1,484 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2016
    1. This paper explores ways that technical communication can take a broader view of usability and then situate new approaches and studies.

      I think this touches on the goals we have created for technical writing in this class, emphasizing that the usability of the piece differs depending on the client it's created for. Sullivan uses this goal for the article as a pillar to discuss different ways in which we study usability and the effect that a multitude of different disciplines, like psychology and sociology, can have on the study of usability and technical communication. I think this message is relevant today because of the multimodal forms of communication present in todays world and how new mediums are emerging alongside new technologies.

    2. The Cultural Model With an Example From Describing Social Use- The cultural model takes a sociological approach to the task of studying usability, and its methods aim to study usability in the context of normal use.

      I believe that seeing technical writing through a sociologist's viewpoint is important because of what the author calls "the context of normal use". Although in the reading and in the other articles it's expressed that making your message too simple or dumbed down is also ineffective, it's important for your message to be user friendly and direct also. I think the most effective way to make your message user friendly would be field studies as opposed to laboratory studies even though this is a relatively new approach to technical writing.

    3. These exploratory tests will serve as litmus paper for their ideas, and any of these changes to the concrete thoughts that writers have about users will change the ways in which they develop manuals

      Continuing to do usability testing is essential for technical communicators to continue to improve their relationship with their users.

    4. though work on feedback during product development is also needed, as are integrated studies of product, users, and milieu, and studies that develop methods. In short, almost everything needs to be done.

      There are endless variables to consider during usability testing, and that makes it difficult to make sure everything is done.

    5. If we were to ask each of these groups to study users learning to use a word processor, the resulting studies would differ in foci, methods, goals, findings, and philoso- phy.

      Each group is an individual variable. Different approaches are what makes testing usability so difficult.

    6. In general, few usability researchers think about the missions of usability researchers outside their fields. Usability of docu- mentation can illustrate the differing views. Baecker and Bux- ton, in a text that features the importance of usability to the field of human-computer interaction, reflect the marginal posi- tion of documentation to that field as they relegate documenta- tion to a miscellaneous chapter near the end of the book. [ 141 Even their forward-looking text sees writing as “tacked on.” Writers, on the other hand, generally make human-computer interaction just as marginal to their effort. As both Nelson [15] and McDowell [16] point out, human factors is not a recognized part of the education of technical communicators. Thus, we can expect that few technical communicators read what human-computer interaction researchers are saying about users and usability and then think about how that work may apply to the writing of documentation.

      I found this paragraph really interesting, just because we kind of get the sense of where people in different job settings take human-computer interactions seriously. Writer's generally aren't concerned with this, but when it comes to technical writers the research that they look into for this will affect their career I'm sure.

    7. However, not every kind of investigative measure yields the same kind of information;

      Correlates to the idea in Wicked Problems where different statistics and accounts were being found across the student groups, as well as the affect of perspective. Each specialized group would have a different perspective within their different fields

    8. What is it that we are doing in relation to others who study usability, and what might we need to be doing?

      This is important in a rhetorical sense because it is the open question that we need to address to an audience. It relates to Wicked Problems in that it questions the relation of Technical communication to other fields' areas of study.

    9. Construed narrowly, “usability testing of documentation” can be limited to validating the usability of a nearly completed draft.

      "The usability of an interface is a measure of the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users can achieve specified goals in a particular environment with that interface."


    10. We remember our interest is in helping users to learn, and we approach situating new mate- rial within that general stance of advocating users and their learning.

      This can readily affect organization of material and the diction used, as well as introducing the potential of multimodal communications.

    11. The first step in situating a study is to build an interpretation of the context that the study grows out of. We begin to situate studies when we place the study: 0 In a time 0 In a place 0 In an investigative group 0 In a project/event sequence 0 In a society 0 In a set of research goals

      By defining the parameters of origins, you create an easily definable topic for your audience. This helps you compose your document because there is a clear intent behind your piece. Essentially, if we view each piece as teaching the audience (as mentioned earlier in this article), then we can really go about the structure like a lesson plan. With any lesson plan, you need to ensure that the foundation of basic knowledge is addressed and reinforced through the lesson. Establishing these foundational characteristics are key to this goal.

    12. The focus of their re- search has been on the design of interfaces, that space where humans and computers interact

      This is interesting in the lens of rhetoric because the interface is the persuasion and the mode. Each interface is designed with ease in mind with readability, attractive appearance, legibility, information organization, and efficiency of the reader retaining the information.

    13. she argues that more attention needs to be paid to the differences between people and computers.

      The difference she argues for may become more difficult to navigate as people become part of each; we create computer-based existences alongside or completely separate from our human life.

    14. To this end, the marketers are constantly working to build mar- kets and satisfy customers.

      This seems to imply that for this sector of usability research, the potential market has priority. This means that the information could be manipulated for the benefit of a larger market margin.

    15. Writers, document designers, and educators fo- cus on the educational materials that surround a system and on how users employ those aids to help them learn a sys- tem.

      Technical writers focus more on source material; what users utilize to learn a system and what materials are out there to help them.

    16. Like those in human-computer interaction, technical communicators are educated in a number of disciplines, in- cluding English, education, graphics, and technical writing.

      These various disciplines provide a variety in Technical Communication productions. They are not overly focused in "empirical studies" (Professional Communications), but rather focus on analyzing the effective avenues of communicating to audiences

    17. Finding an efficient way to “grade the text” has been a persistent goal, an idea founded on the notion that a text holds the meaning. Writers have looked for a textual measure of quality, and of readability, and of comprehensibility, and of usability.

      Fascinatingly, the humanity roots of Technical Communication professionals seems to create a more liberal way to assert accuracy in a message to an audience. They focus more on case studies that have more philosophical nature of discussing success. As such, they are always entertaining the idea of what grading should be. This spurs the discussion of usability within the community.

    18. eports on a series of interviews that probe how professionals and clerical workers organize the information on their desks.

      Looking at the natural to introduce the manufactured seems to be a common goal of technology. If we study what we reflexively do through daily tasks, such as organization, then it is easy to create a platform emulating these natural habits, putting users at ease. Hence, the Iphone brands itself as :user friendly" by focusing on the same habits to operate the slew of apps available.

    19. ng new and complex approaches to the study of usability, as sure as they have the possibility of becoming a battleground for philosophical disputes.

      Wicked Problems comes to a similar conclusion about cross-field studies. Each person in the group has an expertise and a perception that differs from the other. This effects priorities, study type experiences, and diction decisions. Combining fields allows a wider lens view of issues and potential solutions.

    20. Consider some of the decisions faced by a particular study- how to measure using, what to consider successful, or where in the development cycle to conduct the test.

      Factors such as these would make it to difficult to analyze each manipulated factor is a matter of personal opinion.

    21. The broad view of usability includes so much work that we need to build a framework for the studies. Thus, I argue that we handle the problems by situating a particular investigation in light of its research group, its research ques- tions, its methods, the issues it settles or raises, and its major constraints. The situating will help us fashion a coherent land- scape of usability, a landscape that will help us to assess more cannily what we know about usability and what we need to know.

      This coincides well with the statement I previously made about the difficulties of measuring and analyzing usability with infinite manipulations used throughout technical communication.

      By enacting one specific framework to be used by all technical communicators, it makes it easier to determine usability across the field.

    22. Direct questioning -Surveys -Interviews - Comprehension tests 0 Observation -Informal observation -Laboratory observation -User protocols -Reading protocols -Keystroke records -Computer text analysis -Editorial review -Technical review

      Of the three methods, I would assume that direct questioning and observation would be the most effective. Direct contact with users and instant access to data would make determining usability easier.

    23. The traditional evaluation methods involve a computer or an expert evaluating the product for how well it meets preset criteria.

      According to the text, traditional evaluation methods produce real-time results, in regards to readability and efficiency. They don't, however, answer questions of usability.

    24. Product Development Model With an Example From Test- ing of Documentation- The product development model ad- heres to a pragmatic, engineering model. It focuses on deliv- ering usability information important to the various stages of product development in a timely manner. Because of the time constraints, it normally employs laboratory rather than field studies. Thus, it selects research methods on the basis of how well they deliver the necessary information. Dieli [18] and Lasselle [19] have identified a number of products thkt could be tested at each point in the development cycle- from others’ products and prototypes in the design phase, to storyboards, to documentation modules, and to full product tests. These lists suggest a range of places to test that are new to usability testers who focus on testing completed, or near-completed, products

      The product development model measures usability, paying special attention to each stage of development, maintaining realistic expectations during each stage, and continuously determining the practicality of the product from stage to stage.

    25. The milieu of the cognitive work is the laboratory. Though surveys and interviews may be part of the work, classical experiments or protocols are the mainstays of the research. Informal observation, editorial review, technical review, and field studies are not often employed.

      The cognitive model requires an experiment. Test subjects must use the "product" with researchers watching, who then determine usability through user action.

      My only concern with this method is pre-screening for participants. The provided example involves word processor software. A factor that could impact data would be computer literacy or basic familiarization. Although its a new program being tested, anyone who has previously used a word processor would be more successful at navigating the tested program than someone with no previous experience.

    26. In the field, researchers can learn about the social complexities of use and gain strategies for (1) improving com- munication with users and (2) designing systems that support the natural means of social feedback and interaction.

      The Cultural Model uses user interaction to determine usability. This model seems the most reliable when trying to determine the usability of a program because it connects researchers with the audience. It's easy to assume that the larger an audience a program or website has, the simpler usability has to be.

    27. Product methods are usually linked to product ques- tions, cognitive model methods to user questions, and cultural model methods to milieu questions.

      It's important to recognize the connections between the methods and questions: information processing and questions formed during application or testing, and a person's beliefs connected to how/where they were born or raised

    28. A second means for enhancing product development can come from applying the results of validation research.

      Connecting data and research across technical communicators, in regards to one product, can improve usability. A collective effort among many in the field provides many "solutions" or "resolutions", as we learned in #wickman concerning wicked problems.

    29. More and more people believe that we need to know about “natural use” to know about “usability” and to build more usable systems

      "Natural use's goal is to minimize interference to results and data as close to reality as possible."


      This can be done through observation, and can be extremely helpful when determining usability. Going with the provided example, if users were testing a new word processor, some questions that could be answered include: How easy is the program to navigate? Are the tools and symbols universally recognizable?

    1. how technicalcommunication will change as jobs require a more variedskill set that no individual can be reasonably expected tomaster. Undeniably, a jack of all trades attitude is not whatwe need.

      A balance between "jack of all trades" and "master" is required for technical communicators. But also it helps if you are able to utilize the critical thinking referenced in earlier. Being able to learn new information and then "regurgitate" and utilize it is a valuable tool that you can use to learn the different technological aspects.

    2. Twenty years after the introduction of desktop pub-lishing,


      Here is an explanation of what exactly desktop publishing is.

    3. In other words, the writing aspects were thesame. In a very real way, the writing isn't different whetheryou are writing double-spaced text to be sent to a typeset-ter, using a desktop publishing system, or writing Webcontent. However, before everyone leaps up and claimsthey are majorly different, note that I said the writing. Thewriting process and the skill sets required to be an effectivetechnical communicator in each of those three writingsituations is radically different. The technology required tobe effective in each of those situations is also different, andan effective writer must be able to handle that technology.

      This point is so vital to understanding the complexities of technical communcation, I think. The act of writing and learning to write effectively really never changes. The amount of context given, what the audience needs and/or wants, the process in which a product is made is the real complexity of technical communication in my opinion. Having an arsenal of skills to know that one audience may need a tweet while the other needs a brochure and then how to create good effective versions of those is valuable. Understanding your personal writing process is the start to all of this and also writing on different mediums and seeing how that effects your process.

    4. One of my annotations failed to show on my stream, so I am reposting it here... https://hyp.is/4gw0nnOhEeaTMCN5eC6xTA/courses.christopherylam.com/5191/readings/albers_2005.pdf

    5. Missing is our overall examination and synthe-sis of how that research and discipline movement willaffect technical communication as a discipline in both theshort (three to five years) and longer terms.

      This quotation seems to have no faith in the future of technical communication. Through the years technical communication has evolved and will continue to do so throughout the years to come as technology advances and writers enhance their tech com skill sets.

    6. coming a spe-cialist is not required—although senior people probablywill specialize in one area—but all writers must be able tofluently discuss issues pertinent to each area.

      I think that a lot of people would find this surprising. How can someone who isn't a expert on a certain subject know how to write about that subject? Well, the answer is critical thinking! The ability to comprehend, analyze, and then synsthesize information is such a valuable tool in learning new information and also being able to write about something you aren't necessarily an "expert" on. Rhetors and technical communicators should be able to do this with any information given to them.

    7. STC Annual Conference,

      The Summit in Technical Communication is a conference for all technical writers to join in DC in the month of may to discuss, unveil, and demonstrate new products and services in the world of Technical Communication. (http://summit.stc.org/)

    8. claimed that it was very important that it be perfect and thatit must be written in case someone sometime wanted it

      This brings me to think of the user manuals in the electronics and other household items the majority of us own in this day in age. It seems as the time goes on less and less individuals are actually paying attention to the written text provided although the writers spend a large amount of time perfecting their work. It makes me think why someone would want to become a credible writer but yet not have their work read as often.

    9. hnical com-municators need to continue to learn new technologies andtools to remain competitive and employable

      This really proves the argument of the article; technical communication is evolving faster than anyone expected and to be effective, one must stay on top of the ever-growing world of technology as well as have the ability to write for it. Complacency doesn't work here.

    10. One issue that needs to be clarified is the differencebetween tools and technology.

      Throughout time I believe that these two words "tools" and "technology" have become interchangeable much like synonyms. Technology is a tool especially for tech writers, of course.

    11. n tandem withthis expansion, the fundamental methods of

      What are these fundamental methods being used?

    12. fore the mid-199O's, simply being able to write was sufficient to gethired. That text-focused view is no longer common. Whatemployers expect—and what graduates need to be com-petitive in the job market—is an expanded set of skills tocomplement their writing ability, skills that depend onvarious aspects of technology.

      A teacher in high school always told us that the number one complaint companies had about new hires was their ability to write effectively was very very low. The knowledge to know how to write effectively plus the knowledge of technologies and how to write with them is the ticket to being a great and valuable employee.

    13. But the panelists all agreed thattechnical communicators needed to move away from sim-ply writing and into the areas represented by the fourspokes.

      Technical communication isn't just for English majors; it's interdisciplinary!

    14. But many writers still want to clingto variations of the locked door; they want to be left alone andgiven enough time to carefully craft sentences and paragraphsinto beautiful, tight, coherent prose. Unlike programmerswho have been forced to work on teams, many writers stillwork alone or with only one or two other writers, and havethus been able to maintain the craftsman attitude. But thisattitude is, in the end, detrimental to their position within acompany and recognition by coworkers.

      The idea of technical communication as a collaborative effort is another thing that is new not only to technical communication, but the profession of writing in general. We don't see many instances of cowriting, but in technical communication, it is almost essential. Going through drafts and ideas and different suggestions and input only makes the product stronger. Collaboration is an important part of being an effective technical communicator.

    15. Weiss (2002) argues that the "artistic impulse" of mostwriters can prove to be the "greatest barrier to productivityand may even compromise the quality of the communica-tion products" (p. 3). Too many writers seem eager to craft"perfect" prose with the writing aspects overriding thecommunication issues inherent in the specific audienceand task.

      When writing for academia, especially in the higher levels, we are told to be eloquent and "perfect" and sound dignified, but when it comes to technical communication, efficiency and concision is key. The word choice and sounded lofty so you can make a word or page count isn't the most important thing: the audience is. Getting the point across is. Audience and task are the central ideas of technical communication, which makes it hard because we have to relearn how to write. That's one of the reasons tech writers are in such high demand; the ability to write concisely and efficiently is not a small task.

    16. contextual issues surroundingaudience needs and effective communication must drivethe choice and use of technology

      This is where a discussion of genre and rhetorical problem solving can be used. Based on the rhetorical situation, a effective technical communicator must consider all things in order to provide the most compelling, engaging, and appropriate response/argument/product. Which kind of technology would be best is an important factor in technical communication in this age.

    17. Traditionally, the focus of technical communica-tors has been on writing documents. However, inrecent years, technical communicators have beenwidening their scope and expanding into areassuch as interface and interaction design, information archi-tecture, information design, and usability. I

      As my classmate says, technical communication is ever-growing and ever-changing. What "technical writing" was 20, even 10 years ago isn't necessarily all that it is now. Technology is growing and evolving, and so does our needs of technical writing. Another thing to note is the change from "technical writing" to "technical communication". Now, it seems that it is more about a dialogue than rules and/or instructions

    18. The future of the field will be technology laden

      Technology is loaded with tons of information. It is needed a lot, and it will keep improving. You can almost find anything with the use of technology. It's used everyday by everybody in the world. I don't think anyone can live without it except maybe old people who are still learning and adjusting to it. It may become a problem or may not with the next generation. It will all depend on how they use it or what they use it for.

    19. like programmerswho have been forced to work on teams, many writers stillwork alone or with only one or two other writers, and havethus been able to maintain the craftsman attitude. But thisattitude is, in the end, detrimental to their position within acompany and recognition by coworkers.

      teamwork makes the dream work. Having worked with a partner before, not always easy

    20. eople handle technologyand address its problems and solutions with respect to theircurrent knowledge space.

      This is what they mean when they say that no technology is neutral. Technology is very biased to the people who use it.

    21. It influences and is influenced by other technol-ogies and social issues.

      Technology is dependent on other technological information. It is never independent. For example, you can get an iPhone that is bigger in size now which is called the iPhone 6 plus. It was probably influenced by Samsung since they have the Samsung Galaxy Note. I am pretty sure that the creators of the iPhone 6 plus wanted people to know that the iPhone's screen can also be very big just like the Samsung's.

    22. Writing and rhetorical issues are imponant and mustbe taught in an academic program, but failing to realize thatemployers consider those skills a given and judge prospec-tive employees on a more extensive set of skills handicapsboth the student and the long-term growth of the field. A

      Writing and rhetorical issues are very important in the course of technical writing.

    23. Strategic planning in this context is figuring out howtechnologies integrate and what effects they will have.Tactical planning is figuring out how to implement a singlenew technology. Reaction planning is complaining abouthow management, without warning expects the writinggroup to use a new technology that they didn't choosethemselves. Post-mortem planning is wondering how thecompany could outsource documentation to an overseascompany and lay off the writers who had producedperfectly written, unread manuals. W

      These are the different types of planning. I think that strategic planning is the most important because; you need to first figure out how technologies blend into each other, and what effect they will have when you use them. The rest of the planning types all depend on the results of strategic planning.

    24. A significant problem is the lack of empirical researchinto how to handle the technology issues within technicalcommunication.

      What do they mean when they say "empirical research?"

    25. https://msu.edu/~bhatta30/wra/exams/Article.pdf

      This link provides more roles or jobs that come out of technical communication.

    26. What I fear is thattechnology will be dumped on us without our input and thatwe will shoulder the blame when that technology fails toperform as expected.

      But, it has already happened. Technology keeps changing and improving, and we as people don't get much opinion on it. We as people don't get much say in what we want to happen to technology. Technology develops and improves when we least expect it. I believe that people will not blame technology, but rather themselves. They are going to blame themselves for not catching up to the latest technology and for being too old-fashioned.

    27. Now that seat is easier to get but just aseasy to lose if you can't contribute as an equal member ofthe team.

      It is easy to retrieve something, but it is also easy to lose that same thing if you don't focus on the goal. If you want something really badly you must be able to focus on it without thinking about anything else. But, if you lose your goal it is okay too because; you can always get right back up and try again and again until you reach it. You must persevere and remember that if you can't put your own effort in what you want to do, you can easily lose the purpose of what you wanted in the first place.

    28. erhaps part of thereason is that too many writers want to ignore technologyas much as possible; unfortunately, I think the end result isthat they either miss the train or get run over by it. I'veinwardly c

      I would probably agree with this comparison if it was back in the days where technology wasn't as efficient as now. But, now that since everyone in the world uses and relies a lot on technology this comparison between writers with technology and missing the train does not match up.

    29. Dream-Weaver is a tool, but all the various Web design tools andhow we use them to construct a Web site comprise atechnology.

      This is an example of a tool and technology. Technology is something that builds a website up to what it is made of while, a tool is the website as whole.


      This section reflects upon the development of technical communication; the elements and skills set that comprise the field have increased over time. The job market has started to reflect this change. Generally, we observe higher instances of interdisciplinary elements in the field.

    1. we are designers of social futures - workplace futures, public futures, and community futures.

      Kind of poetic language for an academic article.That is interesting. Also, think this line applies not only to technical communicators, but everyone in the world.

    2. new communications media are reshaping the way we use language

      This is really true. Especially with regards to internet slang. Also, just the new names of technologies are adding words into languages. For example, how you can use Google as a verb.

    3. We live in an environment where subcultural differences - differences of identity and affiliation - are becoming more and more significant. Gender, ethnicity, generation, and sexual orientation are just a few of the markers of these differences.

      Change is good and it's great that there are different cultures mixing. We, as a society should be able to accept cultures and customs that are different and not think of them as evil or try to be negative about them.

    4. When technologies of meaning are changing so rapidly, there cannot be one set of standards or skills that constitute the ends of literacy learning, however taught.

      This is so true for technical writers. Technical communication is definitely a field where you never stop learning.

    5. how might we depart from the latest views and analyses of high-tech, globalized, and culturally diverse workplaces and relate these to educational programs that are based on a broad vision of the good life and an equitable society?

      Good question for us "millennials" or "future thinkers" to ponder which states that we should figure a way to stop using the old ways and continue to think of new ways to use media and education so that the newer generation is able to adapt.

    6. mass media, multimedia, and in an electronic hypermedia.

      Three underrated forms of communication. Mass media can be anything internet related which to media or internet. Multimedia is using several sources of media and hypermedia is adding sound and music to your media, as Google dictionary defines it.

    7. visual, the audio, the spatial, the behavioral, and so on

      The modes of meaning-making which correlates to the different ways we view our products.

    8. Two main arguments

      Two main arguments are: The first relates to the increasing multiplicity and integration of significant modes of meaning-making, where the textual is also related to the visual, the audio, the spatial, the behavioral, and so on"

      The second argument: "We decided to use term 'multiliteracies' as a way to focus on the realities of increasing local diversity and global connectedness."

    9. ten distinctly different people

      Having several perspectives should give us more than one viewpoint about life and experiences.

    10. What is appropriate education for women, for indigenous peoples, for immigrants who do not speak the national language, for speakers of non-standard dialects?

      We as Americans, have to accept the fact that there are different cultures and that education should go to whomever wants it. It should not be a privileged thing.

    11. This question of differences has become a main one that we must now address as educators. And although numerous theories and practices have been developed as possible responses, at the moment there seems to be particular anxiety about how to proceed.

      This questioning process is important as Pullman and Gu discuss in "Guest Editors’ Introduction: Rationalizing and Rhetoricizing Content Management.” .

