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The University of Minnesota, Programs in Scientific and
Technical Communication, will offer two graduate level
courses delivered online from Jan. 6 - Mar. 21, 1997:
Rhet 8110: Theory and Research in Audience Analysis
Rhet 5581: Document Design
Both courses are part of the Rhetoric Department's
Master of Science in Scientific and Technical
Communication program. Both courses use a variety of
synchronous (e.g., MOOs) and asynchronous (WWW,
listserv, email) technologies.
Graduate students throughout the world may enroll
in these courses and receive graduate credit from the
University of Minnesota.
We would appreciate if you would let your students
know about these two courses (brief descriptions
Registration begins Dec. 16, 1996. (all URLs function at this time)
Enrollment is limited.
*** Rhet 8110: Theory and Research in Audience Analysis
Theory and Research is Audience Analysis is based on the
assumption that the concept of audience analysis is
central to the study of any form of human communication.
To be effective, a message (written, verbal, non-verbal,
visual, virtual) must take the audience into account.
Technical communication is transactional; that is, it is
intended to satisfy the needs and interests of both the
sender and the audience. All of this would appear to be
obvious. Yet, failure to consider audience remains one
of the most common failings of much professional
communication. In addition, all theories of audience
analysis change as we participate in intercultural and
During this course, participants explore these
¥ How has audience analysis been examined throughout
¥ How do audiences read and use documents?
¥ How do discourse communities and social contexts
influence audience analysis?
¥ How is audience analysis gendered?
¥ How might usability testing and contextual inquiry be
used to study audiences?
¥ How do virtual spaces alter our understanding of
¥ How does audience analysis change when applied to
multicultural and international contexts?
Participants will learn how to analyze audiences based
on a variety of theoretical perspectives. They will
also generate a portfolio of documents that demonstrate
a foundational understanding of audience and the
techniques used to study audiences in the workplace.
Document design is a process of preparing and delivering
information products to users in such a manner that
users can utilize the information in an efficient and
effective manner. It is a process which integrates
virtually all of the elements of technical communication
including analyzing audiences, writing for readability,
effectively preparing and integrating graphics and
media, and presenting text and media in a package
specifically designed for the context in which it will
The purpose of this course is to teach participants a
systematic procedure for designing, writing, editing,
evaluating, and revising both print and multimedia
documents. Participants will learn to
¥ Develop a multimedia project plan;
¥ Use online resources to access information about
document and multimedia design;
¥ Design print and multimedia documents to meet the
needs of clients;
¥ Evaluate the effectiveness of the documents; and
¥ Create a dynamic print / multimedia portfolio for
their future work.
Participants will gain an understanding of the
rhetorical principles that guide effective document
design. They will also have a portfolio of documents
that demonstrate this foundational understanding of
Thanks for your help!
See you online,
Ann Hill Duin
Ann Hill Duin, Director of Graduate Studies, Rhetoric Dept., U. of Minnesota
Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication Programs
1364 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108 USA
INTERNET: ahduin -at- maroon -dot- tc -dot- umn -dot- edu
Department WWW home page: http://rhetoric.agoff.umn.edu