1,484 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2016
    1. The purpose of this article is to examine the dynamic field of technical communication and how the demands of the current audience shifts over time. Thus, the technical writer must pay attention to how the modes of rhetoric affect the audience's response. The article proposes a call to action for research to better understand this connection.

    2. The knowledge required for develop-ing, arranging, and presenting information requires an under-standing of the various technologies and tools available andan understanding of how the audience responds to thosetechnologies and tools. Writing is only one element of pro-viding that information; to ignore the other elements is toensure both our long-term obsolescence and lack of powerand respect within the project team and corporation.

      This section is a call to action to address the growing field of technical communication and how people can examine rhetoric in order to better fit the demands of modern communication.

    3. Undeniably, a jack of all trades attitude is not whatwe need.

      Contrary to this statement, we advise younger generations to adopt this attitude for a better chance at success in getting hired.

    4. e need to con-sciously work on how to address these issues

      I expected this document to be more of an expository document, but this persuasive language says otherwise (Call to Action).

    5. Technical communication from the practitioner's viewhas a heavy focus on the technology side, while oftenignoring the softer social side.

      This relates to one of my earlier annotations. Technical communication has evolved to include a more social aspect.

    6. we havesolved the problems, why are so many manuals and helpsystems still unused? Why are so many Web sites still sounusable in terms of navigation and—especially—content

      This is a very basic example of how seemingly minor differences in modes can make the difference between widespread use or becoming obsolete. Rhetoric should always be created with the audience in mind.

    7. realize thatabout 94% of the people receiving this journal are practi-tioners, and most don't want to read about theory andresearch

      This statement defines the primary intended audience, hence the technical jargon. It's heavily implied that the audience is familiar with the field.

    8. I believe that Figure 1 is especially relevant to thisspecial issue because all of those areas map out the futureexpansion of technical communication and all are highlytechnology dependent using a wide range of technologies.As writers, we need to be conversant in all areas with boththe technology and the communications issues required toproperly communicate information to readers

      I feel like Figure 1 is overly generic to display the "wide range of technologies" because I feel it could have included a category along the lines of an "interactive/response" category that relates to sensory and audience response. This is sort of an intersectionality that has a foot in design and another in human factors.

      This image shows the relationship between audience and technical writer and how the connection has gotten more important in recent years. It's difficult to capture this in Figure 1, despite the wide scopes of the available categories.

    9. Considering how various technologies integrate withour current work practices and how they will change thosepractices is a difficult issue to address. The vendors whoprovide tools sell them with a hype-filled message of howtheir products will revolutionize the business and thenprovide training on only the basic operation of the tool.Issues of how the technology applies to the business andhow a tool relates to the other tools and technologies in thecompany are neglected. Or, to parody a textbook, themethods of integration are left for the writer to solve.Coupled with the development shift is a shift to cross-discipline teams that are changing project management(see Fisher and Bennion in this issue for one view of thisshift), changes that are fundamental enough to bring intoquestion what is meant by technical documentation andwhat skill sets a technical communicator must possess.Providing context-based help and moving more informa-tion into the interface shift both how we view audienceneeds and what we write to address those need

      In reference to Figure 1, this quote further propels my argument that the diagram is too simiplistic. The field is constantly evolving and "cross-discipline;" there are far too many facets and multi-disciplinary interactions that the graphic fails to capture. Right now, I feel like this image needs to be closer to a spider web-like appearance than a simple x shape. I agree that it is difficult to address.

    10. Figure 1

      What is Information Architecture?

    11. amely, what technologiesare needed to support the skills set required for the job.Unfortunately, the opposite is more often the norm: defin-ing/selecting a technology and then figuring out theneeded skill sets.

      This statement demonstrates one of the prevalent problems in defining technical communication's scope. Because the field is dynamic, people constantly have to redefine the "norms."

    12. 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. In tandem withthis expansion, the fundamental methods of deliveringinformation have changed, primarily though use of singlesourcing, XML, and multiple methods of delivery, all ofwhich have increased the need for both collaboration andproject management.Defining what those new roles might be and clarifyinghow they fit within technical communication has been thetopic of many conference presentations and recent publi-cations, including one of my own (Albers 2003)

      We acknowledge that technical writing is a dynamic concept; thus, its definition changes as it evolves and encompasses new modes of communication.

    13. One goal of this specialissue is to help with what Shirk called the "developingawareness of transition from old skills and concepts to newones" by considering both how the field will be affectedbased on the new roles, and which jobs and skill sets willexpand and which will shrink or be rendered obsolete. I

      I assume that this is Albers's primary focus. He intends to examine the various elements of the field for the purpose of examining the scope of how we define technical writing.

    14. In an editorial, Hayhoe points out "to survive as a profession,technical communicators must be more than packagers ofinformation for the technically uninitiated. We must becomemasters of the domains in which we work" (2002, p. 397).

      Evolution into content strategists and mangers.

    15. Many of the problems an organization blames on tech-nology actually stem from social issues related to poor orinadequate communication.

      Clear communication can create more efficiency as more employees are able to properly apply their tech to their work.

    16. This change has thrust increasing numbers of technicalcommunicators and professionals in such diverse fields assoftware engineering, computer science, training, and hu-man factors into the product development mix together.The process of developing information products has be-come cross-functional and interdisciplinary. Functional dis-tinctions between those now at work in that process haveblurred

      I think with so many disciplines overlapping each other the power of genre and style are even greater. Multiple audiences and multiple modes.

    1. isual Meanings (images, page layouts, screen formats); Audio Meanings (music, sound effects); Gestural Meanings (body language, sensuality); Spatial Meanings (the meanings of environmental spaces, architectural spaces); and Multimodal Meanings

      5 main types of modes

      why so many? makes it easier to understand & communicate full opinion

    2. identify and explain differences between texts, and relate these to the contexts of culture and situation in which they seem to work

      Purpose of Metalanguage

    3. How do we supplement what schools already do

      How do we teach schools what they need without wasting too many resources?

    4. Los Angeles, Sarajevo, Kabul, Belfast, Beirut

      Good examples of this subject.

    5. Multiliteracies also creates a different kind of pedagogy, one in which language and other modes of meaning are dynamic representational resources, constantly being remade by their users as they work to achieve their various cultural purposes.

      I find that this remains necessary in 2016, so as to prevent pedagogy from becoming stagnant or only serving select groups of people.

    6. met for a week in September 1994 in New London, New Hampshire, in the United States, to discuss the state of literacy pedagogy.

      How have ideas relating to literacy pedagogy changed or been updated since these authors' 1994 discussion, and in the 20 years since this text was published? Did this text lay the groundwork for scholars studying literacy pedagogy from 1996 on?

    7. Technical communication is multimodal for the purpose of making information user-friendly and accessible to many potential audiences. English in specific is not limiting through just writing, but can be communicated through five modes of writing: linguistic, gestural, visual, spatial, and aural (with the added bonus of tactile as discussed in class). Digital media (medium) is all of these things utilized at once!

      Example of multimodal communication: http://www.bridgeschool.org/transition/multimodal/body_lang.php

    1. At the bottom of page 201, the author states that through triangulation, he used a variety of mediums and multimodal communication (i.e. interviews, observation, document collection) to balance and cross reference his sources in order to make this experiment as fair and valid as possible.

    1. What users are the results put to?

      I found this table to be helpful in conceptualizing what needs to be done for a technical writing assignment. Everything is clear and concise, including the projects goals and constraints.

    2. Placing a usability study within both of these frameworks- the contextual setting and the structural setting- helps us under- stand it more reliabl

      Using these two settings of groups, contextual and structural, it will give more structure and organization to figure out the differences between the two different groups. Sullivan state it "helps us understand it more reliably." Also, in Wiclman's reading Wicked Problems he also uses a similar method with controlled groups having two groups similar and different in disciplines.

    3. f we take a broader view of usability, then we must deal with a flood of information, not all of which is ultimately relevant.

      This is true in any form of research, which is losing focus on what is necessary out of the research. But when it comes to technical communicators the focus needs to come back to what will help the audience in the long run, which is something that technical communicators take in for everything that they do.We are here to inform and to teach them.

    4. success at getting started does not imply later ease of use, and testing of a working system in a natural environment has radically different requirements than a test of mockups for a new text design

      The idea of building a framework (later stated) should include the use of multiple test group/subjects within that individual study

    5. how to measure using, what to consider successful, or where in the development cycle to conduct the test

      In order to measure factors such as these there needs to be standards as to what using, successfulness, and where look like/appear as

    6. usability testing of documentation

      How to measure usability:

      1. Heuristic Technique
      2. Defining approach: Availability, sustainability, accessibility, readability.
      3. Wilsons Technique

      Source: http://www.slideshare.net/VidishaB/documentation-usability

  2. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. Mark Zachry,

      TCQ Editor

    2. Busi-ness leaders, who are often the decision makers in the adoption and implementa-tion of ECM systems,

      They are probably some of the most important people in this business

  3. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. causal network

      Can I get an example of a causal network?