    12. Interesting how the word "community" brings thoughts of inclusiveness but can also used to divide just as easily

    13. Situated Practice: Immersion in experience and the utilization of available discourses, including those from the students' lifeworlds and simulations of the relationships to be found in workplaces and public spaces. Overt Instruction: Systematic, analytic, and conscious understanding. In the case of multiliteracies, this requires the introduction of explicit metalanguages, which describe and interpret the Design elements of different modes of meaning. Critical Framing: Interpreting the social and cultural context of particular Designs of meaning. This involves the students' standing back from what they are studying and viewing it critically in relation to its context. Transformed Practice: Transfer in meaning-making practice, which puts the transformed meaning to work in other contexts or cultural sites.

      The four major types of answering the "how" of the pedagogy of multiliteracies. After determining what we have to learn and what resources we have available, we can use that as well as the situation and environment to pick any of these forms to apply to the actual teaching process, or the transmission of the information from the teacher to the student(s).

    14. Available Designs Available Designs - the resources for Design - include the "grammars" of various semiotic systems: the grammars of languages, and the grammars of other semiotic systems such as film, photography, or gesture. Available Designs also include "orders of discourse" (Fairclough, 1995). An order of discourse is the structured set of conventions associated with semiotic activity (including use of language) in a given social space - a particular society, or a particular institution such as a school or a workplace, or more loosely structured spaces of ordinary life encapsulated in the notion of different lifeworlds. An order of discourse is a socially produced array of discourses, intermeshing and dynamically interacting. It is a particular configuration of Design elements. An order of discourse can be seen as a particular configuration of such elements. It may include a mixture of different semiotic systems - visual and aural semiotic systems in combination with language constitute the order of discourse of TV, for instance. It may involve the grammars of several languages - the orders of discourse of many schools, for example.

      The Available Designs in a particular setting is arguably the most vital portion of the process. It is worthy to be talked about, because in order to begin designing or come up with a finished product, one must first realize what is available. It could consist of grammars as well as a series of other aspects. In order to come to the conclusion of what is available, society, institution or workplace have to bet taken into effect. This likely varied in the diverse group that were in attendance to this group study.

    15. Designs of Meaning   Available Designs: Resources for meaning; Available Designs of meaning   Designing:  The work performed on/with Available Designs in the  semiotic process   The Redesigned:  The resources that are reproduced and transformed Dimensions of Meaning

      "Design", which is used to describe the "what" of pedagogy of multiliteracies, basically is the processes and environments for learning and applying these multiliteracies. Instead of seeing the teachers as all knowing and simply telling the student what to do, by thinking of it as a design helps to involve the student and allows them to actually gain knowledge from there learning. In order to efficiently study design (the "what"), one must first determine the Available Designs which are the resources, the process of actually Designing or putting the information into a way that can be learned, and finally we come across the Redesigned which is the final product or revised product. This product is what is being learned, this is why Design is important.

    16. Although this article was very detailed and served its purposes in answering the questions it posed at the beginning, it is crucial to acknowledge that this is only the start of an intense and in-depth research topic.. Because literacy can cross into various areas of study, this topic could never be condensed to just one article and the pedagogy of multiliteracies is an open-ended study.

    17. In relation to the new environment of literacy pedagogy, we need to reopen two fundamental questions: the "what" of literacy pedagogy, or what it is that students need to learn; and the "how" of literacy pedagogy, or the range of appropriate learning relationships.

      This is an important sentence of the overall article. Here, we shift from simply discussing multiliteracies to tackling the real subject at end: the pedagogy of literacies/mulitliteracies. Schools and education seem to be at the forefront of the conversation of what is happening to literacy. The first thing that must be determined is what questions to ask to when discussing this. "What" we are being taught and "How" we are being taught are particularly important to figure the whole thing out. I would even expand the argument as to ask "why" these things are being taught just as justification or reasoning.

    18. In responding to the radical changes in working life that are currently underway, we need to tread a careful path that provides students the opportunity to develop skills for access to new forms of work through learning the new language of work. But at the same time, as teachers, our role is not simply to be technocrats. Our job is not to produce docile, compliant workers. Students need to develop the capacity to speak up, to negotiate, and to be able to engage critically with the conditions of their working lives.

      Engagement with the literacies is just as important as the way we get them across. It is not enough to be a technical writer and use writing tools and techniques properly and efficiently if you lack the knowledge of the actual topic or are unable to produce the information without aid. It is important not to get lost in technology and also be able to preserve your actual memory of subjects.

    19. Second, we decided to use the term "multiliteracies" as a way to focus on the realities of increasing local diversity and global connectedness. Dealing with linguistic differences and cultural differences has now become central to the pragmatics of our working, civic, and private lives. Effective citizenship and productive work now require that we interact effectively using multiple languages, multiple Englishes, and communication patterns that more frequently cross cultural, community, and national boundaries.

      With the world we live in today, especially without pouring use of fast media, such as social networks, it is important for us to understand "multiliteracies" as well as make them applicable in everyday situations. And this may not even pertain to different countries or different languages but could change from different work forces, like in the way we get our thoughts across using general English, but a law firm may use Legal English (Legalese) in their exchange.

    20. The first relates to the increasing multiplicity and integration of significant modes of meaning-making, where the textual is also related to the visual, the audio, the spatial, the behavioral, and so on.

      To have these several modes of rhetoric to portray information is key because their usefulness depends on the situation. Whereas some situations may cause for one type, other circumstances may need a different or a combination of two or more. Having these different ways to express literacy are essential for it to be used in society.

    21.    Being ten distinctly different people, we brought to this discussion a great variety of national, life, and professional experiences. Courtney Cazden from the United States has spent a long and highly influential career working on classroom discourse, on language learning in multilingual contexts, and, most recently, on literacy pedagogy. Bill Cope, from Australia, has written curricula addressing cultural diversity in schools, and has researched literacy pedagogy and the changing cultures and discourses of workplaces. From Great Britain, Norman Fairclough is a theorist of language and social meaning, and is particularly interested in linguistic and discursive change as part of social and cultural change. James Gee, from the United States, is a leading researcher and theorist on language and mind, and on the language and learning demands of the latest "fast capitalist" workplaces. Mary Kalantzis, an Australian, has been involved in experimental social education and literacy curriculum projects, and is particularly interested in citizenship education. Gunther Kress, from Great Britain, is best known for his work on language and learning, semiotics, visual literacy, and the multimodal literacies that are increasingly important to all communication, particularly the mass media. Allan Luke, from Australia, is a researcher and theorist of critical literacy who has brought sociological analysis to bear on the teaching of reading and writing. Carmen Luke, also from Australia, has written extensively on feminist pedagogy. Sarah Michaels, from the United States, has had extensive experience in developing and researching programs of classroom learning in urban settings. Martin Nakata, an Australian, has researched and written on the issue of literacy in indigenous communities.

      This was an important and diverse quality to have. These different groups of people had the ability to share their various experiences with literacy based on there demographic location as well as their particular field of study. Because multiplicity was a key discussion in this article, it is important to realize that literacy is defined, learned, and practiced differently in different cultures, as well as different parts of the world. It is also taken on in a different perspective in this article by not only being discussed in an academic or essay-writing realm, but also a social aspect, too.

    22. many of the different types of communication overlap between modes

    23. n a profound sense, all meaning-making is multimoda

      there seems to be a lot of overlap

    24. newly prominent modes and technolog

      modes vs. mediums. Difference is important to note

    25. Pedagogy is a teaching and learning relationship that creates the potential for building learning conditions leading to full and equitable social participation

      technical communication is NOT about you. always the audience

    26. students and teachers and a new approach to literacy pedagogy that they call "multiliteracies."

      what our class is about

    27. Literacy pedagogy, in other words, has been a carefully restricted project - restricted to formalized, monolingual, monocultural, and rule-governed forms of language.

      the scope of language is much more broad than this, especially in the 21st century

    28. such as visual images and their relationship to the written word

      This reminds me of the visual rhetoric class I am taking with Dr. Holmes.

    29. Cultural differences and rapidly shifting communications media meant that the very nature of the subject - literacy pedagogy - was changing radically. This article is a summary of our discussions.


