Request for advice re: tech comm course design

Subject: Request for advice re: tech comm course design
From: Geoff hart <ghart -at- attcanada -dot- ca>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Peggy Jordan'" <suchageezer -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 09:46:31 -0400

Peggy Jordan's school is <<...considering dividing a tech comm course called
"Document Production" into two courses, one of which would focus on ...
on-screen document production... Do any of you in the field have suggestions
for what such a course should cover to prepare students for the real world?>>

A simplistic overview for such a course should include (in roughly this order)
the following topics: understanding audience needs (audience analysis),
developing an overview of the software's functionality (the largest part of a
documentation plan), a careful analysis of how you can match the needs with the
functionality you're trying to document (the remainder of the documentation
plan), exposure to at least two and preferably all of the main tools for
actually producing the online information, and usability testing (making sure
you've actually met the needs of the audience). The many interpersonal
components of these topics are also important: interviewing skills, the care
and feeding of engineers and other subject-matter experts, office politics and
how the real-world office works (and fails to work), and so on. Each of these
is a large topic and should be broken down into smaller topics to permit
adequate coverage.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- netcom -dot- ca
Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada
"Most business books are written by consultants and professors who haven't
spent much time in a cubicle. That's like writing a firsthand account of the
Donner party based on the fact that you've eaten beef jerky."--Scott Adams, The
Dilbert Principle

Previous by Author: Tech writing and education questions?
Next by Author: Contracting on the side...ethical?
Previous by Thread: Request for advice re: tech comm course design
Next by Thread: Single-sourcing: the possible dream? Mif2go, etc.

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads