English 5311. Foundations of Technical Communication
Online/Hybrid: Meets at Round Rock campus for the first class and last class meetings; other times online
Instructor: Dr. Miriam F. Williams
Description: This course is an introduction to technical communication history, theory, research, and practice.
Goals: In this course students will:
- Understand the history of technical communication;
- Discuss the theoretical perspectives that shape our field;
- Discuss the relationship between theory and practice in technical communication;
- Negotiate various definitions of technical communication and evaluate the legitimacy of these definitions;
- Identify common genres of technical communication and sites where this discourse is disseminated;
- Learn to use new technologies for collaborative writing, online presentations, web conferencing, and online training; and
- Discuss the cultural contexts in which technical communication is invented.
Solving Problems in Technical Communication edited by Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart A. Selber
Central Works in Technical Communication edited by Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart A. Selber
Format: Seminar and online discussions. Synchronous class discussions will be held in our Adobe Connect classroom; asynchronous discussions will be held in the TRACS Forum. We will meet face-to-face at RRHEC for the first and the last class meetings.
-Reading responses posted to TRACS: 20%
-Attendance and class participation: 20%
-Annotated bibliography: 20%
-Research paper: 30%
Office Hours: 5:30-6:30pm on Mondays in the Adobe Connect Office Hours meeting room
ENG 5314 Digital Video Writing and Production
Online/Hybrid: Meets 9/1 at RRHEC; other times online
Instructor: Scott Mogull
Description: In this course, students will learn to create professional-quality digital videos as technical communicators. This course will cover (1) planning informative and instructional videos, (2) storyboarding and scriptwriting, (3) production (filming), (4) post-production (video editing), and (5) distribution (focusing on sharing the video on the Web).
Goals: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be proficient in the entire profess for creating and sharing of videos as technical communicators.
- Creating Video for Teachers and Trainers by Spannaus (ISBN: 9781118088098)
- iMovie (Apple Pro Training Series) by Scoppettuolo (ISBN: 9780133900958)
- Additional handouts may be assigned.
Format: This course is a project-based class in which students will work individually and in teams to develop short instructional and informative videos on technical topics. Although technology and software are necessary for successful completion of the course, students should recognize that these are analogous to Microsoft Word. Therefore, students should expect to plan and write short, but well-developed, video scripts.
As part of the class, students will learn to use video-editing software and upload digital videos to YouTube. Students are not expected or required to have any prior experience using video-editing software or posting to YouTube. However, students will be expected to learn these skills to effectively produce professional-quality videos. Students will be required to learn new skills by completing projects that are included in the iMovie training manual. Additionally, students may need to use the Help menu and search the Internet to resolve other issues that arise during the course projects.
For filming, students may use cell phones or checkout video equipment from the library.
For production, students may use any video-editing software (such as MovieMaker on the PC). Students who opt to use other video-editing software will need to learn how to use their chosen software independently. Additionally, all students must purchase the iMovie training text for description of the assignments and access to the files for the activities.
Evaluation: The anticipated projects are as follows:
- iMovie and YouTube training assignments (25%)
- Very short instructional video (including: planning, storyboarding/scriptwriting, production, post-production, and distribution) (25%)
- Short informative video (including: planning, storyboarding/scriptwriting, production, post-production, and distribution) (35%)
- Attendance and active participation, which includes constructive review of peers’ videos (15%)
ENG 5314 Studies in Technical Communication
Topic: Usability Testing
Th 6:30-9:20 pm; FH G06B
Online/Hybrid: Meets 9/1, 10/6, 11/3, and 12/1 in San Marcos; other times online
Instructor: Aimee Roundtree, Ph.D.
Description: This course explains how to plan, conduct, and analyze usability tests to understand the way users interact with products in order to improve them. It situates user testing within the field of audience analysis, and it covers the principles and methods of this form of applied research. The course covers concepts of usability research in the context of relevant literature, as well as best and new practices in the field. The course also offers hands-on learning experiences in Texas State University's Usability Research Laboratory. The course requires planning, designing, and conducting usability tests, then analyzing data and reporting the findings.
- Understand basic concepts and terminology of usability and usability testing
- Conduct usability testing and research
- Evaluate products from a usability perspective
- Report the findings and recommendations from usability research and testing
- Write and edit documents for correctness (i.e., grammar, usage, punctuation, etc.)
- Gain experience with usability software.
- Collaborate effectively with others and respond to their input
Goodman, Kuniavsky, Moed. Observing the User Experience, Second Edition: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research 2nd Edition. Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann. September 21, 2012. ISBN-10: 0123848695 or ISBN-13: 978-0123848697
Rubin, Chisnell. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests 2nd Edition. Publisher: Wiley. 2 edition. May 12, 2008. ISBN-10: 0470185481 or ISBN-13: 978-0470185483
Carol M. Barnum. Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set...Test! 1st Edition. Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann. 1 edition. November 5, 2010. ISBN-10: 012375092X or ISBN-13: 978-0123750921
Usability Testing Plan