Incorporating Pagemaker in a Tech Writing Class?

Subject: Incorporating Pagemaker in a Tech Writing Class?
From: Michael R Moore <moore -at- U -dot- ARIZONA -dot- EDU>
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 18:13:33 -0700


Our Technical Writing courses here at the University of Arizona will be
held in computer labs beginning in the fall (75% of class time in the lab
and 25% in a classroom).

While my query to TECHWR-L subscribers specifically concerns Pagemaker,
I'm eager to know your thoughts on technical writing curricula in general:
did you have a college-level tech writing course? Did it include a
substantial unit on design elements, page layout, or graphics?

As part of our move into wired classrooms, we're considering how to best
use that environment without losing the focus on writing and editing. Do
you think a substantial unit on design and graphics is outside the scope
of a Technical Writing class, or given the nature of the field today,
should it be emphasized?

For context, although the course catalogue lists the upper-division course
as "Technical Writing," many instructors think of it as "Technical
Communication," thus allowing for more leeway beyond writing and editing.
(In my class, for example, students have an option to create their own
typeface, using Typographer.) Also, very few -- if any -- students will go
on to become freelance Technical Writers, but are preparing for fields in
Engineering, Computer Science, Forestry, etc.

I look forward to your thoughts on this question. Thanks in advance.

Michael Moore

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