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43 minutes | 18 hours ago
Writing Professionals Can Build Bridges
Erin Brock Carlson is an Assistant Professor of English at West Virginia University, where she teaches Professional Writing and Editing courses, including multimedia writing, technical writing, and writing theory and practice. She earned her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Purdue University, an MA in English from Miami University, and a BA in English and Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication from Transylvania University. Her work rests at the intersections of environmental humanities and digital humanities, focusing on the ways that place, technology, and community are wrapped up in one another. Driven by a commitment to investigate the ways that communities can unexpectedly leverage their resources to address wicked problems, her work often utilizes participatory research methods, including photovoice and participatory mapping. She is currently focused on how communities in rural Appalachia are grappling with major economic and environmental changes by leaning into place (with all of its physical, social, and cultural trappings) as a strength for community-building. By treating place as a strength, rather than a weakness, we can re-frame conversations that often trail into stereotypes and generalizations, further reifying problems. In her collaborative project focused on pipeline development in West Virginia, she conducted over 30 interviews with rural residents directly affected by pipeline development on their land, finding that pipeline development is a fraught and often stressful experience, riddled with complex processes and protocols. In this episode of Room 42, we travel the intersection of environmental humanities and digital humanities to discover how technical communicators can be a bridge between divergent perspectives. How we might be able to fill in thick, complex, convoluted scenarios—scenarios like energy development in rural areas, where landowners and energy companies often fail to see eye-to-eye? Lived experiences are often excluded from the larger conversations about issues like energy development and the residents they are supposed to serve. These conversations are often couched in only environmental or economic discourse. This is where the unique skills of technical and professional communicators can create clear and consistent communication between multiple stakeholders and open up a unique opportunity for technical communicators to do community-engaged, meaningful work.
42 minutes | 15 days ago
Collisions in Patient Education: Surveillance, Medical Devices, and Communication
Krista Kennedy is fascinated by the ways that humans work closely with technologies and the rhetorical implications of policies and laws that shape that work. Her experience as a deaf academic informs her current project, which examines intersections of deafness, artificial intelligence, passing, and ethics of medical data collection. Kennedy is Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric at Syracuse University, PI of the Disability, Data, and Surveillance Project, affiliated with SU’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute, and, for the 2020-21 year, NEH Visiting Professor of Writing & Rhetoric at Colgate University. She teaches courses on information design, cultural history of robotics, rhetorics of technology, and professional and technical writing. Noah Wilson is curious about the ways technologies shape our rhetorical actions, particularly how we make connections with other people. He is currently a PhD candidate in Syracuse University’s Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program and a Visiting Instructor of Writing & Rhetoric at Colgate University where he teaches first year writing, rhetorical history and theory, and surveillance rhetorics. His dissertation addresses recent trends in social media content recommendation algorithms that have led to increased political polarization in the United States and the proliferation of radicalizing conspiracy theories such as Qanon and Pizzagate. In this episode of Room 42 we discuss the Disability, Data, and Surveillance Project, a joint project of researchers at Syracuse University and Loyola University Chicago, and the results of our ongoing study of algorithmic data collection in compulsory medical wearables. Device manufacturers and other high-tech companies increasingly incorporate algorithmic data surveillance in next-gen medical wearables. These devices, including smart hearing aids, leverage patient data created through human-computer interaction to not only power devices but also increase corporate profit. Although US and EU data protection laws establish privacy requirements for personal information and use, these companies continue to legally rely on patients’ personal information with little notice or education, significantly curtailing the agency of wearers. Join us to learn more about the complexities of algorithmic ecologies in medical wearables and navigating data surveillance disclosure in patient education materials.
