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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jennifer A. Turns
T C 502
Seattle Campus

Empirical Traditions in Technical Communication

Introduction to empirical traditions that inform research and practice in field of technical communication. Topics include epistemological assumptions underlying empirical research, empirical methods, and survey of results of empirical research on effects of text and visual media on comprehension, recall, and performance. Prerequisite: graduate standing or permission of instructor. Offered: Sp.

Class description

In this course, we will explore how research functions as a knowledge-construction activity intended to further our understanding of the material world and of each other. Research is also a social practice which often is embedded in researchersí beliefs about the nature of reality, truth, and humanity itself. The readings in this course collectively will provide background on a number of research traditions, on the philosophy of science, and on related research articles from the leading Technical Communication journals.

Student learning goals

1. Strategically read published research articles

2. Evaluate published research using a set of guiding principles derived from this class

3. Critically reflect on the basic assumptions underlying a variety of research practices

4.Discern the impact of cultural influences on research design, data analysis, and the reporting of findings

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

In this class, students will be expected to complete reading assignments, participate in class discussions, and complete a series of written assignments.


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 Katherine C. Long
Date: 04/03/2007