Marjorie Rush Hovde, Wanda Worley, Corinne Renguette, and Ellen Harley, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Principal Investigator: Marjorie Rush Hovde, associate professor, Department of Design and Communication Technology, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Co-principal Investigators: Wanda Worley, Associate Professor of Technical Communication (TCM), Technical Communication Program Director, Associate Chair of Design and Communication Technology, Department of Design and Communication Technology, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology; Corinne Renguette, Visiting Assistant Professor of Technical Communication Department of Design and Communication Technology, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology; Ellen Harley, Graduate student in English, Adjunct Faculty, TCM Program Assistant, TCM Writing Center Tutor.

Project Title: Developing and Assessing Online Courses for the New Technical Communication BS degree

Funding Level: $15,000

Abstract: With the advent of new technologies, technical communication as a field is growing. Many users expect that the technologies will be designed to be easy-to-use and that the communication about those technologies will be clear and useful. In addition, new communication technologies are becoming available, and the conventions for communication change along with each advance in these technologies. For these and other reasons, the Technical Communication (TCM) program is in the process of proposing a new BS degree that will prepare technical communicators as well as students in technical majors to communicate well.

The proposal for the new degree calls for several important courses to be developed. With the support of this Curriculum Enhancement Grant, we plan to develop four courses to be offered online: Principles and Practices of Technical Communication, Tools for Technical Communication, Technical Editing, and Visual Elements of Technical Documents (conversion of an existing course). In developing these courses, we will build ongoing practices of assessment that involve multiple means of not only assessing student learning achievement goals but also revising the courses continuously based on the results of this assessment. We plan to develop and offer these courses during the academic year 2012-2013.

These courses within the new BS in TCM will benefit majors by offering education in both theory and practice; the courses will also benefit students from other majors who wish to improve their technical communication abilities.