The schedule is subject to change, so please stay tuned.

Date Activities
Week 1
August 22
  • Introductions to class and each other
  • Review of WSU's Rhetoric and Professional Writing program, and 402 structure
  • Organize course readings
Week 2
August 29
  • Read: Johnson, Robert R. User-Centered Technology. Syracuse, NY: SUNY Press, 1998.
  • Set up blog: You can use blog platform of your choice. I tend to like blogger. I know others are fans of wordpress. Email me your blog address.
  • Blog Post #1: Desribe 1) the problem(s) Johnson sees, 2) the solution/theory/practice/method Johnson suggests in order to address this problem, 3) 2-3 questions/issues you'd like to talk about as a class related to the article, and 4) things you feel you need to know more about in order to understand the nuances of Johnson's argument (this is the "ok, so what on earth is X" or "i totally don't understand Y" part).
Week 3
September 5
  • Blog Post #2 (see tasks for prompt).
  • Blog Post #a1(?): post the 402 course objectives you wrote down in-class during week 1
  • Read Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Dubinsky, Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom
  • Chapter 1: INTRODUCING THEORETICAL APPROACHES
    • Introduction
    • Carolyn R. Miller, "A Humanistic Rationale for Technical Writing" {DANI}
    • Robert R. Johnson, "Complicating Technology: Interdisciplinary Method, the Burden of Comprehension, and the Ethical Space of the Technical Communicator" {JACOB}
    • Patrick Moore, "Myths about Instrumental Discourse: A Response to Robert R. Johnson {JACOB}
    • Robert R. Johnson, "Johnson Responds"{JACOB}
  • Chapter 2: CONSTRUCTING A HISTORY OF THE FIELD
    • Introduction
    • Jo Allen, "The Case Against Defining Technical Writing" {AMINAH}
    • Robert J. Connors, "The Rise of Technical Writing Instruction in America" {KERRY}
    • Katherine T. Durack, "Gender, Technology, and the History of Technical Communication" {LORI BETH}
    • Charlotte Thralls and Nancy Roundy Blyler, "The Social Perspective and Pedagogy in Technical Communication" {LAUREN}
    • Henriette Nickels Shirk, "Researching the History of Technical Communication: Accessing and Analyzing Corporate Archives" {JENNA}
  • Chapter 3: LAYING A FOUNDATION FOR ETHICAL PRAXIS
    • Introduction
    • Quintilian (transl Rev. John Selby Watson), From The Institutio Oratorio, Book XII, Chapter I {ANNA}
    • Carolyn R. Miller, "What’s Practical about Technical Writing?" {AMY}
    • David R. Russell, "The Ethics of Teaching Ethics in Professional Communication: The Case of Engineering Publicity at MIT in the 1920s" {JENNY}
    • James Porter, "The Exercise of Critical Rhetorical Ethics" {STACY}
Week 4
September 12
  • Blog Post #3 (see tasks for prompt)
  • CHOOSE a group and a journal to explore (groups of 2 or 3) for Journal Review assignment. Rank your top 3 journals just in case we have folks choosing the same one.
  • Read Chapters 4 and 5 of Dubinsky, Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom
  • Chapter 4: FOLLOWING USER-CENTERED DESIGN PRACTICES
    • Introduction
    • Janice C. Redish, "What Is Information Design?" {AMINAH}
    • Barbara Mirel, "Advancing a Vision of Usability" {AMY}
    • Robert Kramer and Stephen A. Bernhardt, "Teaching Text Design" {JENNA}
    • Lisa Ann Jackson, "The Rhetoric of Design: Implications for Corporate Intranets" {KERRY}
  • Chapter 5: LEARNING ON THE JOB
    • Introduction
    • Carol Berkenkotter and Thomas N. Huckin, "Rethinking Genre from a Sociocognitive Perspective" {JACOB}
    • Aviva Freedman and Christine Adam, "Learning to Write Professionally: "Situated Learning" and the Transition from University to Professional Discourse" {JENNIE}
    • Clay Spinuzzi, "Pseudotransactionality, Activity Theory, and Professional Writing Instruction" {LORI BETH}
    • Ann M. Blakeslee, "Bridging the Workplace and the Academy: Teaching Professional Genres through Classroom-Workplace Collaborations" {LAUREN}
    • Rachel Spilka, "Communicating Across Organizational Boundaries: A Challenge for Workplace Professionals" {DANI}
  • note: Stacy and Anna, feel free to choose one of the intros, or just take a breather.
