hold Rhetoric exempt from any cuts. This dean explained to me why the department of rhetoric is so vital to the college. He went on to describe the extensive network of extension agents employed by the university, emphasizing how teaching and research in technical communication is helping university employees both on campus and off to communicate more effectively. Add to this the desire of the college to communicate well within itself and to the rest of the University of Minnesota, and it begins to become apparent what role a department of rhetoric with a strong program in technical communication might have.

I quote him here with minimal editing:. We recognize that new communication technologies are changing the nature of instruction and research, and we look to rhetoric to show us how to use those new technologies and methods. A bigger and better community. And the younger faculty is maturing to that stature as well. Not enough, in my opinion, but still to a considerable degree. Although they emphasize science and technology more than M. Real-world experience in technical communication is required, either through an internship or previous employment.

Many of the students enrolled in these M. Students come from both the liberal arts and from the sciences both hard and soft , and programs are designed to bolster deficiencies that may exist on either side. It is unquestionably a program that works. My investigation into this program has pointed out several reasons why it works so well.

First of all, it works because it has designed an M. Minnesota is not exempt from this problem. They have been able to define themselves in such a way that they have consolidated their own identity and made the uniqueness and value of who they are and what they do apparent—to themselves, to their college, and to many others.

Next, the program works because it focuses on producing graduates who have a balance of humanistic and scientific knowledge, who are computer literate and information-technology literate, and who are skilled problem solvers. The program works because the department has achieved a high level of connectivity. It is connected to other departments because of the interdisciplinary nature of its curricula.

Faculty are connected with the vast Minnesota library system, and with the world, through computer technology—and internally , faculty are connected to each other and to the rest of the college through e-mail and file sharing using a LAN , and through training that they pursue together. Faculty and students are connected through computer technology as well. Faculty collaborate with each other in research and publication. Students collaborate with each other and with faculty.

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Because of its internship activity and research into communication technologies, the department is also extensively connected to local business and industry. Again, it is connected to a strong local chapter of the Society for Technical Communication the Twin Cities chapter. Finally, it is connected to the people of Minnesota, and surrounding states, through participation in distance education and the extension services of its college.

This is really another element of success: service. This program works because it has demonstrated to its college that it can help them fulfill its land-grant mission of service to the people of Minnesota. This has allowed faculty to create and maintain a rich course offering and to elevate its status through publication.

It has helped the faculty stay current with new developments in communication technology. Research grants have also increased the numbers of research assistantships available to students. This helps the program work for obvious reasons: it attracts applicants to the program, it further increases collaboration between faculty and students, it provides grounding for student projects, and it helps professionalize students. Finally, the program is successful because it has excellent faculty who are working hard to make it work.

A strong and diverse faculty; a unified programmatic goal; excellent faculty support; lots of personal attention to students; well-equipped computer labs; continuing service to the college, university, and state; connectivity of all kinds enhanced by computer technology —these seem to be the ingredients for an M.

E ndnotes. There is an associate dean for resident instruction, for the extension service, and for the experiment station. Drexel University: [Our M. Faculty : M. Here are half of them: Theory and Research in Audience Analysis Review of research on human learning and understanding. Theory and Research in Media Selection Decision making for technical communication problem solvers.

Research Methods in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication An introduction to the discipline of scientific and technical communication. Corporate Video for Technical Communicators Video production, including video team roles, production technology, and the development process. Studies in Organizational Communication, Conflict, and Change Roles of internal and external organizational communication, conflict-problem organizational development; problem identification and diagnosis.

Scientific and Technical Presentations Presentations for specific situations related to technical or scientific topics. Interviewing: Dynamics of Face-to-Face Communication Improving interpersonal and interpersonal skills in interviewing situations. Communication Program Planning and Evaluation Examples, materials, and resources for planning, budgeting, and assessing organizational communication programs. Research in Communication Strategies Introduction to research design and methodology in communication.