43 minutes | 22 days ago
Career Advice for Professional Writers
Saul Carliner is a professor of educational technology at Concordia University in Montreal, where his teaching and research focus on the design of instructional and informational materials (especially in emerging media), the management of groups that produce these materials, and related issues of policy and professionalism. He has received research funding from SSHRC, Entente Canada-Quebec, Canadian Council on Learning, Society for Technical Communication, and Hong Kong University Grants Council. Also an industry consultant, Carliner has provided strategic consultation in organizational design, program evaluation, and effective instructional and informational design. Among his over 250-plus publications are the upcoming Career Anxiety: Guidance for Tough Times (with Margaret Driscoll and Yvonne Thayer), the best-selling Training Design Basics, award-winning Informal Learning Basics, numerous book chapters, articles, and op-eds and over 50 peer-reviewed publications. He has appeared on CNBC Asia, CTV Montreal, Global National, Globe and Mail, Jerusalem Post, Les Affaires, Montreal Gazette, and the Wall Street Journal. He is vice-president of the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), Fellow and past board member of the Institute for Performance and Learning, past Research Fellow of the Association for Talent Development, and Fellow and past international president of the Society for Technical Communication. In this episode of Room 42 we have a candid conversation about techniques and strategies that can help relieve career anxiety. If history is any indicator of the future then it stands to reason that the employment environment will continue to change. Sometimes drastically. We touch on factors affecting commerce and how those changes will impact your future employability. We also discuss the skills and credentials you should acquire in order to stay competitive into the future.
49 minutes | a month ago
How to Get Invited to Cool New Projects
Dr. Jack T. Labriola is an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at Kennesaw State University, where he teaches usability testing, information architecture, and the senior capstone design course. He has researched, written, and presented on a variety of topics ranging from a co-edited collection, Content Strategy in Technical Communication with Routledge, to articles on minimalist design aesthetics and mobile user experience, to conference papers on university partnerships and building up student research toolkits. Dr. Labriola’s professional mission is to continue to discover opportunities to research and create better experiences for users in their day-to-day use of technology. In this episode of Room 42 we discuss strategies for searching and finding collaborative projects outside of your comfort zone. We'll also share practical ideas to help advocate for the value you bring to help colleagues in different disciplines see the importance of communication and user experience. The messy world of research can offer you a unique opportunity to break out of your comfort network to expand your knowledge. It can also give you more career agility and, let's face it, it makes things far more interesting.
43 minutes | 2 months ago
De-Myth-ifying the Book Writing Process
Heidi Y. Lawrence is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at George Mason University. She has a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing from Virginia Tech, an MA in English from George Mason, and a BA in English from Mary Washington College. Heidi’s work examines how the tools of rhetoric can be used to better understand and respond to controversial topics about science and medicine in the public sphere. Her monograph, Vaccine Rhetorics, explores what she calls the four primary material exigencies that facilitate and sustain discord about vaccines. Her other published work across a range of scholarly outlets in rhetoric, medicine, and public health further examines how language functions as both a space for understanding controversies as well as an ameliorative path to changing controversial issues in the public sphere. In this episode of Room 42, we have a candid conversation about the realities of authoring and publishing her book. Heidi shares her personal struggles and disappointments as well as life lessons learned along the way. The epic journey to writing and publishing a book about vaccines in a global pandemic is not all fairy tales and happy endings. In her own words: "Unintentionally, 2020 was an opportune year to publish a book about vaccines. When the year began, I thought I was 9 months and a handful of revisions away from a publishable book. Like magic it should all fall into place like a key in a lock. Between life delays, difficult reviews, and the simple fear of writing something crappy, the book (or the 'Voldemort Project' as my husband and I started calling it) was harder, took more time, and was more painful in every way than I ever could have imagined."
