By Topic

Professional Communication Conference, 2008. IPCC 2008. IEEE International

Date 13-16 July 2008

Filter Results

Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 58
  • Identifying future skills for technical communicators: An action plan

    Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (900 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A group of Boeing technical communicators worked as a team to identify potential future skills required in an information-based economy. This paper explains the process they used, the tools they produced, their findings after sharing the tools with their work group, and their recommendations to other technical communication groups. This future skills teampsilas experience may be helpful to other professionals also faced with preparing for changes within the information economy. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • A language for visuals: Design, purpose, usability

    Page(s): 1 - 9
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1373 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Information economy, indeed any economy, requires some common medium of exchange. We therefore seek clarity and commonality in the vocabulary of visual language. Visual vocabularies have of course been proposed by others, but we can demonstrate that, so far, they possess an artificiality effectively preventing widespread adoption. Therefore, what we propose is a comprehensive language for visuals that is derived from terms and concepts already extant in the visual rhetoric literature, but with a novel, unifying organization which, we will demonstrate, is organically grammatical in the precise sense of the word. Our goal is not to silence other language scholars who interpret visuals in their own ways but rather to offer up a safe space where, theories and ideologies and egos aside, we can collectively name what we collectively experience in visual information, then as technical communicators read and create visuals with a fuller understanding of how visuals work in relation to and separate from textual interpretation. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Communicating sustainability: Sustainability and communication in the engineering, science, and technical communication classrooms

    Page(s): 1 - 7
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1136 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has implemented a variety of programs to promote sustainable practices on campus and sustainable engineering as part of the curriculum. Sustainability impacts both technical and professional skills, posing challenges for students both in the ways that they solve technical problems and in their conceptions of their professional identities and bodies of knowledge. This paper reviews principles defining sustainable engineering, defines criteria of ldquogreenrdquo engineering in several disciplines, and analyzes student responses to both elective and required undergraduate courses with a central focus on sustainability. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • ‘The end is near’: Effects of announcing the closure of a speech

    Page(s): 1 - 9
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1585 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    ldquoAnd so, in conclusion... rdquo. Speakers often use a textual cue to announce that they are going to finish their presentation. Is the use of such a textual cue a sound ploy to signal the end? Rhetoricians and other writers of textbooks on oral communication do not agree on this issue. Some state that such a signaling device increases the attention of the listener in the last minutes of the speech. Other authors point out that it is a cue to the audience to stop listening and head for the exit and the coffee. There is little experimental evidence for either of the two positions. Does the closing of a speech result in a better remembrance of the last words of the speaker and/or in a higher appreciation of the speech itself? To explore these questions two mini-lectures (length approx. 17 minutes) were constructed and videotaped. From each of these lectures two versions were constructed: one version with an explicit announcement of the closing section and one version without. The tapes were digitally edited in order to obtain 2X2 exactly similar presentations (differing only in a few lines of text: the announcement of the closure). The lectures were shown to four comparable groups of listeners (Ntotal=350). The dependent variables were a mc-question list (covering the closing of the speech) to measure the retention of the listeners and a questionnaire to measure the attitude of the listeners towards the speech. The outcome of the experiment suggests that the attentional stimulus of announcing the closure of a speech could be working in cases where listeners have a rather low interest in the subject of the speech. Referring to the introduction as rhetorical technique helps to add relish to the experience of listening to the speech. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • On critical literacy: Maintaining an ‘open’ discourse on technology and intellectual property in the professional communication classroom

    Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (667 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper examines positions on intellectual property from the vantages of the corporate workplace and the open source community. Universities are showing growing enthusiasm for adopting open source applications along with their ideology. The concern is that the open source ideology, which favors using intellectual property law to enable the distribution of information, is becoming the dominant and perhaps only discourse for teaching critical literacy in the technical communication classroom. As a result, graduating students enter the workplace with a much different perspective on intellectual property than their employers. N.B. This paper represents an earlier stage of an evolving longer article expanding to cover specific open source applications and open access publishing. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • An Internet based distribution strategy of luxury products and services grounded on qualitative Web discourse analysis