    30. First, we want to extend the idea and scope of literacy pedagogy to account for the context of our culturally and linguistically diverse and increasingly globalized societies, for the multifarious cultures that interrelate and the plurality of texts that circulate

      social media must play a big part in this.

    31. visual design in desktop publishing or the interface of visual and linguistic meaning in multimedia

      This reminds me of the digital writing class I am taking with Dr. Pullman.

    32. newly prominent modes and technologies of communication; and changing text usage in restructured workplaces

      this is probably due to the increasing use of the internet in the 1990's

    33. yet it is by no means a finished piece

      Because literacy pedagogy is always rapidly changing, I wonder if this article can ever TRUELY be finished.

    34. multiliteracies - a word we chose to describe two important arguments we might have with the emerging cultural, institutional, and global order: the multiplicity of communications channels and media, and the increasing saliency of cultural and linguistic diversity

      main point

    35. Second, we decided to use the term "multiliteracies" as a way to focus on the realities of increasing local diversity and global connectedness

      multiple societies and peoples create multiple ways of communicating and learning.

    36. The article goes on to discuss six design elements in the meaning-making process: those of Linguistic Meaning, Visual Meaning, Audio Meaning, Gestural Meaning, Spatial Meaning, and the Multimodal patterns of meaning that relate the first five modes of meaning to each other.

      main modes

    37. Situated Practice, which draws on the experience of meaning-making in lifeworlds, the public realm, and workplaces; Overt Instruction, through which students develop an explicit metalanguage of Design; Critical Framing, which interprets the social context and purpose of Designs of meaning; and Transformed Practice, in which students, as meaning-makers, become Designers of social futures

      Does every individual go through this process of learning? Is this the natural progression of language communication or is it specific to the westernized world?

    38. These examples of revolutionary changes in technology and the nature of organizations have produced a new language of work. They are all reasons why literacy pedagogy has to change if it is to be relevant to the new demands of working life, if it is to provide all students with access to fulfilling employment.

      VERY IMPORTANT. As college students, our goal is to obtain employment after graduation. In order to accomplish this, we need to be fully prepared for what we might encounter in the "real world".

    39. market logic

      I am not completely sure what "market logic" is... is it referring to a market/economic based society? if so, how does this apply to schools?

    40. teachers find their cultural and linguistic messages losing power and relevance as they compete with these global narratives.

      I never thought of popular culture as "competing" for a childs attention. However, this does make sense as one would rather watch TV than study for a test...

    41. not much space is offered in the marketplace of childhood that reflects genuine diversity among children and adolescents.

      This is why I believe academics are so important. It allow the individual to take it upon themselves to find their OWN interests, rather than go along with what their peers enjoy. Individuality is key to diversity; however, this is a difficult task to accomplish in the 21st century.

    42. are now made unashamedly public

      this is due to the use of widespread media.

    43. As these three major realms of social activity have shifted, so the roles and responsibilities of schools must shift

      I also believe they must shift with the changing "norm" of the home environment.

    44. The danger of glib and tokenistic pluralism is that it sees differences to be immutable and leaves them fragmentary

      i wish they would expand on this as I am not 100% sure what they are stating.

    45. To achieve this, we need to engage in a critical dialogue with the core concepts of fast capitalism, of emerging pluralistic forms of citizenship, and of different lifeworlds. This is the basis for a new social contract, a new commonwealth.

      I especially agree with the "different lifeworlds" part of this statement. As someone who is heavily interested in the education system, I feel as if this applies to low income areas with shotty school systems, where the kids do not have the same opportunity as their better-off peers

    46. An order of discourse is the structured set of conventions associated with semiotic activity (including use of language) in a given social space

      Does this simply refer to the natural order of things? Relationships between two groups or subjects? I gathered this from the example of the relationship between African American gangs in L.A. and the discourse of the L.A.P.D.

    1. "Yet Bakhtin also suggests that speech genres are "changeable, flexible, and plastic.""(Schryer 213). What does this writer mean by "plastic?" How are speech genres "plastic?" https://bu.digication.com/UHCST111HI_2010_09-12/Review_of_The_Problem_of_Speech_Genres/published ^This link states the definition of a speech genre.The writer states in the link, "that there are diverse spheres of communication, and the generally stable utterances within each sphere constitute speech genres."(Bakhtin). It states that a speech genre is not just a simple genre, but its what in each "sphere" that holds a speech genre. Speech genres are different than other type of genres.

    2. pg200, Dialogue This is an example of prescriptive language versus descriptive language. While descriptive language is the language that people speak and use naturally, prescriptive language is language that people associate with rules and order.

    3. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/genre ^ This link provides a broad definition of genre. Genre is a category of a composition, like music or literature, that are then grouped with each other based on the similarities that they have.

    4. "Contradictions always exist. It is through contradictions, in fact, that change occurs. This sense of complexity and creative contradiction is reflected in the term transformativity. Genres are, in fact, characterized by transformativity."(Schryer 210). ^This quote states that genre is characterized by the way it changes. Genre belongs in different groups, and it changes based on the groups that they belong to.

    5. Page 209 "genres are sites for the centrifugal and centripetal forces that struggle to maintain and yet renew discourse practices"

    6. Pg. 208 Bazerman defined genre as "a sociopsychological category which we use to recognize and construct typified actions within typified situations. It is a way of creating order in the ever-fluid symbolic world." I find this definition to be interesting and quite accurate because "social actors" want to run wild when it comes to their art because there are so many subcategories they can immerse themselves in but the information that they're dealing with is so important and vital to society that there needs to be a common language or guidelines that allow for easy interpreting of that information.

    7. Page 208, "Miller realized that if genre were conceived as conventional 'ways of acting together' then the concept did not lend itself to taxonomy 'for genres change, evolve, and decay''

    8. I found it contradictory how Miller wanted "to make of rhetorical genre a stable classifying concept" when the definition of genre has this concept of it being a "in the now" and continuously adapting and changing notion. pg. 208

    9. It's interesting how genre is defined as "reoccurring and in the now" when those who are only currently present in the situation can actually interpret it and give it significance. Pg. 207

    10. Pg. 207 "recurrent, significant, and action reflects key insights into the nature of genre"

    11. Page 207, "a genre represents a series of texts sharing features at the levels of content, form, and style"

    12. Page 206, Smith suggested that textual practices {record keeping} remove from the individuals who use them much freedom of action and expression. Records not only constitute organizations but are also constituted by them and function as mechanisms of control. I find her statement to be truthful because the genre of medical record keeping provides rules and guidelines that prevent doctors from going off tangent which can lead to having a miscommunication (i.e. overlooking certain symptoms) that can potentially lead to serious consequences (i.e. misdiagnose).

    13. "a genre is an emic phenomenon."(Schryer 207). ^The link above provides a definition of an emic. The word emic in this sentence means that genre is a person's perception of it. Whoever studies genre is bound to question it's explanation.

    14. Page 205, Record keeping according to Smith "the forms that externalize social consciousness in social practices, objectify reasoning, knowledge, memory, decision-making, judgement, evaluation..." From this I can infer that record keeping is a mode of communication between doctors that has turned into a language of its own.

    15. "a genre represents a series of texts sharing features at the levels of content, form, and style."(Schryer 207). ^This is a more detailed definition of genre.

    16. I believe that there is nothing wrong with labeling record keeping as a genre. Record keeping is a category of writing; it is writing something down so you can remember it or taking notes that someone says that you think is important. I don't understand why this article states that there is a problem with stating record keeping as a genre. Maybe it is because that this article was written such a long time ago that in that time record keeping was not thought of as a genre.

    17. "This article argues that record keeping is a central discursive practice in disciplines such as psychiatry, social work, and medicine."(Schryer 204). ^ I believe that this is not the case. People all over the world keep some kind of record keeping, everyone just has different kinds of it. For example, when students go to school, they write notes from the lectures or things that their teachers say that they think are important to them. I believe that this is a type of record keeping.