Week 5
September 19
  • Blog Post #4 (see tasks for prompt)
  • Have ordered your books for the textbook review (and/or give me the names from Cengage)
  • Read Chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Dubinsky, Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom
  • Chapter 6: WORKING WITHIN AND ACROSS CULTURES
    • Introduction
    • Linda Beamer, "Learning Intercultural Communication Competence" {JENNIE}
    • Emily A. Thursh, "Multicultural Issues in Technical Communication" {STACY}
    • Mary M. Lay, "Feminist Theory and the Redefinition of Technical Communication" {LORI BETH}
    • Laura J. Gurak and Nancy L. Bayer, "Making Gender Visible: Extending Feminist Critiques of Technology to Technical Communication" {DANI}
    • Waka Fukuoka, Yukiko Kojima, and Jan H. Spyrdakis, "Illustrations in User Manuals: Preference and Effectiveness with Japanese and American Readers" {JENNA}
  • Chapter 7:WRITING AND WORKING IN DIGITAL ENVIRONMENTS
    • Introduction
    • Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch, "Thinking Critically about Technological Literacy: Developing a Framework to Guide Computer Pedagogy in Technical Communication" {AMY}
    • Stuart A. Selber, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, and Cynthia L. Selfe, "Contexts for Faculty Professional Development in the Age of Electronic Writing and Communication" {KERRY}
    • Cynthia L. Selfe and Gail E. Hawisher, "A Historical Look at Electronic Literacy: Implications for the Education of Technical Communicators" {LAUREN}
    • {OPTIONAL} Daniel Robey, Huoy Min Khoo, and Carolyn Powers, "Situated Learning in Cross-Functional Virtual Teams"
  • Chapter 8:LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
    • Introduction
    • Johndan Johnson-Eilola, "Relocating the Value of Work: Technical Communication in a Post-Industrial Age" {JACOB}
    • Cezar M. Ornatowski, "Educating Technical Communicators to Make Better Decisions" {AMINAH}
    • Stephen A. Bernhardt, "Teaching for Change, Vision, and Responsibility" {ANNA}
Week 6
September 26
  • Blog Post #5 (see tasks for prompt). If you are NOT assigned a reading this week, you are still expected to blog. Write an informal post that sums up your general thoughts on this week's readings. Describe anything you really liked, were troubled by, or hope to discuss further in class.
  • Choose a University and contact person for the Program and Course Report. Remember you can work alone or with someone. See email for list (sent week 5)
  • Read Foreword, Introduction, and Theory Section of Scott, Longo and Wills, Critical Power Tools: Technical Communication and Cultural Studies
  • Alan Nadel, "Foreward" {EVERYBODY!}
  • J. Blake, Scott, Bernadette Longo, and Katherine V. Wills, "Introduction: Why Cultural Studies? Expanding Technical Communication’s Critical Toolbox" {EVERYBODY!}
  • Theory
    • Jennifer Daryl Slack, David James Miller, and Jeffrey Doak, "The Technical Communicator as Author: Meaning, Power, Authority" {ANNA}
    • Bradley Dilger, "Extreme Usability and Technical Communication" {JACOB}
    • Myra G. Moses and Steven B. Katz, "The Phantom Machine: The Invisible Ideology of Email (A Cultural Critique)" {LAUREN}
Week 7
October 3
  • Blog Post #6 (see tasks for prompt). If you are NOT assigned a reading this week, you are still expected to blog. Write an informal post that sums up your general thoughts on this week's readings. Describe anything you really liked, were troubled by, or hope to discuss further in class.