47 minutes | 2 months ago
Job Search 2.0: Artificial Intelligence Impact in Candidate Pre-Screening
Professor Huiling Ding teaches technical communication at North Carolina State University. She is the Director of the MS in Technical Communication program and a University Faculty Scholar. Her research focuses on intercultural professional communication, technical communication, risk communication, and epidemic communication. Her recent projects have been exploring the connections between artificial intelligence, communication technologies, risk communication, and social justice. As the principal investigator of a large multidisciplinary NSF C Accel grant, she has been leading her team to examine how AI tools have been transforming the job market and job screening processes in the U.S. In this episode of Room 42 we discuss the impact of AI on job application materials and strategies. The socio-technological landscape of work has been radically and permanently changed. Ever increasing demands for recruiters to present the exact ideal candidates for job openings has created more reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for pre-screening and matching volumes of candidates against defined criteria. To understand the impacts of emerging AI-augmented pre-hire assessment tools, this talk will examine assessment tools such as applicant tracking systems, resume screeners, and on-demand video interviews. We will also examine assumptions about pre-hire screening criteria and procedures used by technology and the impact of such tools on job application materials and strategies. Event Page: https://www.single-sourcing.com/events/job-search-2-0-artificial-intelligence-impact-in-candidate-pre-screening/
45 minutes | 3 months ago
Ethics for Writing Professionals
Dr. Sam Dragga is Professor Emeritus of Technical Communication at Texas Tech University (TTU). He is co-author of The Essentials of Technical Communication(Oxford University Press, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2021), Reporting Technical Information (Oxford University Press, 2002, 2006), and Editing: The Design of Rhetoric (Baywood, 1989). He was Editor-in-Chief (2016-2020) of Technical Communication the quarterly research journal of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and series editor of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication (19 titles). He has authored or co-authored a score of articles in journals and collections on such topics as professional ethics and intercultural communication. He is a Fulbright Specialist, a Fellow of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW), and a recipient of STC’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication and the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Best Book in Technical and Scientific Communication and Best Article Reporting Historical Research in Technical and Scientific Communication. He served as president of ATTW (1997-1999) and initiated the organization’s annual conference in 1998. He also served as chair of the TTU Department of English (2002-2012). In this Room 42, we focus on the ethics of researching and publishing in technical communication—issues that might cause anxiety, especially for individuals new to the field or new to publishing. We will consider the perspectives and obligations of authors, journal editors, and manuscript reviewers and examine ethical practices in developing research projects, writing and revising manuscripts, and interacting with editors and reviewers.
45 minutes | 3 months ago
How to Grow Diversity in Techcomm
Chris Dayley is an assistant professor of English and director of the Master of Arts in Technical Communication program at Texas State University. Chris has over 13 years of professional experience in higher education and his scholarly work has been featured in the academic journals Technical Communication Quarterly and Programmatic Perspectives. Chris’ research focuses on issues of social justice with a specific emphasis on diversity and inclusion in technical and professional communication (TPC) academic programs. Today's technical communication students will become tomorrow's technical communication professionals. Increasing diversity in technical communication academic programs is a very important part of increasing diversity in the field in general. What can academic administrators do to increase diversity in technical communication programs? What can professionals do to help increase diversity in academic programs? How does increasing diversity in the field help technical communication as a profession? In this episode Room 42, we discuss how to increase diversity in the field of Technical and Professional Communications.
48 minutes | 4 months ago
COVID-Inspired Lessons About Charts
Dr. Sara Doan is an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at Kennesaw State University, where she teaches data visualization, information design, and Health and Medicine in Technical Communication. Dr. Doan's previous research on instructor feedback has appeared in IEEE Transactions on Technical Communication; her research on COVID-19 charts is appearing this January in the Journal of Business and Technical Communication. In this session, we talk about some very important lessons learned in a look back at what the COVID crisis has taught us all. We discuss guidelines for creating accurate, accessible, and eye-catching charts about COVID-19, particularly for sharing via social media. There is nothing like a global pandemic to bring to the front and center the need for accurate and understandable graphics.The use of visual aids in communicating important information to a diverse audience is nothing new. We know the importance of citing sources and accuracy, but stunning graphics with colors and lines influence our understanding and can shape behaviours and beliefs. With the advent of Social media and non-traditional news outlets, a new emphasis on stimulating data visualization is first priority. As professional communicators, it is paramount that we understand data visualization so that we can pair our technical accuracy with the human psychology of aesthetics. From good graphics gone bad when taken out of context to blatant manipulations to sway opinion with no foundation in fact. We’ll also talk about the need for us to focus on accessibility and the democratization of information especially in times of crisis.
52 minutes | 5 months ago
Trauma-Informed Design Supports Equity
A panel of academics from Michigan State University -- Ben Lauren, Stuart Blythe, Shannon Kelly, and Kaitlyn Nguyen -- discuss how they developed trauma-informed approaches to research and design practice. Ben Lauren is a songwriter, scholar, and Associate Professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. Most recently his work has focused on institutional and social change. His first book Communicating Project Management was published by Routledge’s ATTW series. Stuart Blythe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. He teaches a range of courses in the undergraduate program in professional and public writing as well as the graduate program in rhetoric and writing. Shannon Kelly is a doctoral student at Michigan State University in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. Most recently, her work is focused on institutional change with trauma-informed methods and relationality. As a former assistant writing-program-director, she is also excited about curriculum design and the role of mentorship in how learners learn to teach. Kaitlyn Nguyen is an undergraduate studying Experience Architecture at Michigan State University. Kaitlyn works as a Design Researcher for the MSU Essential Needs portal and a User Interface/User Experience Intern for the MSU Content Studio. She is currently researching how design impacts user interaction and response to products. In this episode, we discuss the SEEN (Supporting Equity in Essential Needs) project at Michigan State University. SEEN is an institutional and organizational change project designed to improve the university's responsiveness to students’ essential needs that came to life through the collaboration of this interdisciplinary group of MSU academics. Learn how practitioners in the field can benefit from working within trauma-informed frameworks and how trauma-informed approaches to design practice can improve organizational change.
