Visuals from 2016 ATD Presentation, Silver, Gold, and Bronze: How Much Effort Should You Really Invest in an ID Project?

About the session: Although many people blame the ADDIE instructional design process for the slow pace of instructional design (ID) projects, the real issue might be that people are investing more effort than a particular project is worth. Through a series of case activities, this session introduces a three-tiered approach to projects, suggests the level of effort appropriate to each type of project, and translates that into practical action—that is, adjusting the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation activities to the needs of the project, without sacrificing its quality. This session also provides an opportunity to apply the concepts to your current projects.

Application on the job:

  • Distinguish among different types of projects based on their scope and impact.
  • Describe the appropriate level of effort for different classes of instructional design projects.
  • Adjust analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation efforts to appropriate levels for a given project.
  • Determine how to adjust activities on a current work projects to match its intended scope and impact.

For a copy of the visuals: click here.

Space Still Available in “Instructional Design for Technical Communicators”

Technical communicators, you can still enroll in the live virtual course, Instructional Design for Technical Communicators.

This 4-session live online certificate program offered by the Society for Technical Communication is intended for technical communicators who been charged with developing a tutorial or similar instructional program (or expect to be). . .or have  developed tutorials but are looking to do so more effectively.

This online certificate program  provides you with the skills needed to successfully produce effective learning programs, including following the ADDIE approach, writing instructional objectives, developing criterion-referenced quizzes and tests, describing the dominant Kirkpatrick model of evaluation, choosing an instructional strategy then applying it, and creating engaging, supportive instructional programs.

The workshop is offered online, requiring no travel to training.

To enroll and learn more information (including session dates and times), click here. (Takes you to the STC website.)

Enroll in in “Instructional Design for Technical Communicators” Online Certificate Program

Technical communicators, have you been charged with developing a tutorial or similar instructional program (or expect to be)? Or have you developed tutorials but are looking to do so more effectively?

Then consider enrolling in Instructional Design for Technical Communicators, a 4-session live online certificate program offered by the Society for Technical Communication.

This program provides you with the skills needed to successfully produce effective learning programs, including following the ADDIE approach, writing instructional objectives, developing criterion-referenced quizzes and tests, describing the dominant Kirkpatrick model of evaluation, choosing an instructional strategy then applying it, and creating engaging, supportive instructional programs.

The workshop is offered online, requiring no travel to training.

To enroll and learn more information (including session dates and times), click here. (Takes you to the STC website.)

Second Quarter 2015 Issue of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication Now Available

The Second Quarter 2015 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is now available online, and will be arriving in the mailboxes of members over the next several weeks (packaged with the First Quarter issue).

Highlights of the issue include:

1.    Editorial:  The Basics of Reporting Research by Saul Carliner

Explains the guidelines that have driven the reporting of research in the Transactions since 4Q2011.   

2.    Research Article: Social Media and Multinational Corporations’ Corporate Social Responsibility in China: The Case of ConocoPhillips Oil Spill Incident by Juelin Yin, Jieyun Feng, and Yuyan Wang

Describes how the Chinese public used social media to express concern following a major oil spill and how institutional players responded.   

3.    Research Article: Ecodefense and the Technical Communication of Ecotage by Derek Ross

Looks at the role of plain language in subversive environmental texts and the ethics of doing so.

4.    Research Article: Personas in Heuristic Evaluation: A Classroom-Based Exploratory Study by Erin Friess

Describes a classroom based study on using personas in heuristic evaluations of texts.   

5.    Research Article: Writing for fantasy sports: A comparative analysis of user-generated writing by amateur writers and professional journalists by Ming Cheung and Ryman White

Explores a particular class of user-generated documentation in-depth: fan-provided material for fantasy sports. Although the article explores fantasy sports, there are many implications for professional and technical communicators, who can learn about what types of material users might provide and its quality.   

6.    Teaching Case: Teaching and Learning in Cross-Disciplinary Virtual Teams by Pam Estes Brewer, Alanah Mitchell, Robert Sanders, Paul Wallace, and David D. Wood

A teaching case that explores how two groups of students from three different disciplines worked together, produced projects, and learned from one another.

7.    Book Reviews: 

Review of Sharing Our Intellectual Traces, edited by Tracy Bridgeford, Karla Saari Kitalong, and Bill Williamson. Reviewed by: Karen Wisne

Review of Slide Rules: Design, Build, and Archive Presentations in the Engineering and Technical Fields, by Traci Nathans-Kelly and Christine G. Nicometo. Reviewed by Ronald L Stone, Member IEEE.

To view the issue online, visit http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/mostRecentIssue.jsp?punumber=47. Note that a subscription is required to see all of the articles except for the editorial.

Concordia Professor Receives Seventh Award in Best Article Competition

June 23, 2015

Concordia University professor Saul Carliner and his co-authors, Juan Carlos Sanchez-Lozano, a Latin America-based consultant, and Adnan Qayyum, an Assistant Professor at Penn State University received an Award of Distinguished Technical Communication in the Frank R. Smith Outstanding Article Competition for their article, “What measures of productivity and effectiveness do Technical Communication managers track and report?” which appeared in the Third Quarter 2014 issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Technical Communication.

The article reports the results of an empirical study that explores the various ways that technical communication managers track and report on the productivity and effectiveness of their teams to upper management. One of the significant findings of the study is that word-of-mouth—rather than return-on-investment—is the primary means that managers use to assess the productivity and effectiveness of technical communication groups.

Technical Communication is the peer-reviewed journal of the Arlington, Virginia-based Society for Technical Communication, the world’s largest professional society for technical communicators. The Frank R. Smith Award recognizes the outstanding articles published in the journal in the previous year. Carliner was previously recognized in 2012, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1995, and 1986.