  • Read Research, Pedagogy, and Afterword Section of Scott, Longo and Wills, Critical Power Tools: Technical Communication and Cultural Studies
  • Research
    • Bernadette Longo, "An Approach for Applying Cultural Studies Theory to Technical Writing Research" {LORI BETH}
    • Elizabeth C. Britt, "The Rhetorical Work of Institutions" {AMY}
    • Jeffrey T. Grabill, "The Study of Writing in the Social Factory: Methodology and Rhetorical Agency{KERRY}
    • Beverly Sauer, "Living Documents: Liability versus the Need to Archive, or, Why (Sometimes) History Should Be Expunged" {JENNIE}
  • Pedagogy
    • Jim Henry, "Writing Workplace Cultures—Technically Speaking" {STACY}
    • Michael J. Salvo, "Rhetoric as Productive Technology: Cultural Studies in/as Technical {JENNA}Communication Methodology"
    • J. Blake Scott, "Extending Service-Learning’s Critical Reflection and Action: Contributions of Cultural Studies" {DANI}
    • Katherine V. Wills, "Designing Students: Teaching Technical Writing with Cultural Studies Approaches" {AMINAH}
  • Afterword by Diana George
Week 8
October 10
  • Blog Post #7 (see tasks for prompt). If you are NOT assigned a reading this week, you are still expected to blog. Write an informal post that sums up your general thoughts on this week's readings. Describe anything you really liked, were troubled by, or hope to discuss further in class.
  • Read Introduction, Part 1 and Part 2 of Johnson-Eilola and Selber,Solving Problems in Technical Communication
  • Part 1: Mapping the Field
    • Richard J. Selfe and Cynthia L. Selfe, "What Are the Boundaries, Artifacts, and Identities of Technical Communication?" [KERRY]
    • William Hart-Davidson, "What Are the Work Patterns of Technical Communication?"[JENNA]
    • Jim Henry, "How Can Technical Communicators Fit into Contemporary Organizations?" [STACY]
    • Kelli Cargile Cook, Emily Cook, Ben Minson, and Stephanie Wilson, "How Can Technical Communicators Develop as Both Students and Professionals?"[AMINAH]
  • Part 2: Situating the Field
    • James E. Porter, "How Can Rhetoric Theory Inform the Practice of Technical Communication?" [LORI BETH]
    • Jason Swarts, "How Can Work Tools Shape and Organize Technical Communication?"
    • Bernadette Longo and T. Kenny Fountain, "What Can History Teach Us about Technical Communication?"
    • Brad Mehlenbacher, "What Is the Future of Technical Communication?" [JENNIE]
Week 9
October 17
  • Blog Post #8 (see tasks for prompt)
  • Read SOME of Part 3, and all of Part 4 of Johnson-Eilola and Selber,Solving Problems in Technical Communication. If you are NOT assigned a reading this week, you are still expected to blog. Write an informal post that sums up your general thoughts on this week's readings. Describe anything you really liked, were troubled by, or hope to discuss further in class.
  • Part 3: Understanding Field Approaches
    • read intro (209-212)
  • Part 4: Developing Field Knowledge
    • Brent Henze, "What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Genre?" [ANNA]
    • Ann M. Blakeslee and Gerald J. Savage, "What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Writing?"[JACOB]
    • Karen Schriver, "What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Information Design?"[AMY]
    • Anne Frances Wysocki, "What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about New Media?"[DANI]
    • Rebecca E. Burnett, L. Andrew Cooper, and Candice A. Welhausen, "What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Collaboration?" [LAUREN]
    • Kirk St. Amant, "What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about International Environments?"
Week 10
October 24
  • Western States Literacy Conference, Professor Arola Away
Week 11
October 31
  • Football Thursday, Class Cancelled. Go Cougs.
  • Consider using this extra time to start your program and course report
Week 12
November 7
  • Text Book Reviews. See tasks page for more info.
Week 13
November 14
  • Journal Reviews. See tasks page for more info.
Week 14
November 21
  • Program and Course Reports. See tasks page for more info.
Thanksgiving Break
Week 15
December 5
  • Syllabus Showcase. See tasks page for more info.
Finals Week
  • FInal project due to my inbox by 10am on Wednesday, 12/11/13