    18. ..."triangulation as a central concern for qualitative researchers. It is through triangulation, or detailed cross- checking and cross- referencing, that valid generalizations emerge from ethnographic research."(Schryer 201). ^This is a definition of triangulation.

    19. Physicians and researchers use multimodal modes of communication when studying doctor and patient interactions, such as studying videotaping of these interactions rather than just reviewing the medical records taken during the interactions.

    20. "Terms", according to McLaughlin, "commit us to particular values, and if we are aware of these commitments, we can take the position we inhabit."

    21. "We grasp the meaning and structure of a literary work only through its relation to archetype" on genre

    22. "...genre is composed of a constellation of recognizable forms bound together by an internal dynamic." Miller (1984)

    23. "objectively neutral styles presuppose something like an identity of the addressee and the speaker, a unity of their viewpoints, but this identity and unity are purchased at the price of almost complete forfeiture of expression"


    24. coherent style allowed for rapid communication and efficient problem solving

    25. Page 205-206, according to Pettinari, medical records, besides providing a means of communication and planning, actually come to represent patients themselves. I found this statement very interesting and accurate because most doctors review your medical records and identify you by your previous diagnoses, even before they actually meet you face to face. The future of your health essentially depends on how well your doctor comprehends the genre of your medical record.

    26. Using POVMR doctors are able to access records using key words from their own hospitals and hospitals around the country. Offers more and better research

    27. Genres are evolving and function as ideological vehicles that represent the values of certain groups within the speech community and not others.

    28. Going off our conversation on Tuesday, veterinarians are using different modes to record their data. Visual and oral signals are written down for further study when dealing with animals in the field.

    29. "the concept of genre, when viewed from rhetorical, dialectical, and dialogic perspectives, can illuminate much of the work and ideology of such textual practices (i.e. medical field)" page 204

    30. Psychiatry, social work, and medicine are powerful communities that affect us all, so therefore there record keeping practices/methods are dire to how shaping our society. For example, if a new method of record keeping came to the discovery of a link between depression and lack of socializing, then that can have a huge impact on diagnosing patients with similar symptoms or even the type of treatments involved.

    31. Page 204, "Why examine record keeping at all? Is the concept of 'genre' an accurate or useful way to theorize about these texts? Is genre a useful way to talk about the ways of speaking and writing characteristic of discourse communities?" When discussing genre, the main purpose is trying to figure out what will work according to certain conventions that you look for to identify what type of document it is. Genre is always in the now, continuously moving. Record keeping is a form of genre that continues to adapt and change according to its purpose or the type of information that is gathered. Especially medical records, because information from patients is constantly updating and being analyzed differently which involves proper organization.

    32. On page 204, Schryer realizes that Dr. L viewed literacy in terms of writing exams but did not see that the keeping of medical records was also a form of literacy. But yet, Dr. L nor other members of the college really knew how much writing their students did. I find this contradictory because how can you claim that your students lack literacy skills when perhaps it's your own fault that they're aren't practicing their writing skills. What if the professors are assigning assignments that don't involve a lot of writing? Dr. L did state that he prefers short answer exams. If the assignments don't involve a lot of writing, then how can professors blame students for their lack of writing? Ironic.

    33. On page 202, Schryer begins to organize his notes using "traditional ethnographic style" while also distinguishing observational ( more fact based) from analytical (more opinionated based) notes. From then he was able to subcategorize those notes (according to specific comments and documents) from which he realized how important medical record keeping was. I found this interesting because there are so many ways a note about a patient can be organized, with each category giving the information a distinctive meaning. So maybe this initial discovery in itself is Schryer expressing or forseshadowing how the organization involved in medical record keeping is related to that of utilizing your literacy skills to compose a report.

    34. According to page 201-202, Dr. L states that he believes his students are lacking literacy skills and that it's especially obvious in their lab reports. He claims that most of their reports lack literacy because they connect key words to each other through drawing arrows instead of actually writing out in sentences how they're connected. I find this notion invalid because learning can be done through multimodal communication which isn't just limited to writing. Using symbols and pictures (like drawing arrows to connect words) are considered to be valid means to communicate a notion.

    35. reading this article helps me understand the importance of the consultation/study they received by the author. The school will better understand the student's issues that they should or should not address and where they can improve.

    36. referring to p. 204 2nd paragraph; the professors don't understand their students and how much they have to go through and to add on proper english writing on top of what they already have to learn would probably overwhelm them whereas the professors were most likely trained well in english writing because of the many years of school and training they've had to perfect their skills.

    37. In the beginning of the article, where there is dialogue between Dr. L and the researcher and Dr. L is "appalled by the techniques students use in answering questions..."

      Dr. L doesn't seem to understand why students write in such ways and I think it has to do with the fact that students aren't as inclined to put a lot of work into their writing because it takes much more time when you can get it done easily with the just the bare minimum.

  2. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. They differ from conventionaltopoi, however, in the sense that they encompassnot only language but also the visual, material, functional, and organizational focithat Buchanan describes.

      Multi-modal communication is very useful when working with placements as it is key to combining the various types of information (visual, lingual, auditory, etc.) that you may come across or even create while researching using a placement.

    2. Indeed, even though thewell was officially capped on September 19th, 2010, the spill continued to be anongoing point of disputation.

      This is an excellent example of the "No Ultimate Solution" component of of a wicked problem. Even after a plan has been implement there is still discussion about whether the plan worked as well as it should have and whether the plan will cause problems in the future.

    3. There is no immediateand no ultimate test of asolution to a wickedproblem.

      This is why rhetoric and dialogue are so important when searching for a solution. After a solution is implemented, there is no easy way to tell how well it is working or if another solution would have worked better. Weighing your options and considering how to apply their various components carefully is central to technical writing and to rhetoric in general.

    4. Placements function in a similar way as rhetorical topics in the sense that theyare ostensibly universal in scope but can be applied in particular situations.They differ from conventionaltopoi, however, in the sense that they encompassnot only language but also the visual, material, functional, and organizational focithat Buchanan describes.

      Multi-modal communication is useful when presenting placements as it is key to combining the various forms of information (visual, lingual, auditory, etc.) that you may come across or even create while researching using a placement.

    5. One prominent issue for my students—and a usefullesson for me as an instructor—was that individual groups did not always agreewith one another regarding the information they were gathering. How much oilhad actually been released into the Gulf? What effects would dispersants haveon the marine ecology? Who was ultimately to blame for the incident? Simply put,we quickly learned that the process of inquiry—even the seemingly “basic” task oflocating reliable information—was a wicked problem in its own right.

      People might be more biased towards one explanation depending on where they started in their research. Interfacing with other research groups is a good way to broaden you own perspective, and technical writing is an important skill when sharing your research with others.

    6. Buchanan associates these placements with a corresponding emphasis onsigns,things,actions, andthoughts. All provide viable strategies—individually andcollectively—for conceptualizing and responding to wicked problems that mustbe addressed on multiple fronts.

      The emphasis on signs, things, actions, and thoughts can be correlated to different modes. Signs, things, and actions can correlate to gestural or visual modes. Thoughts can be translated into speech and therefore be a linguistic mode.

    7. One prominent issue for my students—and a usefullesson for me as an instructor—was that individual groups did not always agreewith one another regarding the information they were gathering

      Perhaps because the students brought biases from their disciplines and ideology into consideration?

    8. Yet it is alsopossible to view it as an opportunity to use diverse interests and expertise towork toward shared goals.

      Diverse interests bring in diverse points of view onto the table

    9. I wanted them to develop a socio-politicalconsciousness that they could use to direct their writing, and their rhetoricalknowledge, toward a wicked problem that they could legitimately address asstudents, citizens, and professionals

      As a rhetorician, it is important to have this type of consciousness in order to be more credible and connected to your audience.

