Texas Tech University

TCR Graduate Courses, Spring 2013

Online Courses (~6:00 – ~7:30 p.m.)

Course Title Instructor section CRN MOO
ENGL 5382 Discourse of Healthcare and Medicine Koerber




ENGL 5366 Teaching Technical Communication Cargile Cook




ENGL 5389 Field Methods Cargile Cook




ENGL 5362 Rhetorical Analysis Zdenek




ENGL 5376 Online Publishing Baehr




ENGL 5377 Intercultural Communication Dragga




Hybrid (online + on-campus) courses

Course Instructor section CRN Time Room
ENGL 5390 Writing for Publication Carter 001


Mondays 6-9


On-campus Courses

Course Instructor section CRN Time Room
ENGL 5362 Rhetorical Analysis Zdenek 001


11 TTh


ENGL 5377 Intercultural Communication Rice 003


2 TTh


ENGL 5389 Field Methods Rickly 001


9:30 TTh


ENGL 5388 Usability Research Still 001


2 MW


ENGL 5377 User Experience Design
[co-req is ENGL 5388 Usability]
Still 001


3:30 MW


ENGL 5377 Discourses of the Great War Baake



9 - 12 Fridays



ENGL 5362, Rhetorical Analysis of Text

ENGL 5362 provides a general introduction to the practice of analyzing written texts. In addition to covering a number of formal methods of rhetorical criticism, we will focus on a set of enduring issues or tensions in rhetorical criticism: the purpose of criticism, the relationship between method and object, the role of theory, the influence of the critic, formal vs. eclectic criticism, adapting methods to serve new contexts, combining methods, the relationship between discourse analysis and rhetorical analysis, contributing to ongoing scholarly discussions, connecting TC to R, and others. Because good criticism cannot be reduced to a cookie-cutter formula, we will downplay the idea of criticism as a step-by-step procedure and emphasize instead the enduring issues and questions that every professional critic must confront. By the end of the course, students should be able to work through these issues effectively as they develop sound and insightful rhetorical analyses of texts.

  • Booth, Wayne (2004). The Rhetoric of Rhetoric: The Quest for Effective Communication. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 1405112379.
  • Gula, Robert J. (2007) Nonsense: Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language. Axios Press. ISBN: 0975366262.
  • Ott, Brian & Greg Dickinson, eds (2012). The Routledge Reader in Rhetorical Criticism. Routledge. Scheduled to be released in paperback on October 31st.

ENGL 5366, 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, compare 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.

ENGL 5377: Theoretical Approaches to Technical Communication: Intercultural Discourse, section D21

Learning Outcomes

  • recognize the nature, varieties, and challenges of intercultural discourse
  • identify various definitions and theories of intercultural discourse
  • analyze salient traits of discourse communities
  • cultivate appropriate research methodologies for the study of intercultural discourse
  • determine possible solutions to intercultural discourse challenges pertinent to technical communicators
  • develop abilities in intercultural discourse
  • explain the applicability of theories of intercultural discourse to the field of technical communication

Required Readings

  • Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, and Michael Minkov, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, 3rd edition (McGraw-Hill, 2010)
  • Ron Scollon, Suzanne Wong Scollon, and Rodney H. Jones, Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach, 3rd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)

ENGL 5377: Theoretical Approaches to Technical Communication: Intercultural Discourse, section 1

Intercultural communication is a form of global communication, describing a wide range of communication problems in workplaces involving different religious, ethnic, educational, and social backgrounds. 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.

Course Website: http://richrice.com/5377

Required Readings

  • Scollon, R., Scollon, S. W., & Jones, R. H. (2012). Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach. 3rd ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Asante, M. K., Miike, Y., & Yin, J. (2008). The global intercultural communication reader. NY: Routledge.
  • Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. NY: Mcgraw-Hill.
  • Nation, I. S. P. (2009). Teaching ESL/EFL reading and writing. NY: Routledge. (for our service-learning component)
  • Appadurai, A. (1990). Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy. Theory, Culture, & Society (7). pp. 295-310. (PDF).

ENGL 5377: Theoretical Approaches to Technical Communication: User-Centered Design

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.

The graduate course offered in UCD this spring, both online and on-site, 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 of at least medium (wireframe) fidelity, and in doing so create

  • User profiles for the intended product
  • A project budget
  • Methods, tools for gathering user feedback during design
  • Case studies of other UCD projects to critique/emulate
  • Slide deck for attracting potential investors, other funding resources
<>Any design of any product can be considered, ranging from hardware device, software, web application, pedagogical materials, etc. Students are encouraged to develop a project from scratch. Projects should be individual in nature but students will collaborate with each other to help with feedback and other core tasks. Books and other readings, as well as digital materials (i.e. YouTube) will be required to supplement in class discussion and lecture. Students from multiple disciplines, such as technical communication, human factors, engineering, the health sciences—whoever wants to design something for users—are encouraged to enroll.

