Innovative Approaches to Teaching Technical Communication

  • technical and professional communication, Teaching strategies, Student Writing, research, Composition theory

Edited by Tracy Bridgeford, Karla Saari Kitalong, and Dickie Selfe

CoverInnovative Approaches to Teaching Technical Communication offers a variety of activities, projects, and approaches to energize pedagogy in technical communication and to provide a constructive critique of current practice. A practical collection, the approaches recommended here are readily adaptable to a range of technological and institutional contexts, as well as being theoretically grounded and pedagogically sound. Throughout the collection, its editors and contributors demonstrate the importance of critically engaging students through creative and innovative pedagogies. Programs in technical writing, technical communication, and/or professional communication have recently grown in enrollment as the demand among employers for formally prepared technical writers and editors has grown. In response, scholarly treatments of the subject and the teaching of technical writing are also burgeoning, and the body of research and theory being published in this field is many times larger and more accessible than it was even a decade ago. Although many theoretical and disciplinary perspectives can potentially inform technical communication teaching, administration, and curriculum development, the actual influences on the field's canonical texts have traditionally come from a rather limited range of disciplines. Innovative Approaches to Teaching Technical Communication brings together a wide range of scholars/teachers to expand the existing canon. The editors and authors in this volume suggest that, for various reasons, the field has not been as flexible or open to innovation as it needs to be. Given pervasive technological and workplace changes and changing cultural attitudes, they say, new and more dynamic pedagogies in technical communication are warranted, and they are addressing this collection to that need. Contributing authors include a number of scholars with a strong record of work in composition, technical writing, professional communication, and allied areas (e.g., Selfe, Wahlstrom, Kalmbach, Duin, Hansen), who deliver a variety of approaches that are grounded in current theory and represent pedagogical creativity and innovation.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter

Introduction: Innovative Approaches to Teaching Technical Communication, Tracy Bridgeford, Karla Saari Kitalong, and Dickie Selfe

Part 1. Pedagogical Perspectives

Chapter 1. The Status of Service in Learning, James Dubinsky

Chapter 2. Breaking Viewing Habits: Using a Self-Conscious, Participatory Approach in the ITV Classroom, Sam Racine and Denise Dilworth

Chapter 3. Bilingual Professional Writing: An Option for Success, Elaine Fredericksen

Chapter 4. Examining Discipline-Specific Instruction in Technical Communication, W. J. Williamson and Philip Sweany

Chapter 5. Technical Writing, Service Learning, and a Rearticulation of Research, Teaching, and Service, Jeffrey T. Grabill

Chapter 6. Notes toward a “Reflective Instrumentalism”: A Collaborative Look at Curricular Revision in Clemson University’s MAPC Program, Kathleen Yancey, Sean Williams, Barbara Heifferon, Susan Hilligoss, Tharon Howard, Martin Jacobi, Art Young, Mark Charney, Christine Boese, Beth Daniell, Carl Lovitt, and Bernadette Longo

Part 2. Pedagogical Practices

Chapter 7. Story Time: Teaching Technical Communication as a Narrative Way of Knowing, Tracy Bridgeford

Chapter 8. Hypermediating the Resume, James Kalmbach

Chapter 9. Using Role-Plays to Teach Technical Communication, Barry Batorsky and Laura Renick-Butera

Chapter 10. Who are the Users? Media Representations as Audience-Analysis Teaching Tools, Karla Saari Kitalong

Chapter 11. What’s Up, Doc? Approaching Medicine as a Cultural Institution in the Technical Communication Classroom by Studying the Discourses of Standard and Alternative Cancer Treatments, Michael J. Zerbe

Chapter 12. Learning with Students: Technology Autobiographies in the Classroom, Dickie Selfe

Part 3. Pedagogical Partnerships

Chapter 13. A Pedagogical Framework for Faculty-Student Research and Public Service in Technical Communication, Brad Mehlenbacher and R. Stanley Dicks

Chapter 14. At the Nexus of Theory and Practice: Guided, Critical Reflection for Learning Beyond the Classroom in Technical Communication, Craig Hansen

Chapter 15. (Re)Connecting Theory and Practice: Academics Collaborating with Workplace Professionals—the NIU/Chicago Chapter STC Institute for Professional Development, Christine Abbott

Chapter 16. Making Connections in Secondary Education: Document Exchange Between Technical Writing Classes and High School English Classes, Annmarie Guzy and Laura A. Sullivan

Chapter 17. Ongoing Research and Responsive Curricula in the Two-Year College, Gary Bays

Chapter 18. Extreme Pedagogies: Teaching in Partnership, Teaching at a Distance, Billie Wahlstrom





Publication Information: Bridgeford, Tracy, Karla Saari, Kitalong, & Dickie, Selfe (Eds.). (2004). Innovative Approaches to Teaching Technical Communication. Utah State University Press.

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