    10. Every solution to a wickedproblem is a “one-shotoperation”; because thereis no opportunity to learnby trial-and-error, everyattempt countssignificantly

      This characterization is closely correlated to the one above it -- when trying to come up with a solution to a wicked problem, we just have to hope that it works. When it comes to scientific problems, scientists can perform experiments with many trials to test if the solution works or not. With "wicked problems," each solution is one trial, and if it turns out poorly (which is a possibility since testing the solution beforehand is not an easy task) it can result in further problems.

    11. There is no separating individual parts from the collective whole; there is onlyan ongoing effort to re-solve problems as they evolve over time and in light ofnew exigencies.

      This is what makes is so difficult to fix any "wicked problem." Especially socio-economic issues that have been problematic for decades. More people need to know that collaboration, particularly effective and willing collaboration, is necessary to continue to create solutions to these problems as they continue to persist.

    12. We can identify causes of the spill (e.g., the Obamaadministration’s policies, Halliburton’s failure toadequately cement the blow-out preventer) andenergy consumption habits in general. Addressingany one cause, however, leads us to different“solutions” or possible outcomes

      This idea illustrates why it is essential for interdisciplinary collaboration to take place as we try to develop solutions for "wicked problems." One individual or discipline may be biased and associate one isolated cause to the "wicked problem." Likewise, one individual or discipline may be biased in creating an isolated solution for the "wicked problem." Rhetorical inventions should be unbiased and consider all points of view.

    13. As Herndl, Fennell, and Miller suggestin “Understanding Failures in Organizational Discourse: The Accident at Three-Mile Island and the Shuttle Challenger Disaster,” such events involve “failuresof communication among ordinary professional people, mistakes committed inthe course of routine work on the job, small mishaps with grotesque conse-quences”

      The challenger explosion relates here because it is traced to a technological problem, and problems of rhetoric and technical communication; technological in origin due to the part of the shuttle that malfunctioned and rhetorical/technical communication error due to media and societal involvement. Another example of a "wicked problem" or catastrophe to the same effect of the Gulf oil spill and challenger explosion is the crash of ValuJet 592.

      Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion [Digital image]. (1986, January 28). Retrieved September 05, 2016, from http://library.artstor.org.ezproxy.gsu.edu/library/iv2.html?parent=true

    14. we can also think about the incident as linked to problems ofrhetoric and technical communication. Such thinking is exemplified, for instance,in research that has explored documents and rhetorical practices related tothe shuttle Challenger explosion

      This is an interesting thought-- that even though the technical failures are at fault for disaster, there is still liability for the technical writers.

    15. where they learned the giveand take of organized activities) but also in class discussions (e.g., where theydeveloped strategies for deliberating about issues, and arguing for their plansof action, as a collective

      Rhetorically, this emphasizes the public speaking skill and how to maneuver different audiences. It is a very different scenario to address, define, and defend a topic in an intimate group versus a large group (i.e class discussions). The approach and availability of simple connection changes as the audience grows.

    16. The individual plannerthus plays a constructive role in deciding—or, in some cases, prescribing—howproblems should be defined and how, therefore, they ought to be addressed.

      An important step of Rhetorical consideration; create boundaries to solutions to visualize what an ideal solution would/should look like.

    17. A range of academic and professional fields were represented during the 2010Fall term: these included wildlife and forestry, engineering, architecture, buildingscience, physics, social work, finance, health and nutrition, communication, edu-cation, and English.

      Rhetoric spans over multiple fields, and technical writing bridges the gaps by creating a unified language to correlate different levels of expertise together.

    18. Simply put,we quickly learned that the process of inquiry—even the seemingly “basic” task oflocating reliable information—was a wicked problem in its own right.

      Finding information that matches up on a controversial topic across multiple sources can be difficult-- and as such can put a wrench in technical writing writing goals. After all, how can you clearly communicate a given goal if the basis of information is skewed?

    19. learning about multiple ways they can be addressed—if not ulti-mately solved—through research and writing

      Is the goal of technical writers (generally) to address or solve their content?

    20. I have often found that students produce better writing when it is directedtoward specific audiences and concrete problems

      Beyond a Narrow Conception of Usability Testing illustrates the benefit of specific goals (or problems) to focus on while discussing the various communication professionals' priorities when reviewing audiences and usability. Essentially, every successful platform, document, and interface is created with a clear goal in mind, making it easier for a user to access and understand the information

    21. between the fields of rhetoric and design, between placements andtopoi, andbetween theory and practice in technical and professional communication

      These relationships are highlighted in Beyond a Narrow Conception of Usability Testing as different communication fields are being discussed. Each relationship holds different priorities, and serve different purposes within their markets.

    22. One way to promote this type of approach is to takeRittel and Webber’s 10 characteristics for defining wicked problems and use itas a basis for getting students to expand their thinking about research anddocument production in a principled way

      Introducing this style of problem solving to our educational system would encourage critical thinking in a real-world scale. It would allow students to effectively experiment with the importance of perspectives. If students were able to justify prior lessons learned by utilizing them in a multi-field issue, then there would be a higher motivation to understanding and pursuing intellectual pursuits.

    23. As distinguished from problems in the natural sciences, which are definableand separable and may have solutions that are findable, the problemsof governmental planning—and especially those of social or policyplanning—are ill-defined; and they rely upon elusive political judgmentfor resolution. (Not “solution.” Social problems are never solved. At bestthey are only re-solved—over and over again) [p. 160]

      Finding resolutions to problems such as these are not easy. As stated, governmental planning plays a big factor. It's the government's job to solve problems quickly, which often leads to the lack of finding a solution that also has quality. This reiterates the emphasis placed on finding resolutions, rather than solutions.

    24. Instructors of technical communication are uniquely positioned to engagestudents with concrete problems in local workplaces and community settings.The benefits of this pedagogy are well documented [3-8]. Problem-definition,however, can be a complicated rhetorical and methodological undertaking inits own right. Indeed, many of the issues that demand our collective attention(e.g., global climate change, educational reform, widespread unemployment)are so “wicked,” andill-defined, that they require us to expand our thinkingbeyond a linear, definition/solution model for research and social planning.

      I found this section of text interesting because modern curriculum in classrooms is extremely concrete and fact based. As a result, more complex problem solving skills are lacking. Creating solutions to problems that aren't "linear" is nearly impossible for someone who has never had to do it before.

    25. “wicked problem” as a wayto characterize social policy issues that cannot be addressed through techno-scientific rationality alone.

      The purpose can be defined with this text

    26. Identifying the Gulf spill as a wicked problem encouraged students to learnabout systemic issues that demand attention in themselves but that also connect toother concrete problems that can be addressed through more local engagements.

      I could also assume that because the "wicked problem" was so close to home, and had an emotional, physical, and economic effect on the students, they were more engaged and willing to find solutions to the issue. An example of this would be Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane was one of the largest, if not the largest, natural disasters in US history. Coastal and Southern states felt the effect of the hurricane through avenues such as mass migration into bordering states.But it was more than likely less prevalent in Midwestern states.

    27. Table 2. Assignments, Objectives, and Outcomes Rela

      This chart will be a helpful reference when attacking our client-service projects at the end of the semester. This will be a great reference.

    28. 1. the design of symbolic and visual communications;2. the design of material objects;3. the design of activities and organized services; and4. the design of complex systems or environments for living, working, playing,and learning.

      "Wicked problems" are never truly solved. All solutions are temporary. My only question is whose job is it to manage those "solutions" post national emergency? What happens when the novelty wears off? For example, attending college in the city means being confronted with homelessness everyday. It's natural for a person to become conditioned to their surroundings. How can we ever find solutions to things that we're emotionally disconnected from?

    29. The value (and potential frustration) of focusing on wicked problems is thatthe object of analysis is ill defined and thus requires careful engagement withmultiple issues

      Another value of "wicked problems" is the advantage of using a collective of different people with different opinions and contributions. This creates more than one viable option to solve one fluid issue.