Another Successful ED-MEDIA

Congratulations, AACE, on another successful ED-MEDIA conference.

ED-MEDIA is an annual international conference organized by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) which serves as a multi-disciplinary forum for the discussion and exchange of information on the research, development, and applications on all topics related to multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications/distance education.

The conference hosted over 500 delegates representing 58 countries.

And thank you, AACE, for the honor of co-chairing this event. I enjoyed meeting so many people and learning about their work with educational technology, and sharing Concordia sites and Montreal travel tips with them.

If you missed the conference, catch up on the proceedings by searching for the hashtag #edmedia, #edmedia2015 or visit EDITLIB to check out the conference proceedings.

Carliner Receives Alumni Teaching Award from Concordia University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 19, 2014

In addition to receiving the top awards for research and teaching from the Society for Technical Communication, Saul Carliner has received the Alumni Award for Teaching from the Concordia University Alumni Association.

The Alumni Teaching Award is awarded to a member of Concordia’s teaching staff who has shown superior knowledge, teaching ability and accessibility to students.

Carliner, who is an Associate Professor, Provost Fellow for e-Learning, and Director of the Education Doctoral Program at Concordia University, will receive the award at a banquet in Montreal, May 20.

Carliner’s research and teaching focus on the design of materials for learning and communication in the workplace–especially online materials, the management of groups that produce these materials, and the transfer of research to practice.

In addition to Concordia University, Carliner has taught at the City University of Hong Kong, University of Minnesota, and Southern Polytechnic State University.  Carliner also teaches continuing education workshops for several professional associations in educational technology, training and development, and professional communication.  In addition to the Jay Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication he recently received from the Society for Technical Communication, Carliner received the Keith Wharton Award for Excellence in Teaching from the association of students in scientific and technical communication at the University of Minnesota.

Carliner also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Director of Research for Lakewood Media, and Vice-President of Agence Ometz (a social, employment, and immigration agency). He is a past board member of the Canadian Society for Training and Development and past chair of its Certification Steering Committee, and past international president of the Society for Technical Communication.

Carliner is a Certified Training and Development Professional, a Fellow of the STC, and holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Minnesota and Georgia State University.

The Concordia University Alumni Association (CUAA) comprises the more than 175,000 alumni of Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec and its founding institutions, Sir George Williams University and Loyola College. Upon graduation, all degree, diploma and certificate holders of Concordia University become members for life.

What Does the Transactions Publish? What Do Transactions’ Readers Want to Read?

What does the Transactions Publish? What do Transactions’ Readers Want to Read?, which I co-wrote with Nancy Coppola, George Hayhoe, and Helen Grady and was published in the fourth quarter 2011 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication,characterizes the state of the material published in the peer-reviewed literature on technical communication and contrasts it with the preferences of readers of the Transactions.

As the abstract of the article notes:

Research Problem: The change in editorship of the Transactions on Professional Communication provides an opportunity for investigate the match between the content published by the journal and the content sought by its readers and to assess the uniqueness of the niche that it fills among peer-reviewed journals on professional and technical communication.

Research Questions: What content does the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication publish? How does that compare to the content published by other journals in the field? And what content do readers of the Transactions want to read?

Literature Review: Researchers in most fields occasionally analyze the entire body of literature within their disciplines as a result of a particular request or a research initiative.  The general purpose of these analyses is to assess the current state of the literature, although each analysis usually has a more specific focus that affects the entire field it covers.  Such reviews have had goals like identifying the leading works in a field, assessing the state of the literature of the field, providing a basis for changing the direction of a journal or body of literature, and assessing the alignment among different parts of  a body of literature. This study is rooted in a particular study intended to prepare for a transition among editors of a journal.

Methodology: To identify what the Transactions publishes and its unique niche among peer-reviewed journals in the field, researchers identified all peer-reviewed articles published by four major journals in professional and technical communication between January 2006 and December 2010: the Transactions, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Technical Communication, and Technical Communication Quarterly. Using the STC Body of Knowledge schema, two researchers coded the subjects of articles and adapting a schema by Klein (1999), they categorized the type of research underlying the articles.  To identify reader preferences, the other two researchers surveyed members of the IEEE Professional Communication Society (publisher of the Transactions) about their preferences for content and types of research (using the same schema).

Results and Discussion: The studies provide insights into the extent of alignment between  the material published by the Transactions on Professional Communication and the preferences of its readers on the types of topics covered and the methods used to generate them.

To see the complete article, visit http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=47.  (Note: Only free to members of the IEEE Professional Communication Society and to those entering through university libraries with a subscription to IEEExplore.)

Ten Tips for Preparing a Business Case to Successfully “Sell” Major Technical Communication Initiatives

Are you trying to receive funding for a new content management system (CMS)? Do you need to convince your organization to invest in presenting content as a mobile application? Are your requests for funding regularly refused?

In any of these situations, perhaps you have not persuaded the decision makers and the people who advise them—decision influencers—that your proposed course of action can benefit the organization. Often, that’s because the decision makers and influencers feel that the proposal is either incomplete, that other options exist but have not been considered, or that the proposal is overly optimistic.

To avoid such problems, prepare a business case before requesting the support for a proposed course of action. My article Ten Tips for Preparing a Business Case to Successfully “Sell” Major Technical Communication Initiatives  in the June 2012 issue of Intercom provides 10 tips for preparing a business case.

To see all of the tips, visit the article at  http://intercom.stc.org/2012/07/eleven-tips-for-preparing-a-business-case-to-successfully-“sell”-major-technical-communication-initiatives/ (Note that an STC membership is required to view the entire article.)