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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Mark R Zachry
T C 501
Seattle Campus

Theoretical Dimensions of Technical Communication

Theories and research drawn from a variety of fields that inform such topics as the historical and social context of technical communication, the aims of technical discourse, readability, invention and audience, audience analysis, technical style, and graphics. Prerequisite: admission to an engineering master's program or permission of instructor. Offered: A.

Class description

This course will introduce you to major contemporary theories of information and interaction design influencing our field. By reading and writing about this material, you will have an opportunity to explore the complexities of communication as it is considered in influential theoretical frameworks: how communicative interaction has been differently defined and circumscribed and why these differences matter to people who study and produce work in this area.

Student learning goals

X Define and map differences among some of the major theories that are currently most influential within the community of scholars in our field.

X Explain and illustrate the implications of some of these theories on our perceptions of what texts are and how they function in human activity, organizations, and society at large: for example, to transfer information, construct reality, regulate conduct, and create identity.

X Explain and illustrate the implications of some of these theories for people conducting research: for example, what questions researchers decide to ask, what aspects of communication researchers decide to look at, how researchers interact with subjects, and what researchers perceive as their role.

X Explain and illustrate the implications of some of these theories for professionals. For example, how practitioners understand their roles, carry out their communication tasks, and are implicated within wider systems both inside and outside organizations.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The assignments for this class are: Participation (online and in the classroom) In--class Presentation with Handout Mid-term exam Final paper Group Web


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Mark R Zachry
Date: 04/03/2009