Teaching

I have been teaching courses in technical and professional communication since the fall of 2003. Please contact me (caw0103 @ auburn dot edu) with specific questions or for a copy of course syllabi. Brief course descriptions for select classes I have taught are included below.

grad viz rhet.jpg

Graduate students in my fall 2015 visual rhetoric seminar gave poster presentations on their semester-long data visualization projects.

Document Design (Spring, 2019; graduate): We’ve all heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ but what is it exactly about a picture (as Jay Lemke puts it) that not even a thousand words can explain? In this course, we’ll investigate visual rhetoric from several theoretical perspectives: semiotics, visual culture, document design, rhetorical theory, and visualizing data. Students will complete short and more complex design exercises as well as a client-based final project.

Technical and Professional Communication: Issues and Approaches (Fall, 2017; 2019, graduate): This class introduces students to rhetorical principles and key theories related to research and practice in the field. We explore technical communication as a discipline with a particular focus on UX, and students complete a major project in this area.

Blue Apron

Graduate students in my fall 2017 technical communication class conducting a user test on a meal prepping service. Photo credit: Luke Richey

burger

Pork burger with kale salad. Photo credit: Luke Richey

Grant Writing (Fall, 2016): Are you interested in a career in a non-profit, business, educational, or government setting? Ready to put your writing skills into practice in a professional setting? Then this is the class for you. In this class we’ll cover the basics of grant writing including how to analyze funding opportunities and develop a project plan. Students will work in small groups for a non-profit client and will write a major proposal, a short final report, and give a final presentation to their client. During the second half of the semester students should plan to meet with their client regularly outside of class as well as be prepared to conduct research independently with their group under the supervision of the instructor.

Student poster promoting UD Sustainability

One student group in my grant-writing class wrote a grant for a ‘Zero Waste Initiative.’ This project received funding that semester.

Writing in the Sciences (Fall, 2016): In this class, you will improve and practice your written communication skills in biomedical and scientific-related fields by learning about the conventions of several common genres: research reports and review articles, fact sheets and brochures, and scientific posters. You will learn how to analyze different communication situations, and create and present information to meet the needs of different readers. Several projects will incorporate visual communication, and you will also learn about document design and creating statistical graphics. The course will also include a guest speaker panel of professional writers and subject matter experts who write in their discipline. This course is designed for professional writing concentrators, students majoring in biomedical and science-related disciplines as well as students interested in learning how to write more effectively in the sciences. Students will be encouraged to adapt assignments to their specific area(s) of subject matter interest and to share and discuss their work with the class.

"Small Data in a Big World" Research Showcase

Every fall semester at the University of Delaware, I held an end-of-semester exhibit where students gave poster presentations on their work. In 2015 students explored what they learned when they tracked select behaviors and habits (‘small data’) as a semester-long project.

Technical Writing (Spring, 2020): This class will teach you to communicate effectively in the genres and styles of discourse appropriate to the professional communities that you will join upon graduation. Course objective including learning to assess your audience, purpose, and context of use in researching, evaluating, designing, writing, and presenting information for differing communicative situations; about visual communication and the principles of design to create more effective documents; and to approach writing and design as an equally important process that requires planning, drafting, and revision.

Exhibit Flyer.jpg

Student-designed flyer for my fall 2014 visual rhetoric exhibit.

Introduction to Professional Writing (Spring 2018): In this class you will learn about what professional writers do on the job, and you’ll get started on learning some of the core communication tools/proficiencies you’ll need to have to be successful in the profession (regardless of the specific PW path you end up taking). This class balances core theories that drive and shape the discipline with hands-on practice and exercises to help you develop your skills and proficiencies as a professional writer. We’ll also discuss strategies for representing yourself professionally and get started on producing job application materials your career.