    2. Environmental catastrophes like the 2010 Gulf oil spill are noteworthy in thisregard: that is, because they are so complex in their causes and effects, theycannot necessarily be “solved” in any simple sense of the term.

      I like how the article compares the unique thinking or day to day world issues to the 2010 Gulf oil spill. As stated the problems are so complex they cannot necessarily be fixed in one action

    3. active citizens

      Important term

    4. we are equipping students with practical skillsthat they can use to obtain employment and write for the workplace; on the

      This is very important for the future generations.

  4. Aug 2016
    1. I think thatit is important to understand that no matter where your come from language is changing rapidly

    2. There are different types of mulitimodal communication:

      Linguistic-writing, speech, sign language, braille Gestural-sign language Visual- writing, sign language Spatial- architecture Aural- speech

      Why use multi modal communication

      To speak to different audiences Makes it more memorable *Cross cultural communication

      Rhetoric is always multi modal

      Difference between mode and median

      the median is the avenue in which we use to a mode, and the mode is what we use to help understand the context

      Technical communication is rhetoric because it is multi modal

      *The most important thing in technical writing is audience..."it is not about you"

      Technical communication helps content management. There is specialized content that one must learn different avenues of reaching audiences and branding a name.

    3. pedagogy is a complex integration of four factors: Situated Practice based on the world of learners' Designed and Designing experiences; Overt Instruction through which students shape for themselves an explicit metalanguage of Design; Critical Framing, which relates meanings to their social contexts and purposes; and Transformed Practice in which students transfer and re-create Designs of meaning from one context to another. We will briefly develop these themes below.

      Pedagogy Four Factors:

    4. New London Group Modes:

      1. linguistic (writing, speech, sign language)
      2. gestural (sign language)
      3. visual (writing, sign language,
      4. spatial (architecture)
      5. aural (speech, music, flashing lights)
      6. tactile (not in new london group, braille)
    5. political correctness

      The GREAT importance of being politically correct is something some professors greatly overlook and should be discussed more (even in this article). "People understand that there’s this general expectation, but there’s no real guidance on how to actually do that" -NYT

    6. How we communicate on a daily basis is often through multimodal means? 5 modes covered by The New London Group:


      • writing
      • speech

      ex: sign language -- which can also be gestural and visual




      ex: architecture


      • speech/hearing
      • alarms
      • music
    7. pedagogy

      the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.

    8. multimodal

      gestural -sign language

      visual -writing

      spatial -configure of elements in a space creating meaning

    9. Linguistic Meaning

      Includes writing, speech, sign language.

    10. Discourses that were once the domain of the private - the intricacies of the sexual lives of public figures, discussion of repressed memories of child abuse - are now made unashamedly public. In some senses, this is a very positive and important development, insofar as these are often important issues that need a public airing

      Did they ever think this would morph into Keeping Up With The Kardashians?

    11. In the New World, it meant assimilating immigrants and indigenous peoples to the standardized "proper" language of the colonizer

      Is technology now becoming a way in which more developed first world nations can impose themselves on less technologically advanced nations? Nations that are not as technologically advanced may/will require the "assistance" of a first world nation or corporation to bring them into the future. Could this be seen as another form of colonization where IBM and Oracle are creating dependence in the developing world?

    12. designers of meaning

      new title

  5. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. I think this is a very interesting concept. As student we will never know more than older generations, but will always have the ability to be more knowledgeable than they are. The reiteration that students have direct resources and pipelines to information, versus the teacher shows the lack of weaving student and teacher knowledge/abilities. It is as if one is teaching, and one is learning, when in actuality it should be a two way street there any back (as a open forum for communication).

    1. The second-fourth paragraphs on page six refer back to the opening statement from Dr. L. Because the students' written record keeping system seemed administrative in nature, the professors did not consider it literacy.Instead, the professors simply claimed that the students lacked literary skills. in an earlier paragraph, a professor noted that students often connected words via arrows instead of sentences. I believe that this became habit because of students' experience with record keeping. Among students at the veterinary college, use of key words and connecting symbols (arrows) became perfectly acceptable forms of communication.

