Courses | Technical Communication

Courses

TECM Undergraduate Cources:

TECM 1500: New Media Experience

Every student can benefit from a basic and meaningful understanding of the areas of Technical Communication. New Media Experience provides an overview of how people in the technology industry work together to create, develop, and sell digital media products, what job roles are involved in the process, and what avenues students can choose to pursue those roles. In this class, students will learn how to:

  • Describe the technology, jobs, and rolls that shape the industry
  • Demonstrate strong critical thinking and communication skills
  • Write clearly about the technology industry in professional formats

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word

TECM 2700: Technical Writing

Every profession, regardless of the field, requires solid communication skills. Technical Writing covers the principles of effective and professional communication, and provides an understanding of the various genres, styles, and designs of technical documents. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Identify different audiences, purposes, and situations for professional and technical writing
  • Create usable technical documents that can be shown to potential employers
  • Write collaboratively and work as a member of a team

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word
  • Project management software, such as Asana and Slack

Sample syllabus

TECM 3010: The Profession of Technical Communication

An understanding of the professions of technical communication is invaluable for any student considering a career in the field. This course will introduce students to career paths and work environments in technical communication, allow students to interact with professionals in class, and help students develop a professional development plan and portfolio. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Develop different types of technical information for various audiences
  • Work in a simulated agile environment
  • Work collaboratively as a member of a team
  • Develop competencies and knowledge of tools required for each tech comm career path

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word
  • Presentation software, such as Google Slides or PowerPoint
  • Video processing software, such as Camtasia
  • Project management software, such as Trello and Slack

TECM 3100: Visual Technical Communication

Visual elements, such as color, images, charts, and graphs are vital to effective communication. Visual Technical Communication covers the best practices of document design, graphic design, and typography, and how to use them to create high-quality visual documents. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Identify and describe good or bad document design using industry-standard terminology
  • Create high-quality visual documents that can be shown to potential employers
  • Work collaboratively and as a member of a team

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Canva
  • MS Publisher

TECM 3200: Information Design for Electronic Media

An understanding of the fundamentals of web design, and how they change over time, is necessary to successfully manage and distribute content. Information Design for Electronic Media provides hands-on experience with designing, developing, and writing for desktop and mobile interfaces. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Code and design a website by hand using HTML5 and CSS
  • Create content appropriate for web delivery
  • Identify important concepts in web design (e.g. single sourcing, help authoring, and content management) and resources to help students stay current in the changing field

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • HTML5/CSS
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Figma

TECM 3500: Digital Media for Professional Communication

Digital media is an established and enduring force in social and professional organizations. Digital Media for Technical Communication aims to cover everything from the current structure of major internet companies to how a variety of emerging technologies, such as social media and augmented reality, are used in professional and technical settings. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Identify how new and current technology impacts social and professional communication
  • Analyze the best practices of social media use in professional settings
  • Write white papers following best industry practices
  • Learn about the tenets of Big Data

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • MadCap Flare
  • Presentation software such a Prezi, PowerPoint, or Google Slides
  • All major social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram
  • Social media management software such as HubSpot, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite

TECM 3550: Content Strategy in Technical Communication

An effective content strategy is an invaluable tool to any client or customer-facing business. Content Strategy in Technical Communication provides an in-depth look into how to write, design, and manage useful and usable content for the web and social media. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Identify, develop, and deliver an effective content strategy
  • Create and transform content for usability and global audiences
  • Reuse content using XML, DITA, and/or MadCap Flare

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • XML
  • MadCap Flare
  • Google Analytics

TECM 4100: Writing Proposals

Proposals are key to securing professional and academic resources. Writing Proposals is an advanced study of technical writing that provides students with a foundation in grant seeking and persuasive writing. Students will learn each component of the proposal and grant writing process, including identifying business opportunities or funding streams, and understanding the review process. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Form and communicate persuasive arguments
  • Determine how grant and proposal funding are requested and given
  • Locate and evaluate funding opportunities, such as RFPs
  • Write persuasive grant and proposal projects for various audiences, purposes, and rhetorical situations

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word

TECM 4180: Advanced Technical Communication

Technical communicators need to gather information, ensure that it is valid and credible, and present their findings and recommendations in a clear compelling way. Advanced Technical Communication covers how to effectively gather information through interviews, surveys, and secondary research, and how to organize that information for maximum impact. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Obtain, process, and organize information for written and verbal communication
  • Create and/or edit reports
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data
  • Work collaboratively and as a member of a team

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word

TECM 4190: Technical Editing

Editing existing documentation is a fundamental part of the writing process. Technical Editing will teach students how to become proficient in both copyediting and developmental editing. They will also work on a team to develop a project that demonstrates the best practices of technical editing. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Edit technical documents by hand and on-screen
  • Revise content for tone, organization, style, and mechanics
  • Communicate editorial decisions and queries to authors
  • Describe the profession of technical editing

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word

TECM 4250: Writing Technical Manuals & Procedures

Manuals and procedures are imperative to communicating complex information in concise, easy-to-read formats. Writing Technical Manuals & Procedures explores the best practices for layout and design and provides in-depth instruction in planning, writing, testing, and revising procedural information. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Research, plan, write, test, and publish procedures, user guides, and other instructional materials
  • Apply the principles of document design to both print and online manuals
  • Communicate effectively with subject-matter experts
  • Identify problematic writing and design in existing procedures and improve them

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word

TECM 4300: Usability & User Experience

User experience (UX) is a driving force behind how documents, websites, and other web-based applications are created. Usability & User Experience covers the methods and best practices of the field, and introduces students to concepts such as information architecture, usability heuristics, and how usability and user experience tests are conducted. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Identify how usability and user experience is tested
  • Develop and conduct usability tests on live websites
  • Analyze data and information to write useful recommendation reports

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word
  • Presentation software, such as Google Slides or PowerPoint
  • Optimal Workshop
  • UserTesting
  • Adobe XD

TECM 4400: Advanced Information Design

An advanced understanding of web design, web applications, and user experience is an invaluable skill. Advanced Information Design provides an in-depth look on how to write, design, develop, and test information for electronic media using industry-standard software. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Design and develop web applications that solves a tangible problem for a specific user group using a user experience (UX) process
  • Conduct UX research and construct actionable profiles based on their research
  • Work effectively in teams
  • Test the functionality of their application using formal and informal testing methodologies

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • GitHub
  • Ruby on Rails
  • HTML5/CSS
  • Figma

TECM 4500: Content Analysis

Content analysis is the study of patterns and characteristics in communication. The Content Analysis course covers both human- and computer-aided analyses of quantitative and qualitative data and shows how that information is used in the professional field. In this class, students will learn how to

  • Locate and clean content and address its validity and reliability
  • Analyze text on linguistic and psychological dimensions
  • Prepare visualized data
  • Prepare written reports that communicate content analyses clearly and concisely, with an emphasis on the value of the results

Examples of technology that may be used in this course include

  • Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word
  • AntConc

TECM 4800: Special Topics

Topics vary. Please see the [syllabus] for the course description for the upcoming semester.

TECM 4920: Cooperative Education (Internship)

Internships provide an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in coursework in the workplace and to acquire hands-on professional experience with professional supervision before graduation. Both undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Technical Communication can pursue internships for course credit.

Please click [here] for additional information on receiving course credit for a completed internship. See the department's YouTube playlist on internships to view the range of positions, information products created, and tools used by our students.

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