Texas Tech University

TCR Grad Courses, Spring 2016

On-campus Courses

Note: Each hybrid course has a combination of students from onsite and online courses. Onsite and online students meet simultaneously on the indicated day All hybrid courses meet weekly from 6~9 p.m., Central Standard Time

Course Title Instructor Days/Time Section CRN Room
ENGL 5364: Classical Rhetoric (theory) Selzer King MW 2 p.m. 001 50203 353
ENGL 5389: Field Methods (methods) Moore TTr 12:30 p.m. 001 32579 353
ENGL 5377: User-Centered Design (theory, applied theory, or methods)
hybrid
Still W 6-8:50 p.m. 001 32554 358
ENGL 5375: Document Design (applied theory)
hybrid
Zdenek M 6-8:50 p.m. 001 54475 358
ENGL 5366: Teaching Technical and Professional Writing
(theory, applied theory)
hybrid
Cargile Cook Tr 6-8:50 p.m. 001 50774 358
ENGL 5372: Reports (applied theory, theory)
hybrid
Baake T 6-8:50 p.m. 001 50206 358

Online Courses

Note: Each hybrid course has a combination of students from onsite and online courses. Onsite and online students meet simultaneously on the indicated day All hybrid courses meet weekly from 6~9 p.m., Central Standard Time

Course Title
Instructor Day/Time
Section CRN
ENGL 5385: Ethics (theory) Dragga M 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD
ENGL 5372: Reports (applied theory, theory)
hybrid
Baake T 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD
ENGL 5390: Writing for Publication (applied theory) Lang T 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD
ENGL 5393: Grant Proposals for Academy and Industry (applied theory) Eaton T 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD
ENGL 5364: Classical Rhetoric (theory) Selzer King M 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD
ENGL 5386: Public Rhetorics (theory) Moore Tr 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD
ENGL 5375: Document Design (applied theory)
hybrid
Zdenek W 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD
ENGL 5366: Teaching Technical and Professional Writing (theory, applied theory)
hybrid
Cargile Cook Tr 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD
ENGL 5377: User-Centered Design (theory, applied theory, or methods)
hybrid
Still W 6-8:50 p.m. TBD TBD

Course Descriptions

English 5366: Teaching Technical and Professional Writing (Cargile Cook)
Hybrid

Teaching Technical and Professional Writing focuses on the theory and teaching of technical and professional writing with special attention to developing course objectives, syllabi, and teaching techniques. The course will introduce you to the theoretical and pedagogical knowledge you will need to teach technical writing successfully to students across the disciplines.

Central questions in the course will require you to consider critical issues related to technical communication pedagogy. From this foundation, it will progress to more practical concerns ranging from what to teach in an introductory technical writing class, how to teach this information, and why to teach it. Activities in the course will require you to write a teaching philosophy statement, develop course materials and teach a lesson, analyze textbook treatments, observe and reflect on the work of master teachers, and grade and comment on student papers successfully.

Your work will be assessed through a variety of short assignments during the semester including reading responses, a lesson plan and oral presentation, a comparative textbook analysis, and a classroom observation report. The final project is a syllabus proposal for an undergraduate technical writing course. With this proposal in hand, you'll find yourself well prepared to teach your first introductory course in technical and professional writing.

The course requires at least one and possibly two textbooks:

  • James M. Dubinsky's Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004). ISBN-10: 0-312-41204-5
  • Stuart Selber and Johndan Johnson Eilola's Solving Problems in Technical Communication (University of Chicago Press, In press.) ISBN: 9780226924076.


English 5372: Reports (Baake)
Hybrid

This course focuses on the report—the primary work place document that creates knowledge and supports decision-making. Our class will examine reports of various types: information reports, analytical reports, feasibility studies, recommendation reports, empirical research reports. We will consider proposals as part of the document cycle that leads to reports. In the workplace, proposals seek approval or funding for a plan or activity. Reports provide information on the progress of such activities, or on the status of research.

All writing in some way tells a story, and so it is with reports and proposals. A proposal from a social service agency seeking money to expand a program for the poor must tell the story of the people it hopes to serve. A report on a study of sub-atomic particles conducted by physicists using a particle accelerator tells the story of those particles, even though they exist only for nano seconds. Narrative is intrinsic to reports and proposals.

As is typical in any graduate technical writing class, we will approach this topic from a theoretical and applied perspective. We will analyze existing documents using rhetorical theory and we will produce reports and proposals based on primary and secondary search. The class will involve reading and response in Blackboard and a report project that each student will conduct in various phases throughout the semester.

Our main text will be Houp, Pearsall, Tebeaux, Dragga. Reporting Technical Information. Oxford University Press.

ENGL 5386: Public Rhetorics (Moore)
Online

In any rhetorical situation, technical communicators, writers, speakers, and rhetoricians inevitably engage with the question: "who is my audience?" In the public sphere, such a question evokes complex answers, as the mass public presents a multi-faceted and diverse set of populations and, hence, concerns. This class draws on interdisciplinary scholarship to query the notion(s) of public(s), the relationships between public and private, and the emergence of counterpublics in response to dominant publics. In doing so, we work towards a broad understanding of the discursive controversies that technical communicators (among other groups) face when community ideals are challenged, when public policies are (re)shaped, and when diverse stakeholders interact surrounding public decision-making.