    30. I believe that these types of incidentsoffer a powerful basis for teaching students how to address problems on a localscale—through their research, writing, and emerging professional expertise—andfor addressing the array of global entanglements that continue to arise well afterthe semester has come to an end

      Real-life application provides students with experience and further develops the skills they've learned in the rhetoric class. Students will never retain skills and information if they never put it to practice.

    31. Those involved in the response and clean-up effortshave an ethical responsibility to consider the out-comes of their actions (e.g., applying dispersantsand not knowing their long-term effects).

      I understand the ethical obligation to predict outcomes, but it is nearly impossible to guess every single one, especially with a problem that will seemingly never end.

    32. Placements have boundaries to shape and constrain meaning, but are notrigidly fixed and determinate. The boundary of a placement gives a contextor orientation to thinking, but the application to a specific situation cangenerate a new perception of that situation and, hence, a new possibility tobe tested. Therefore, placements are sources of new ideas and possibilitieswhen applied to problems in concrete circumstances [18, p. 13].

      Placements are not concrete but provide great plans of attack in situations that require immediate response.

    33. To implement this focus, I used Rittel and Webber’s 10 characteristics (seeTable 1) to identify the Gulf spill as a wicked problem; and to teach strategiesfor rhetorical invention, I used Buchanan’s doctrine of placements as a heuristicfor addressing specific issues based on students’ personal, disciplinary, andprofessional interests.

      It is a very good idea to combine these techniques when you are identifying and troubleshooting a problem. Often you have trouble thinking of solutions because you haven't identified the problem. Other times you have trouble weighing your solutions because you've haven't done a good enough idea of identifying the problem.

    34. Students used placements strategically both within and between groups. Forexample, a group that included wildlife and forestry majors could adopt “activitiesand organized services” as a starting point. Taking this approach allowed themto manage the scope of their inquiry (e.g., they could focus, generally, on theways in which oil was affecting flora and fauna along the coast) and guidethem in developing specific projects (e.g., they could design and propose theimplementation of new, cost-effective wildlife habitats in the coastal estuaries).

      The students will have a fuller and more objective idea of the wicked problem after they combine the research they attained from different their various starting point. This decreases the chance of the whole class having biased information. Since they began researching different, more specific topics, they will all have to go to different sources. Now it will be easier to spot flawed information.

    35. 1. the design of symbolic and visual communications;2. the design of material objects;3. the design of activities and organized services; and4. the design of complex systems or environments for living, working, playing,and learning.

      I imagine it is difficult to solve a wicked problem if you don't have a large community of participants among the general population to assist you and give your solution rhetorical credibility. Using these heuristics widen the amount of people who are able to understand and, consequently, assist.

    36. Both are wicked in the ways that Rittel and Webberdescribe. They confirm, for instance, that “there is no definite formulation ofa wicked problem” (e.g., the sinking of Deepwater Horizon warranted a varietyof responses based on different assessments of the incident) and that “everywicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another problem” (e.g.,the spill can be linked to human fallibility but also to energy consumption habitsthat can be used to warrant, even if they may not necessitate, drilling for oil inthe Gulf of Mexico).

      Identifying what the problem is and what facets of it need to be solved can be the most difficult part of the process. Using the oil spill example, while many environmentalists might consider the damage to the ecosystem to be the most important problem facing the regions, others might deny the importance of the ecosystem all together and want to focus instead on stimulating the local economies that have been depressed by the disaster.

  3. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. XML

      I'm not very code savvy so I looked up what XML is. XML is a markup language (like HTML) that stands for Extensible Markup Language and is used a lot to make CMSs. This post by Margaret Rouse helped me understand what XML is if your curious: http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/definition/XML

    2. intranet

      Intranet= a network that can only be used by members of an organization.

      Extranet= a part of an intranet that people outside of the organization that owns the intranet can use. (helpful) Source: http://www.hcidata.info/inet.htm

    3. Enterprise ContentManagement

      Enterprise Content Management is the way (method) information is stored and arranged for an organization (an enterprise). Source: https://www.onbase.com/en/learn-ecm/what-is-ecm#.V893iCgrLIU

    4. the difficulty involved in understanding the relationshipsbetween different pieces of information

      As a student, I can relate to this problem.

    5. Busi-ness leaders, who are often the decision makers in the adoption and implementa-tion of ECM systems, “tend to examine the value of ECM solutions and theirdisparate applications from a production process model, the extent to which thetechnologies promise to increase process efficiencies and reduce maintenance andsystem costs.”

      I feel like it if it costs the organization less money, even if the ECM solution is not ideal for technical communicators, it is still their job to work with what is best for the company overall. Like we said in class, technical writing is not about yourself, and affordability is no small issue.

    6. What gets lost amid this ECM vender rhetoric

      I think it is interesting that professors of rhetoric also use the word rhetoric with a negative connotation. I guess the way it is used here is more of a colloquial usage rather than talking abut the study of persuasion though.

    7. the possibility of content management system design that could affordmeans for the writer to use her own text to “keep track of certain pieces of metadataduring composition.”

      This idea seems really helpful. It reminds me of what we are doing with our individual class blogs. How we can structure the information from the class in the way we feel is best for us.

    8. Whittemore believes the mnemonic systems employed by ancient rhetors offerpractical implications for the design of the memory tools in content managementsystems.

      This is really intriguing, especially how techniques created centuries ago are still useful. Also what is interesting is how these ideas can bring us to an understanding of new technologies that we have and how we as humans relate to them.

    9. What does all this discussion about content management issues mean, then, forour curriculum design?

      This question is more a matter of why it is important to have content writers and how we should not take them for granted.

    10. Also recognizing the plight of technical communicators confronted with con-tent management systems

      Tech communicators are important because their job requires a lot of knowledge and they must think about the safety of others before themselves.

    11. Coming to Content Management,” Bill Hart-Davidson, Grace Bernhardt,Michael McLeod, Martine Rife, and Jeffrey Grabill

      A publication by Bill Hart-Davidson, et al. discussing the nature of Content Management.

    12. aspects of contentmanagement are not yet well understood

      Understanding all aspects of content management would go a long way because if more than one person is competently able to do the job, there it would make it easier for more people to expand the knowledge that is already attained.

    13. glaring lack of involvement in CMS design

      There is obviously a high need for more people in this field. It takes someone who is able to understand information that takes time to code. This sentence states that there is a need for creative minds to help with the CMS design.

    14. only managers and IT personnel such as developers

      CMS design should expand to more than just the managers and IT personnel. If there is to be efficient coding these researchers and managers should look to teaching and reaching out to anyone available or interested party.

    15. The purpose of CMS software is to cen-tralize all communications practices, to standardize layout and design, and to in-crease efficiency when it come to distributing information, ensuring that the com-pany stays on message and does not issue redundant or conflicting statements.

      CMS was designed to make certain information easily attainable to anyone regards of how much they understand. The software was created to help those interested and to make everything efficient.

    16. (http://www.cm-strategies.com)

      A link with information about the CMS conferences past and present.

    17. process of collecting, manag-ing, and publishing information to whatever medium you need

      Content management roughly defined as the "Process of collecting, managing, and publishing information to whatever medium you need" which means that writers are making sure they take information that is difficult to read and they make it easy for anyone to be able to understand.

    1. Technical communication is a broad field and includes any form of communication that exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

      "technical communication" definition

    2. They make information more useable and accessible to those who need that information, and in doing so, they advance the goals of the companies or organizations that employ them

      main purpose; why technical communication is important

    3. Technical Writers & Editor

      this relates to my major- advanced composition and rhetoric.

    1. incorporate, or concentrate on communication techniques other than writing, including editing, indexing, graphic design, video scripting and production, and instructional design

      multiple purposes and applications

    2. combines multi-media knowledge and strong communication skills with technical expertise to educate across the entire spectrum of users’ abilities, technical experience, and visual and auditory capabilities

      how this applies to this class; many steps are involved.