44 minutes | 5 months ago
Exploring UX-Techcomm Intersection
Emma Rose has spent her career crossing the academic and industry divide. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Washington Tacoma and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Human Centered Design & Engineering at University of Washington Seattle. Her research interests include participatory and human-centered design and developing methods to engage communities and marginalized populations in the design process. She is also the Past Chair of ACM SIGDOC, a professional organization dedicated to the design of communication. Prior to her academic career, she spent over a decade working at a User Experience consultancy helping organizations bring design thinking into their practices and product development. Join us in Room 42 as we discuss the relationship between User Experience and Technical Communication. Are they the same field, do they overlap, or are they distinct? How should we be preparing the next generation of technical communicators to work at the intersection between UX and TC? What skills do professionals need to be successful? In this episode, Dr. Emma Rose discusses the evolving state of UX and Technical Communication. She shares some of her recent research results that examine how the UX industry is changing. She also discusses the specific skills and dispositions early career professionals need to succeed in UX and how that is informing teaching and practice.
47 minutes | 5 months ago
Techcomm Improves Customer Experience
Guiseppe Getto is an Associate Professor of Technical and Professional Communication at East Carolina University and is President and Founder of Content Garden, Inc., a digital marketing, content strategy, and UX firm: http://contentgarden.org/. His research focuses on utilizing user experience (UX) design, content strategy, and other participatory research methods to help people improve their communities and organizations. He has published a co-edited collection, Content Strategy in Technical Communication, with Routledge. The findings of his research have been published in many peer-reviewed journals such as IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication; Technical Communication; and Computers and Composition. His work has also appeared in industry-based publications such as Intercom and Boxes and Arrows. In this episode of Room 42, he discusses how technical communicators can create user-focused, context-driven content to improve the customer experience. Technical content is increasingly valuable to organizations as savvy consumers search for reviews, tutorials, and technical specifications for their favorite products and services. Technical communicators exist at the crossroads of the customer journey, where information gathering, buying habits, and loyalty coalesce. But in many organizations, no one is truly in charge of improving the customer experience across all content channels. Someone needs to be. And maybe that someone is you!
44 minutes | 6 months ago
Get Published And Ignite Change
Pam Estes Brewer, Mercer University, researches topics related to communication in virtual teams, online teaching, usability, and research methods. She teaches general technical communication courses as well as advanced and graduate courses in usability research, research methods, and international tech comm. Join us in Room 42 as we discuss how industry practitioners, working out on the front lines, can conduct reliable and valid research that can be published and instigate change in the workplace. Practitioners often have not had training in how to conduct reliable and valid research. Pam Estes Brewer explains how you can take your ideas, implement research that is both reliable and valid, and get it published so you can build change and support your career growth.
65 minutes | 6 months ago
What Techcomm Can Learn From Games
Samantha Blackmon (she/her) is a gamer/researcher/games researcher who loves playing games with her daughter and talking about games with anyone else who will listen or watch. She is passionate about games and making the games community a more inclusive space. Her research focuses on bringing together the voices of gamers, academics, and games industry folks in order to get a fuller picture of the games community and all of the people who comprise it. Her greatest academic goal is to create scholarship that is informed by and accessible to those outside of the academy, which makes for some pretty non-traditional work. Her recent work has included looking at how to use games in the classroom and a Black Feminist Mixtape analysis of how Black women have affected the video game industry. She is currently working on a project that pays homage to the upcoming 10th anniversary of her blog and podcast, Not Your Mama’s Gamer, and a project that looks at representation and visibility of marginalized people on live streaming platforms. Samantha loves video games, books, crafting, and coffee, definitely coffee. Join us in Room 42 as we discuss how technical communicators can use techniques pioneered and perfected in the games industry in their scholarship, their content projects, and in the classroom. We talk about the importance of reaching your audience, meeting them where they are, so you can reflect and relate to them. We also discuss how lessons from the gaming industry can be useful anywhere people are learning, absorbing, and interacting with content. For example, Samantha talks about how games have a way of "scaffolding their tutorials" so as to promote quick adoption and long term retention in content consumers. In this session, practitioners learn how to take these lessons and apply them in their daily content projects.