ENGL 5382: Theory and Research in the Discourses of Health and Medicine

This graduate course will introduce current theory and research in medical rhetoric and health communication. Although the primary focus will be scholarship in technical communication and rhetoric, the course will also include some texts from other disciplines that take an interest in medicine such as communication studies, sociology, and anthropology.

Course website: http://medicalrhetoricttu.wordpress.com/about/

In addition to these two books, several required readings will be available as digital files through the course Web site. Please contact Dr. Koerber at amy.koerber@ttu.edu if you have any questions.

ENGL 5388: Usability Testing and Research

This course attempts to balance the theory of usability testing with the practice of actually conducting usability tests. It aims for two distinct modes. The first involves the concepts of usability testing, and will require that you do the assigned readings and participate fully in class discussion. I will expect you to ask questions, to connect ideas from various readings, and to connect these theories to our activities in the actual usability lab. The second mode of this course involves spending time in the usability lab, plugging in wires, rolling tape, positioning microphones and cameras, digitizing and editing video, and generally becoming very familiar with the workings of gathering data.

Required Readings:

  • Usability Testing & Research (Allyn & Bacon, 2002)
  • Other readings will be assigned and made available on the course web site (http://www.brianstill.com/moodle)

Expected Assignments:

  • Discussion Forum (10%)
  • Site Visit (20%)
  • Usability Team Project (60%)
  • Usability test plan (1/3)
  • Report of findings (1/3)
  • Client briefing and highlights tape/DVD (1/3)
  • Final (10%)

ENGL 5389 Field Methods of Research

Technical communicators have established their own research methods for use in software design; in the production of training materials; in the creation, use, and testing of educational activities; and so forth. This course will serve as a critical overview to these methods. In this course, we will examine these methods in terms of theoretical bases; data collection and analysis; and design work. For each method, you will critique research questions/problem statements and research instruments.

Using one of these methods, you will conduct a small-scale study. Prior to, during, and after the research process for this study, you will maintain a reflective research journal. At the end of the semester, you will decide on one of several possible formats and “write up” your research, situating it in the field, and then deliver your findings to the class in a research presentation. Finally, you will lead a class discussion, serving as the “information manager” for that class.

At the end of this course, you should have a theoretical understanding of the assumptions behind each method and, therefore, a grounding in how to choose the proper method for a given set of concerns and environment. You should be able to articulate reasons for selecting a field method and should be able to conduct and direct studies using any of the methods covered.

This course requires three textbooks:

  • Goodman, E., Kuniavsky, M., and Moed, A. (2012). Observing the User Experience, Second Edition: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN-10: 0123848695.
  • Spinuzzi, C. (2003). Tracing genres through organizations: a sociocultural approach to information design (acting with technology). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN-10: 0262194910.
  • Boellstorff, T. Nardi, B., Pearce, C., & Taylor, T.L. (2012). Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP. ISBN-10: 0691149518.

During some weeks, we will supplement these texts with additional reading materials, including book chapters, websites, and articles.

ENGL 5377 Discourses of the Great War

Human society has been unable to escape war even in the nearly 100 years since the Great War erupted across Europe, ostensibly as a "war to end all war." Much has been written in all genres about the war during and since its outbreak. Our team-taught course will conduct a survey of the written word as it encircles this event—looking at everything from the mundane technical manuals that soldiers read or reports that commanders wrote to novels, poems, and histories that those soldiers and later authors produced in order to try to come to terms with the war's horrors and the modern era it helped to usher in. Our primary goal is to study how different types of writing are used to know a particular reality. Rather than follow the approach that looks in detail at one genre as it addresses general issues, we want to look at many genres as they converge on one issue—The Great War.

Our underlying assumption is that humans use writing in all forms to make sense of their world and its challenges. In preparation for class, students will read and analyze various texts dealing with World War I. They will write short responses critiquing those texts, considering how texts from different genres covering the same topic both overlap and diverge. Students will conduct research and write a term paper on some aspect of World War I writing. The term paper assignment could be tailored to address specific student areas of interest in either technical communication or literature. Finally, the course will reveal the power and limitations of different types of writing for dealing with profound realities of the human condition, especially with the persistent tendency of cultures to interact through war.

Our class will meet on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. in English 202. We will have Skype connections available for distance students who would like to enroll.

In addition to an electronic course pack, we will read the following texts:

  • Howard, Michael: The First World War
  • Crowley, Robert editor: The Great War: Perspectives on the First World War
  • Erich Maria Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Silkin, Jon, editor: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry
  • Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway
  • Barker, Pat: Regeneration
  • World War I Field Manuals (CD ROM available for $10 from http://www.paperlessarchives.com/wwi_fms.html)