Re: Technical Writing Certifications

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Certifications
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2016 23:10:52 +0000 (UTC)

Testing tool use is easy to separate from core attributes of technical writing. There's always multiple tools to use, and multiple ways of doing things with a given tool. They should be considered separately because they are not central to how you write.

I don't understand why there seems to be so much difficulty deciding how to make a certification program. There are already ways to test proficiency in writing. They just have to be tweaked to fit the differences between technical writing and other types of writing. Doesn't everybody here already have a good grasp of how tech writing differs from fiction or advertising copy? If we don't, heaven help us. :-) We would just need to get that unspoken understanding codified so it could be used as a yardstick for devising test questions.

I think you would need a sheaf of tests. Have one core test that measures how good a person is at making documents comprehensible and fit to a particular subject, and a host of other tests that can be added for field-specific concerns.


On Thursday, October 20, 2016 1:25 AM, Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net> wrote:


For technical writing, testing should include various versions of
grammar, composition, and word usage, paired with writing for the
audience. Technical writing certification should not include specific
technologies but should include various tests of ability to interpret
and translate various technologies into something the audience will
understand. The actual understanding of various technologies will come
from education and work experience.

My technical writing education was over 25 years ago and for my "test"
of ability, I wrote instructions on how to make balloon animals.
Technical writing education has evolved since then and it should include
teaching students how to demonstrate the ability to document the
familiar and to learn the unfamiliar and document that.


On 10/19/2016 5:50 PM, William Sherman wrote:
> This idea of certification comes up every so often, and has some
> merit. After all, anyone can say they are a technical writer, but how
> does the hiring company really know? The certificate sounds like the
> answer.
>
> But for a certificate to be good, it isn't enough to attend a class,
> or even a dozen, you need to test out to prove yourself.
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References:
Re: Re: Re: Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer ... OK, this makes for a good segue: From: Vincent
Technical Writing Certifications: From: William Sherman
Re: Technical Writing Certifications: From: Lauren

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