48 minutes | 7 months ago
Techcomm Can Help Disaster Response
Sweta Baniya, is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Professional and Technical writing at Virginia Tech University. Her scholarship centers around the ever evolving, changing, and challenging global issue of natural and man-made disasters, such as earthquakes or climate change. Her research draws upon non-western paradigms into dialogue with contemporary rhetorical framings of natural and man-made disasters to support local and global communities faced with responding to such events. Her work has appeared in Enculturation, Journal of Business and Technical Communications, Journal of Technological Studies. Join us in Room 42 as we discuss the role of transnational publics as well as women in disaster management and disaster response. A former communication practitioner, she shares on how public voices, actions, and transnational activism is something technical communication practitioners can collaborate with in order to support communities suffering during and after a disaster.
48 minutes | 7 months ago
Intelligent Content for Everyone
Carlos Evia is Professor of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, where he is affiliated with the Centers for Human-Computer Interaction, Communicating Science, and Humanities. During the 2020-2021 academic year, he is the faculty fellow at El Centro - Hispanic and Latinx Cultural and Community Center. His research and teaching work focuses on planning and developing technology-based content solutions for workplace communication problems, particularly in situations involving multicultural audiences or misrepresented communities. Join us in Room 42 as we discuss the benefits of intelligent content, such as single sourcing, content reuse, and multichannel publishing and how, even in practitioner circles, there is pushback and criticism against some of the tools and standards that technical communicators use to produce and publish intelligent content.
47 minutes | 8 months ago
Relevance + Accessibility = Value
Rebekka Andersen has a Ph.D. in Professional Writing and is an Associate Professor in the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis. She teaches courses in professional and technical communication and serves as the Associate Director for Professional Writing. Learn how we can all increase the relevance of research. First, learn how academics can increase the value, relevance, and accessibility of their research for non-academic readers. Then, find out how practitioners can get more benefit from academic research.
45 minutes | 8 months ago
Add A to STEAM to Improve Comprehension
Kylie M. Jacobsen is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Grand Valley State University. Her research focuses on user experience research methods in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Humanities, and Mathematics (STEAM) environments, specifically analyzing the emotional journey of learning. In this episode, we talk about why technical comprehension improves when you add the A to STEAM.
49 minutes | 9 months ago
Futures & Foundations of Tech Editing
Dr. Joanna Schreiber is an Associate Professor of Technical and Professional Communication in the Writing and Linguistics Department at Georgia Southern University. Her research interests include project management, technical and professional communication programs, and technical editing. Her work has been published in Technical Communication Quarterly, Technical Communication, and the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication. Joanna currently serves as treasurer for the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC). Join us in Room 42 as we discuss futures and foundations in technical and professional communications. By rethinking and re-imagining the traditional processes, an illustration of a range of knowledge and practices that comprise the field emerges. We’ll also explore the evolution of editing, how diversity and inclusion style changes have affected technical editing work, and editorial processes for improving accessibility. We will be introduced to a new book coming out Spring 2021 and you will be invited to be a part of new research beginning this Fall! Time permitting, we’ll also talk about one of Joanna's other passions, her rescue pups!
51 minutes | 9 months ago
Scalable Localization and the Psychology of Usability and Design
Kirk St.Amant is a Professor and the Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair of Technical Communication at Louisiana Tech University, and he is also the Director of Louisiana Tech’s newly formed Center for Health and Medical Communication. His research focuses on the psychology of usability and applying cognitive models to understand audience expectations and user preferences in different settings. In Room 42, he’ll be discussing prior work he has done in examining psychology, usability, and design and talk about a new approach he’s been working with, called “scalable usability,” in which he combines ideas from intercultural communication with concepts from cognitive psychology to identify usability expectations in different contexts.
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