Technical Communications

Technical Communications

Technical Communications introduces learners to the types of writing and presentations which are valued by employers and necessary for success in the workplace. The course provides guidance for writing as a process, with several interactive and optional assignments leading up to the submission of an assignment with each module.

 

In addition to practicing writing in various formats, students will gain an understanding of the ethics and politics involved in workplace communication, as well as practice writing for different audiences. The course also supports opportunities for peer review and shared writing for those learners who are taking the course synchronously.

 

This course includes full access to the MindEdge Writing Pad to support real-time student writing and coaching sessions.

 

Module 1: Solving Problems through Communication

  • Consider the purpose for workplace communications
  • Identify the needs of the audience
  • Respond to political and cultural factors in the workplace
  • Choose between formal and informal communications
  • Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their communication skills
  • Detect fragments and employ strategies for correcting them
  • Use commas where syntactically appropriate, and avoid using them in constructions where they are inappropriate
  • Detect run-on sentences and employ strategies for correcting them
  • Capitalize words in a sentence as appropriate

Module 2: Planning your Message and Thinking Critically

  • Explain the structure of workplace communications
  • Decide when to use a particular message strategy
  • Identify the types of evidence necessary for supporting communications
  • Gather information to support communications
  • Synthesize information
  • Avoid critical thinking pitfalls
  • Critique a proposal’s claim and effectiveness
  • Use appropriate parallel structure when writing sentences with coordinated or subordinated parts
  • Employ techniques to increase sentence variety

Module 3: Ethics and Professionalism

  • Identify common ethical challenges in workplace writing
  • Consider the needs of the audience and identify audience assumptions
  • Recognize multiple audiences for workplace documents
  • Explain the ethics of commission and omission
  • Presents messages ethically
  • Choose the pronoun case and number that is appropriate for the verb form
  • Choose the verb tense that is correct for sentence syntax and context
  • Distinguish between homophonic words and commonly confused words
  • Use words correctly to create the desired effect

Module 4: Qualities of Effective Technical Writing

  • Modify parts of sentences correctly and without ambiguity
  • Choose active voice constructions for most writing, using passive voice constructions only to create a desired effect
  • Place modifiers in a sentence so that their referents are unambiguous
  • Include a subject in the modifier when necessary for clarity
  • Develop paragraphs with topic sentences and relevant details
  • Use grammatical structures that facilitate logical comparison
  • Use grammatical structures that facilitate logical agreement
  • Use transitions to aid understanding of how ideas are connected to each other
  • Use topic sentences to improve the coherence of the essay and the flow of ideas
  • Use emphasis and old information to new information flow to aid reader understanding and sentence flow
  • Use keywords to improve reader perception of coherence in paragraphs and essays

Module 5: Emails, Memos, and Letters

  • Decide when to use an email, a memo, or a letter
  • Explain the parts of an email, a memo, and a letter, and format each so that the communication is effective
  • Consider primary and secondary uses for the email, memo, or letter, and making decisions that will facilitate both primary and secondary uses

Module 6: Collaboration

  • Identify the factors in interpersonal communication
  • Modify communication strategies to be successful in small and large groups
  • Devise a strategy for working effectively in remote settings, including in telework settings
  • Explain the purpose of various types of meetings and explain the outcomes expected
  • Attend a meeting and perform the role of an effective communicator in the meeting
  • Prepare for, moderate, and follow up after a meeting to ensure effective use of organizational resources
  • Document a meeting and distribute minutes or a meeting summary as appropriate

Module 7: Reports

  • Explain the purpose of workplace reports (description, process, definition, proposal, analytical) and the expectations for each
  • Conduct research to support a report
  • Write an effective report, including an appropriate level of detail
  • Improve usability ease of reading and reader comprehension
  • Plan and enact a strategy for seeking feedback on the report
  • Explain general procedures for revision
  • Conduct peer review
  • Incorporate feedback into a revision summary that lays out a plan for revision

Module 8: Document Design and Visuals

  • Explain the role of visuals in workplace communication
  • Identify opportunities for improving communication by including a visual
  • Choose between various types of visuals including charts, graphs, images, websites, videos and animations, or infographics as most effective for a specific purpose
  • Create a chart, graph, an image, an infographic, or a simple website
  • Incorporate visuals into a workplace report

Module 9: Presentations

  • Consider the differences between a written report and a presentation
  • Make decisions about how to most effectively convey information in a presentation format
  • Outline a presentation, including main ideas, major points, details, and performance cues
  • Determine whether the information in the presentation needs to be added or removed to aid reception and retention
  • Incorporate visual aids to highlight key points
  • Craft an introduction and conclusion that aid reception and retention
  • Prepare for audience questions
  • Field questions from the audience and facilitate discussion and engagement

Module 10: The Job Search

  • Explain the role of the resume and cover letter, interview, and follow up communication in career success
  • Prepare for the job search process by managing in-person and online presence
  • Create a resume that highlights achievements and skills
  • Revise the resume to respond to a specific job posting
  • Create a cover letter that responds to a specific job posting
  • Prepare for a phone interview
  • Prepare for an on-site interview
  • Promote an appearance of confidence during the interview
  • Answer interview questions effectively
  • Follow up with the interviewer in a way that extends the conversation and encourages follow up