The work in this class will include an examination of the intersection of democracy, agency, and public rhetorics and will consider methodologies that help us study, analyze, and critique the circulating/networked discourses of the public sphere. Ultimately we consider how to enable publics to actively participate in deliberations and the power relations, ethics, politics, economics, and history that influence these deliberations.

ENGL 5385: Ethics (Dragga)
Online

Learning Outcomes
All of the assignments and activities of the course are designed to serve multiple learning outcomes:

  • identify various definitions and philosophies of ethics pertinent to the field of technical communication
  • recognize the nature and scope of ethical dilemmas in the field of technical communication
  • differentiate ethical dilemmas from legal dilemmas and the implications of each
  • determine possible solutions to ethical dilemmas encountered by technical communicators
  • compose persuasive judgments on ethical dilemmas
  • explain the applicability of theories of ethics to the field of technical communication

Description of Assignments

Discussion Board and Weekly Class Meetings

Compose a 500-word commentary (questions, insights, observations) on each of the assigned readings, posting it to the online discussion. In your comments, answer one or more of the following questions:

  • What was helpful to you about this reading in understanding ethics in technical communication? How did it help you?
  • How might this reading inform your efforts on upcoming projects (in this class or on the job)?
  • What confused you about this reading? What would have helped you avoid or manage that confusion?
  • What did you find dubious or disturbing about this reading? How does this challenge your thinking about ethics?
  • What would you have liked to find in this reading that was missing? How would this missing information advance your understanding of ethics? Where might you look for this missing information?

After you have posted your comments on the assigned reading, respond to the two postings immediately following yours. In your responses to the two postings, try to answer their questions, challenge or reinforce their thinking, and identify possible resources.

In the following synchronous sessions we will address the questions raised in the asynchronous discussion. You are expected to be a vigorous contributor to this live conversation.

Ethics Case

You will compose an ethics case of approximately 1000 words suitable for publication in Intercom, the magazine of the Society for Technical Communication. In your case, you will pose a genuine ethical dilemma for a practitioner in the field of technical communication: that is, a case for which no simple answers are readily available. In a cover message, briefly explain the nature and scope of the ethical dilemma that your case offers. Address your message to the editor of the ethics section of Intercom: Dr. Derek Ross, Auburn University (derek.ross@auburn.edu), a graduate of TTU's TCR-PhD program and this class.

Analysis of a Code of Conduct

You will analyze the code of conduct of a professional association, nonprofit organization, government agency, private company, or public corporation related to the case that you are examining for your major project in this course. What are the key guidelines of this code of conduct? Is the emphasis legal or ethical? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this code of conduct? How might this code of conduct be revised to make it more effective in regulating and inspiring ethical behavior? Prepare your analysis as a five-page letter (single spaced with appropriate headings) addressed to the highest executive or director.

Discussion Leadership

You will choose a case from Case Studies in Organizational Communication to research so that you might effectively lead a 20-minute class discussion of this case. In leading the discussion, you might offer additional background information, analyze key documents in the case, direct us to pertinent resources, raise provocative questions, and/or identify various ethical perspectives for viewing the case or achieving a satisfactory resolution.

Slide Presentation and Script

The major project for this course will be a PowerPoint presentation (at least 20 slides) and accompanying script (at least 12 double-spaced pages) for a 20-minute research-based presentation on the subject of ethics in technical communication. Consider the cases in Case Studies in Organizational Communication as examples of the kind of presentation you will prepare: that is, a real case about a real ethical dilemma/crisis at a real organization but taking a theoretically informed critical position on the case. Develop your presentation to be delivered to colleagues at a regional or national professional meeting in the coming year. In your presentation you will review the existing research on your specific case and apply pertinent theories of ethics in your analysis of the case. Your presentation will both summarize or categorize existing knowledge and offer a genuine contribution to the profession's understanding of the subject of ethics. In designing your presentation, assume that your audience already recognizes the importance of communicating ethically, but might be insensitive to the ethical implications of certain practices or behaviors or might be uninformed regarding appropriate theories or processes for making ethical decisions. Your PowerPoint slides should summarize and illustrate key points in your script. Your script should explicate and elaborate on your PowerPoint slides and specify the words you would speak while each slide is displayed on the screen.

Final Examination

The final examination will ask you to solve a specific ethical dilemma in order to demonstrate your understanding of the principles and processes of ethics that you have studied in this course. A good answer to this case will discuss theories of ethics, cite pertinent sources (including related codes of conduct), and offer a persuasive explanation of your proposed solution.

Readings

  • Dombrowski, Paul. Ethics in Technical Communication (Allyn & Bacon, 2000).
  • May, Steve (ed.). Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices, 2nd edition (Sage, 2013).
  • additional readings supplied as pdfs