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Current Course Offerings

Spring 2021

English 5312.252: Editing the Professional Publication (Internship)


M 6:30-9:20 pm; Online

Instructor: Miriam F. Williams 

Description: This is the MATC internship course; the course is required for MATC students on the internship track. In this course students will provide professional editing, design, and writing services to actual clients. (Note: The instructor will assign clients on the first day of class.) 

Goals: The course will give MATC students the opportunity to: 

· participate in an applied learning experience, 

· provide a useful service to others while gaining professional technical communication experience, 

· conduct qualitative research and negotiate user/client needs, 

· write, edit, and design print and web content in collaborative online environments, and 

· write, edit, and design print and web content for personal or MATC exam portfolios. 

Books: Students will be assigned weekly readings from scholarly journal articles. 

Format: The course will be held online in Zoom. Clients and student meetings will also be held in Zoom. 


· Social Media Brand Assessment Report (Group Assessment) = 20 percent 

· Midterm Progress Report (Individual Assessment) = 20 percent 

· Content Editing Project (Group Assessment) = 20 percent 

· Proof & Production Editing Project (Group Assessment) = 20 percent 

· Final Recommendation Report to Client (Group Assessment) =20 percent 

Contact: Dr. Miriam F. Williams at



English 5310.251

 Digital Literacies

W 6:30-9:20 pm (online)

Instructor: Dr. Deb Balzhiser 

Description: In this course, we will survey characteristics of digital literacies, paying attention to the knowledge, skills, and thinking needed to participate and lead within digital societies. We’ll identify and compare existing definitions of digital literacies, discuss their limits, and, then, you’ll each select areas of interest within the discussion and then present and write about those for the class. The beginning of the class draws upon a built shared knowledge and the latter part of the class draws upon what you bring to update existing definitions and move conversations forward. We’ll work to set an agenda. 

Books: I’m searching for current books, but many seem outdated. To address this, we’ll look at articles. I’ll assign some articles. You’ll find an average of 1 article a week at the beginning of the term and two article a week later in the term on your own and they will become course materials. I’ll likely revisit some of van Dijk’s The Network Society from the Digital Culture class and assign something from Marshall McLuhan as deep background (The Medium is the Massage and/or part of The Laws of Media). These are old in digital time, but they’ll serve as a starting place: Spilka’s Digital Literacy for Technical Communication and van Dijk’s Digital Skills. I will be searching for more relevant, updated material in our disciplines in the meantime. Feel free to send ideas. 

Evaluation (approximate and approximately weighted this way): Annotated bibliography (10%); approximately 8 informal presentations (10%); nearly weekly reading responses--can be mediated (10%) and discussions (5%); two short texts--about the work of 6 pages (10% and 15%); one medium length text or project [will receive a list of options, including a remediation of a short, written text; a revision of a short text into a conference proposal, presentation, visuals; --about the work of 15 pages (20%); presence (10%); and class activities (10%). At least one of your text must be mediated. 

Office: ASBN 101A 

Phone: (512)245-7660 Email:


English 5313.251

Digital Media Theory and Design

Th 6:00-8:50 pm; Online

Instructor: Aimee Roundtree 

Description: You will learn core theories and issues related to digital media writing and design, such as remediation, captology, the rhetoric of technology, new media theory, information architecture, accessibility, usability, and digital ethics. You will learn specific tools, languages, and digital media writing and design practices and standards, such as those maintained by W3C and others. We will emphasize informative content, effective design, and theory-driven design. Books: Required 

Learning Web design: a beginner's guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and web graphics (2018) / Jennifer Niederst Robbins / ISBN 9781491960172 

The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media (2014) / Marie-Laure Ryan Lori Emerson Benjamin J. Robertson / ISBN 9781421412238 

Introduction to digital media (2018) / Alessandro Delfanti / ISBN 9781119276401 

Evaluation: Digital media product (such as a website, app, podcast, etc.). Presentation. White paper. Book review.


English 5313.252

Power and Ethics in Technical Communication

Asynchronous Online

Instructor: Chris Dayley 

Description: Because of their influence on the communication process, technical and professional communicators wield power. With power comes the responsibility to use that power ethically. However, what is and is not ethical, and how to design communication ethically is often debated. This seminar course will discuss the power professional communicators possess, basic ethical theories related to that power, and how to make ethical decisions based on a personal and professional code of ethics. 


By the end of the course students will:

· Understand how technical and professional communicators get and use power 

· Be able to identify and describe basic ethical theories 

· Understand their role as ethical decision makers and how to evaluate their decisions based on a personal and professional code of ethics 

· Show how the decisions technical communicators make can have an impact the lives of others 

Books: Dombrowski, P. M. (2000). Ethics in technical communication. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Markel, M. H. (2001). Ethics in technical communication: a critique and synthesis. Westport, CT: Ablex Pub. 


· Weekly discussion posts (25%) 

· Group service learning project (25%) 

· Personal Code of Ethics (25%) 

· Class Presentation (25%) 

Office: Flowers Hall 133 

Phone: (512)245-7800 Email:

English 5314.252

International Technical Communication

Asynchronous Online

Instructor: Pinfan Zhu 

Description: This course is totally online with no class meetings. It prepares students with the necessary theories and skills for international technical communication. It mainly consists of three parts: understanding cultural differences, translation theories and techniques, and website internationalization and localization. Students will first learn important models for understanding cultural differences and other theories regarding how to communicate with cross-cultural audiences ethically, verbally, visually, and non-verbally in an effective manner. They will also learn how to analyze international audiences in terms of their values, cultural needs, and their communication styles. In the translation part, students will learn principles that can help them cope with language problems. The final part emphasizes web site internationalization and localization, a very important part in international technical communication. Students will conceptually understand how to internationalize or localize websites using relevant software, in addition to theories and principles of internationalization and localization. Since this is a course totally online, students work mainly independently but will also be in consultation with me throughout the semester. Students must have access to a computer and Internet browsing capabilities and will be responsible for learning some new technology and/or software on your own, but tutorials might be given if necessary. 

It is an Online Course basically with no class meetings. 

Required Books: Aykin, Nuray, Usability and Internationalization of Information Technology; Nitish Singh, The Culturally Customized Web Site Mona Baker, In Other Words: A course book on translation; Online readings. 

Goals: To prepare students with theory and skills to conduct culturally, rhetorically, linguistically, and technologically effective international technical communication, or to work as a consultant for international technical communication. Specific goals include: 1. Understand influential inter-cultural communication theories and utilize them in identifying, analyzing, and solving practical problems in cross-cultural communication or international technical communication. 2. Learn skills to analyze international audiences and target at their needs. 3. Use applied linguistic theory like translations theory and principles to cope with language to be used for international technical communication. 4. Understand the principles and theories for designing web interface for cross-cultural audiences. 

Format: primarily discussions and presentations 


15% Web Board responses for each week’s reading 

15% Online discussions 

30% Two short papers 

15% Oral Presentation 

25% Final project

Phone: (512) 245-7665