Conference Theme: User-centered program design
When we think of programmatic issues, we often think about our program’s identity from an administrative perspective and focus on how institutional, governmental, social, economic, and situational forces influence and shape our programs. But as programs in technical, professional, and scientific communication, where we place a high value on user-centered design and user advocacy, we should also be thinking about our users. The primary users for our programs are, of course, students. For this year’s conference, we focus on how responding to student needs shapes our programs, according to three main areas: recruitment, retention & engagement, and graduation (career advancement).
Student recruitment is critical to the sustainability and life of any program. In examining recruitment, we seek to raise and answer questions about what factors contribute to students choosing technical and professional communication programs.
- What are the demographics and characteristics of students who select our programs, and how do we address this target audience when we recruit?
- How can we market our programs, both on our campus and in our communities, to attract a diverse range of students?
- How can we use the service course to recruit students?
- What are the needs of students from diverse populations, and how can we address these
- What stakeholders, venues, and locations can we reach out to in order to recruit students?
- In what ways can we develop our faculty, curriculum, and infrastructure to attract students?
- What are other effective strategies for recruiting students to our programs?
- What are other effective strategies for building program identity and marketing programs to
Retention and Engagement
Engaging and retaining students is critical to program sustainability. In examining retention and engagement, we will explore both pedagogical and administrative practices.
- What pedagogical practices contribute to retention and meeting student needs and how effective are these practices?
- How does service learning, community engagement, and other experiential practices contribute to retention and engagement?
- How do internships and other practices that prepare students to be successful in the job market or in their careers contribute to retention and engagement?
- How can we use other practices such as advising, mentoring, extracurricular and sponsored activities to improve retention and engagement? What do these practices look like?
- How does the use of technology serve students’ needs and contribute to retention? For example, do millennials use and learn technologies differently and what does this mean for our programs in terms of resource investment and curriculum? How do programs balance student needs and technology cost?
- How do specific delivery modes (online, hybrid, and f2f) serve students’ needs and contribute to retention and engagement?
- What can we learn from our students while they are still in our programs to help us better retain future students and meet their needs? What types of data from current students can help us both recruit students and prepare them for their future careers?
Continue reading “CPTSC 2017 Call For Proposals”
In our commitment to advancing graduate students in the field, ATTW is pleased to announce the 2017 ATTW Graduate Research Award. This award’s purpose is to support and advance the research of graduate students in the latter stages of their PhD programs (preference will be given to those students working on their dissertations).
Up to three awardees will receive a monetary amount ($500.00) to be used for research expenses and/or to help defray the costs of attending the annual ATTW conference. In addition, award recipients will be featured in a work-in-progress panel presentation at the annual conference in Portland, Oregon in 2017, and the conference registration fee will be waived.
At this time, we are soliciting application materials from graduate students whose research is in technical and professional communication. Interested students should send (as one *.pdf file):
- a prospectus that describes their current research and its contribution to the field of technical and professional communication; the prospectus should also address the applicants’ plans for future work. (Please limit to 3-4 pages).
- a description of the ways in which the award money will be used to support the research
- a current CV
- a letter of support from the student’s advisor that confirms the student’s status as a graduate student and details the advisor’s support for the student’s application
Awards will be given to those with clearly defined research projects that contribute to the field of technical and professional communication.
Send completed applications to Michelle F. Eble at firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadline: September 30, 2016
Notification of award recipients: October 30, 2016
ATTW Conference: March 15, 2017
If you have questions, feel free to contact Michelle F. Eble at email@example.com.
Professional Development for Online Technical Communication Educators: Continuing the Conversation
Special Edition Editors: Beth L. Hewett and Tiffany Bourelle
With distance education continuing to grow at a rapid pace, composition scholars have increasingly studied and reported on the efficacy of online courses. These studies vary in content, from focusing on student-perceived success in the online classroom (Boyd, 2008) to measuring the comparability of online courses to their face-to-face (f2f) or onsite counterparts (Arbaugh, 2000; Collins & Pascarella, 2003; Neuhauser, 2002; Sapp & Simon, 2005). In this special issue, we extend the conversation by turning the focus to technical communication. Scholars of technical communication have reported on pedagogy, administration, and development of online technical communication classes and programs. In fact, in 2007, Beth L. Hewett and Christa Ehmann dedicated a special issue of Technical Communication Quarterly to the teaching of online technical communication. Since then, more programs across the country have added online degrees or have begun to teach aspects of their technical communication degrees in fully online and hybrid settings. Cook et al. (2013) reported that only 22 U.S. colleges and universities offered online degree programs in 2005; however, this number has more than doubled in size, with the authors reporting a total of 56 institutions offering programs or courses online. With this rapid growth, there remains a need to readdress online technical communication. Specifically, the field needs to include more conversations regarding training and successful pedagogical practices. Continue reading “CFP: Special Edition Of Technical Communication Quarterly”