RE: Tech writing class (Intellectual Foundations) LONG

Subject: RE: Tech writing class (Intellectual Foundations) LONG
From: Jim Shaeffer <jims -at- spsi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 10:28:24 -0400

This thread has addressed some interesting topics, but I would like to 'wax
philosophical', so be warned.

Is not college a time for studying and discussing the intellectual
foundations and new ideas of a field?
Rather than getting job training, perhaps students of Technical
Communication should consider questions like:

What does it mean for Technical Communicators to be owners of the total
product experience? How should information be apportioned among the various
aspects of that experience?

What is the role of Technical Communicators in a world of intuitive

What are the human factors in designing communication and products?

When should one use, or not use:
Printed words
Color (The physiology and psychology of color)
Pictures (How do humans react to images of people? Icons? body parts?)

What should Technical Communicators contribute to product design and

How can we define and measure usability?

What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of realism vs. abstraction?

What are the cross-cultural implications in Technical Communications?

How does "Controlled language" (Single source, simplified for translation,
chunked for use by markup engines, etc.) relate to "Creativity"? Does
creativity have a role in Technical Communication?

What will be the impact of international standards?

How do you make a business case for Technical Communication?

How does Technical Communication fit with the product adoption life cycle as
in Moore's _Crossing the Chasm_?

Keep thinking,
Jim Shaeffer (jims -at- spsi -dot- com)


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