Carliner Receives Alumni Teaching Award from Concordia University


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  (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“sell”-major-technical-communication-initiatives/ (Note that an STC membership is required to view the entire article.)