TCR Grad Courses (Fall 2018)
|ENGL 5067: FYW Practicum
Courses meet 6-8:50pm CST onsite/online.
ENGL 5361: Rhetorical Theory
ENGL 5375: Document Design
ENGL 5363: Research Methods in TCR/Comp
ENGL 5377: User-Centered Design
ENGL 5371: Foundations of TCR
ENGL 5391: Grants & Proposals, Nonprofits
ENGL 5373: Technical Manuals
ENGL 5377: Research Methods - Case Studies
Courses meet 6-8:50pm CST. Online students have priority registration.
ENGL 5360: History/Theory of College Comp
ENGL 5381: Global Tech Comm
(theory; independent study)
English 5360: History/Theory of College Comp (Rice)
English 5360 provides an introduction to the history and contemporary theories of composition and rhetoric. It helps you to situate your own theories, practices, and pedagogies. Throughout this course, we will explore different (and sometimes conflicting) theoretical approaches to teaching composition, literacy education, rhetoric, and writing (as both a noun and a verb).
We begin from the premise that good teachers are reflective teachers, and good teachers of writing are reflective teachers of writing. We will examine and reflect on the development of the field of composition over the last 50 years, focusing on seminal articles that represent the discipline.
If rhetoric is persuasion, then rhetorical theory might be an Aristotlean inventory of the moves or methods for achieving one's persuasive goals. But to some extent, this view presumes an individual, autonomous agent at the controls, using rhetorical theory instrumentally to make the most effective tactical choices in service of their desired ends. Many rhetorical theorists have challenged this presumption, dissolving the agent's intentionality in a complex scene of rhetorical relations. This introduction to rhetorical theory does not attempt to be comprehensive in its coverage of this major part of the field. Instead, we will be highly selective, putting together significant readings on a variety of questions, concepts, and themes in rhetorical theory.
ENGL 5363: Research Methods in TCR/Comp (Rickly)
English 5363 will introduce you to a variety of research methods and methodologies used in Composition and Rhetoric and Technical Communication research. While this course does serve as an overview, we will concentrate primarily on work that has influenced our broad field of TC/Writing Studies for the past ten years. The work you do in this course will give you an orientation that will prove to be valuable as you select further research courses from which you will ground your dissertation research. In subsequent, more focused research courses, you'll build upon the overview knowledge base you'll get in 5363.
The course relies on the assumption that research is intimately related to context, theory, and practice, and that all research—quantitative, qualitative, or mixed—is an act of selecting and interpreting information. Throughout the course, we will explore the implications of these assumptions, test their applicability to specific research methodologies, and look for common ways in which they shape the work of researchers using different research methods and approaches. Our central questions for this course will be "What constitutes a good, workable research question?" and "How do I select the best method(s) to answer that question?" As a participant in this class, you will read critically texts on conducting research, evaluate existing research, as well as conducting your own research on a limited basis, and this experience will enable you to address the central questions from an informed perspective.
ENGL 5373: Technical Manuals (Baehr)
This graduate-level course provides an overview of the processes involved in developing
instructional materials for a professional setting, including user and task analysis,
learning methods, Web-based training development, training in asynchronous and synchronous
environments, single-sourcing, and assessment methods. It covers theoretical aspects
of learning styles, instructional architectures, instructional design principles,
user experience, and online pedagogy, as well as the
practical aspects of using learning objects and instructional tools. And finally we'll look at best practices, examples and methods for online instructional delivery in a variety of forms.
English 5375: Document Design (Wilson)
This course will address basic and advanced concepts of visual composition of professional documents (physical and digital). We will discuss and work on projects related to typography, page layout, and integration of visual elements. We will also work to build competency with Adobe creative suite products like InDesign (primarily), Photoshop, and Illustrator. Assignments will involve design projects and experimentation, but also writing about design principles and their relation to technical communication and rhetoric. We will be working from Kimball and Hawkins' Document Design, Smith and Smith's Adobe Creative Cloud All-In-One for Dummies (2nd edition), and supplementary readings. If you don't have access to Adobe In Design, you will need to purchase it. That probably means purchasing the Adobe Creative Suite (expensive) or getting a monthly subscription (about $20 per month for a year). I do not think TTU graduate students or GPTIs have free access to the software through the University.
ENGL 5377: Research Methods - Case Studies (Baake)
The class will consider the case study as a qualitative research method that is useful in technical communication, composition, social sciences, science writing, and other fields of study. We will explore what a case study is and how it relates to and differs from other qualitative methods (including the closely aligned "ethnography"). For our purposes, we will define case study as any kind of empirical inquiry that describes and analyzes a single person, event, or phenomenon that has discrete boundaries. Often, but not always, the boundaries are some time period during which the case occurred. For the most part, the cases we will consider will have some textual component (such as a report, Web page, sound or visual recording, etc.)
In the class we will most likely read Robert K. Yin's Case Study Research and Applications,
as well as several examples of well-known (and little known) case studies that have
a communication or textual element. Each student will be asked to do a case study
on some issue that either they have personal experience with—hence, a story to tell
that will accompany the research—or a passion for learning about, or both.
So, for example, a writing administrator could study the planning, documentation, and other events and phenomena that led to the establishment of a writing center at the local university. Someone interested in business writing could conduct a case study into the public relations response (including written text) to a crisis event in a particular company, perhaps one they work for. A technical writer might study the process and artifacts associated with release of new technology and documentation. We will explore when it is required that the writer retain arm's length objectivity from the case and when more personal involvement is appropriate.
English 5377: User-Centered Design (Still)
User-centered design represents an alternative framework to the waterfall approach that for so many years has dominated hardware and software development, if not also other types of design projects. It does not make the user a designer, but rather makes the designer attentive to the user's needs, wants, and limitations throughout the design process.
This graduate course aims to examine the theoretical underpinnings of UCD in an attempt to define what it is and how it is different from other design approaches. At the same time, the course requires students to experiment within a UCD environment. Specifically, students will be required to develop a user-centered design product by researching and determining user personas and use needs, evaluating product features and limitations, and, in this process, creating and testing three stages of the product as part of an iterative, UCD cycle.
ENGL 5381: Global Tech Comm (Rice)
Technical communication addresses a wide range of communication problems in workplaces involving different religious, ethnic, educational, social backgrounds, and other cultural dimensions. The course examines how people from different countries and cultures communicate and perceive the world. As cultures around the world are increasingly impacted by globalization, it is important that technical and professional communicators understand complexities of cultural communication. As such, this course provides an overview of how differing worldviews, values, attitudes, and behaviors can influence our work. The course is offered as independent study this semester.