    1. STC Summit

      This definition wiki is definitely oriented to a specific group of the profession (probably TCBOK); the jargon used expresses an assumption that the reader is familiar with the subject and that they are aware of what the acronyms stand for (STC and TCBOK).

    2. STC’s proposed definition of a technical communicator includes those who

      We can confirm that the US D. of Labor recognizes the profession, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they have defined what terms constitute the role. Apparently, they're still working on that.

    3. Writer is a limited term that assumes a single channel. Communicator is a much broader term that includes visual and other channels.

      I agree with this statement, especially because visual communication mediums, such as infographics, are forms of technical communication, but may not fall under the narrow field of "writing."

    4. all communication – whether it is primarily ‘technical’ or whether it better fits another genre – is multidisciplinary and constantly evolving. Then we should simply get on with our work” (Ecker 1995).

      I understand her perspective because it seems that technical communication is an ever-growing field, so it is difficult to narrow it down into one definition.

    5. In his book Technical Communication, Mike Markel notes that technical communication is a form of composition and the foundation of all composition is rhetoric, “Technical communication is not a strange and exotic form of encryption; it is simply another kind of composition. It follows, then, that technical communication and composition share the same foundation: rhetoric” (Markel 2007).

      I am curious as to how rhetoric can be the foundation of technical communication because TC seems to be mostly expository.

    6. develop and design instructional and informational tools needed to assure safe, easy, proper, and complete use of technical goods contribute to business goals by designing and enhancing internal communications and by reusing content in cost-effective ways combine 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

      revised definitions of what a technical communicator does

    7. The United States Department of Labor recognizes the profession of technical writer.

      Since when?

    8. develop and design instructional and informational tools needed to assure safe, easy, proper, and complete use of technical goods 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.

      two definitions of what a technical communicator does

    9. Technical communication began in the modern era as technical writing and has transformed to include many types of media and communication. This transition has required the field to redefine technical communication.

      Transformed later on to include media and communication

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

      Allows technical and communication changes to be applicable to the writing; Evolving the title to match current markets

    11. The United States Department of Labor recognizes the profession of technical writer.

      Official title

    1. Training programs provide people with new or improved skills, making them more employable and their organizations and products more efficient and safe.

      This is interesting. It's always good to prep the workforce

    2. Software instructions help users be more successful on their own, improving how easily those products gain acceptance into the marketplace and reducing costs to support them.

      This is one the examples of how technical communication can help make technology more accessible by giving users the freedom to do well on their own

    3. Medical instructions help patients and care-providers manage a patient’s treatment, improving the health of the patient while reducing costs and risks associated with incorrect care.

      Technical communicators translate expert-level information and ideas into information that can be easily understood by a larger and more generalized audience.

    4. Communicating by using technology, such as web pages, help files, or social media sites.

      This is very true. Communication through the virtual media!!

    5. Technical communication is a broad field and includes any form of communication that exhibits one or more of the following characteristics: Communicating about technical or specialized topics, such as computer applications, medical procedures, or environmental regulations. Communicating by using technology, such as web pages, help files, or social media sites. Providing instructions about how to do something, regardless of how technical the task is or even if technology is used to create or distribute that communication.

      Technical writing applies to many fields of study and what I learn in this class will be useful in grad school as well as my future career.

    6. What all technical communicators have in common is a user-centered approach to providing the right information, in the right way, at the right time to make someone’s life easier and more productive.

      I like how this statement explains how all technical writers, despite working in a variety of fields, have the same purpose. It also simply demonstrates the importance of technical writing.

    7. Efficiency and concision=technical communication goals?

    8. Medical instructions help patients and care-providers manage a patient’s treatment, improving the health of the patient while reducing costs and risks associated with incorrect care.

      Incredibly important! Potentially the difference between life and death for a patient.

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

      Definition of technical communication

    10. The following is a partial list of the different jobs within technical communication:

      Quick list of potential titles

    11. Well-designed websites make it easier for users to find information, increasing user traffic to and satisfaction with those websites.

      A large trend in corporations to be more accessible.

    12. sup

    13. Providing instructions about how to do something, regardless of how technical the task is or even if technology is used to create or distribute that communication.

      This is what I've always thought technical writing consisted of. It's nice to know that we just won't be writing instructions all semester!

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

      Definitions of technical writing

    15. Here for the win!!

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

      This is a broad definition of technical communication.

    17. Makeda here :)

    18. This is a page note.