    Page(s): 1 - 7
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1037 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Nowadays Internet userspsila behavior when using Web 2.0 technologies is mostly ignored in marketing research, and therefore is, in particular, absent in the luxury internet strategy literature. This paper contributes to answering the following research question: Can Netnography be used as a research method and how can it be used efficiently in order to design internet strategy such as online communication and distribution? Different blogs dedicated to luxury products were analyzed in order to test this research method in the luxury sector. What Internet users interested in luxury goods and services were saying and writing in different blogs dedicated to luxury products was analyzed with the netnography methodology. Postings discussing luxury watch brands, luxury cars, luxury travel and art objects were analyzed through the frequency of particular terms in order to give an idea of the most stated opinions and the perception of the products and services. Results showed that Web 2.0 can no longer be ignored and should be fully integrated in the communication and distribution strategy, even in the case of luxury products and services. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • The role of the multimedia project manager in a changing online world

    Page(s): 1 - 5
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1182 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Traditional project management principles are derived from engineering projects, where many of the details are specified up front. In fact, established project management procedures come from a functional setting, such as engineering, where links between time, design and production are clearly defined. Multimedia project management guidelines, in turn, usually encircle a somewhat more creative path through development and production, leaving room for more richly developed media that takes more time to create. Online multimedia production offers more time for creative idea development, increased prototyping and testing, and a longer time span for changes to be made. The online multimedia production process offers typical phases like planning, design, development, testing, and delivery, but usually manages production in a more open and creative manner - which in turn makes the creation and management of multimedia just a little more difficult from traditional projects. This paper will explore the project management of online multimedia products and how it differs from traditional project management. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Requirements gathering in information technology: a Cross-cultural perspective

    Page(s): 1 - 8
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (735 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The requirements gathering phase in IT projects is recognized as one of the most crucial phases in Information Systems (IS) initiatives. The challenge is to coordinate and understand correctly a large variety of sources of information. This diversity of sources forces the Information Technology (IT) specialists to confront a dasiamany-to-many intercultural interactionpsila in almost all projects. The development of the concepts of sensibility, openness, and multiculturalism among IT team can lead to better systems requirements. This paper discusses the importance of cross-cultural sensitivity in IT projects and how to enhance intercultural consciousness and the communication performance in environments with high levels of diversity. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Core competency skills for technical communicators

    Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (922 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Without licensing or certification to measure program effectiveness, identifying aspects of the educational process that need bolstering to meet the expanded competency needs of new graduates can be difficult. An effective workforce requires persistent reassessment of essential work competencies and incorporation of applicable content into program curricula. Yet effective quantitative measurements for program assessment are often limited and inconsistently applied. The body of empirical data about which competencies are important and how useful these competencies are in various work settings is increasing. In addition to limited multi-disciplinary knowledge, research suggests technical communication graduates are not adequately grounded in basic business operations, business planning, project management, and problem-solving skills. Yet research has apparently not assessed the cardinal utility of core competencies identified. Without considering strength preferences within a defined set of core competencies, developing an optimum strategy to address current assets and deficiencies within program curriculum is difficult at best. This paper discusses attempts to identify and establish a set of core competency skills for practitioners. It proposes use of game theory applications to assess program effectiveness and to make better strategic decisions about enhancing existing curricula and pedagogical emphases. To illustrate potential benefits of this approach, an example business case is presented. Based on analysis of salient belief evaluations and value strengths, a telecommunication system manufacturer successfully redirected corrective efforts, resulting in significant improvements in customer perceptions regarding product documentation quality. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Using Web 2.0 to democratize the information economy in qualitative research

    Page(s): 1 - 10
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (736 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Web 2.0 refers to a set of innovations in Internet technology that can transform the Web into a participatory medium energized by the desire of people with shared interests to exchange information and opinions. By combining instant web publishing, social networking, user-generated content, and communal tagging, rating, and commenting-all within an easy-to-use content management system-Web 2.0 websites have the potential to increase the richness, dynamism, and influence of qualitative research. To explore this potential, we have developed a conceptual model for a research website designed to collect structured accounts from a targeted group of people about a specific topic. In our case, we plan to collect first-hand reports from technical communicators about their experiences and opinions related to single sourcing and/or content management methods and tools. This paper describes and illustrates the main components of our conceptual model and also touches on some of the challenges we anticipate. In concluding the paper, we report our progress to date in building the site and speculate about possible implications of our model for opening up the information economy of qualitative research in diverse areas, both within academe and within other organizational contexts. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • A DITA case study: Service learning, software documentation, and redesign

    Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (963 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    As a service-learning project in a graduate level technical communication class on technical manuals, Dr. Brian Still found an open-source software developer in Germany who needed documentation for his application. The class looked at various approaches to fulfilling the developerpsilas needs including wikis, Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), XML, usability testing, and software mapping. This paper touches on the successes and challenges of the project and examines the potential for using DITA as a solution for reconstructing existing documentation. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Supporting faculty research through asynchronous online collaboration at Florida Institute of Technology’s Center for Communication Excellence

    Page(s): 1 - 8
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1207 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a case study of the establishment of the center for communication excellence (CCE) at Florida Institute of Technology. Founded in 2006 to help faculty improve the writing of their professional documents (such as grant proposals), the CCE has evolved from an institutionally funded center exclusively serving faculty authors into a fee-based center serving faculty, institutional clients, and graduate students. Our research suggests that the CCE is unique, and we believe that other institutions can benefit from the establishment of similar centers to support faculty writing. Research is the core of many academic institutions, and by helping faculty shape information more effectively, the CCE promotes and protects the universitypsilas intellectual capital, one of its most valuable resources in an information-based economy. Our paper traces the history of the CCE from its establishment through its first two years of existence. We discuss issues associated with establishing a center, such as obtaining funding, developing organizational processes, and meeting the challenge of heavy demand. We show how collaborating via the Internet proved to be the most beneficial arrangement for our staff and the majority of our clients. Finally, we offer recommendations for others who wish to establish similar centers. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • The informal economy in the sector of mobile telephony in Ivory Coast: Survey of the productive and social role of an original activity

    Page(s): 1 - 8
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1084 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In an era of information marked by the intensive use of means of telecommunication, the mobile phone constitutes an ideal tool for the management of mobility in space and time. In some developing countries like the Ivory Coast, it plays in addition to its general function, an original and major productive and social function. In fact, the advent of the mobile telephony has quickly constituted a new source of informal activities for the economies of these countries that traditionally function on the basis of dualism (formal and informal sectors). Although not complying with any formal administrative requirement, technically easy to implement and spatially very flexible to practice, the economic model issued from this activity has radically changed the mobile telecommunication sector in the Ivory Coast. This particularly dynamic sector generates numerous small jobs and substantial revenue for all persons exercising it. This article not only explains factors responsible for its emergence, but also describes the mechanism of its functioning as well as its economic, social and geographic implications. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • The information economy: Educational opportunities for industry-based professionals

    Page(s): 1 - 8
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1106 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The information economy requires skilled industry-based professionals who can communicate effectively and contribute to a global economy. Moreover, many industries require innovative strategic leaders with solid theoretical and research grounding. Such leaders draw on their education and experience to develop strategically aligned technical communication practices for specific domains and industries. What opportunities are available for industry professionals to pursue advanced degrees while continuing to work in the field? We examined 267 masterpsilas and PhD-level programs in technical communication and related disciplines worldwide to determine if these programs were accessible to professionals seeking to further their education and careers. This research indicates that some graduate programs reach a wider demographic through greater flexibility and technological investments. Nevertheless, our research revealed potential gaps in the availability of PhD educational opportunities for industry professionals who must work full time while attending school. We identified opportunities to close these gaps through expanded distance learning, changes in residency requirements, improved international articulation, and alternatives to dissertations. This paper describes the research methodology used, the current state of graduate and PhD educational opportunities available for industry professionals, the challenges we encountered during our research, and additional research opportunities. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Capitalizing knowledge workers, a practical case

    Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (970 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Currently there are two types of workers in the organizations. The first is the traditional worker defined as Manufacturer, and in this profile, the person works with tangible materials to complete goals and objectives, and also this person asks for a salary compensation. The second type is the newly called Mindfacturer, and in this case, the person works with knowledge and information coming from the organization. The person gets as much knowledge as possible, and also contributes to the organization and co-workers with more knowledge. This report is based on a practical case of an organization that changed the mindset of some workers to have them share critical knowledge and start measuring the impact of this intangible asset in a Value System of the organization. In other words, to find the value proposition of a knowledge-based organization strategy. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Evaluating usability in an information product

    Page(s): 1 - 5
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1051 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    To thoroughly test a new information delivery product, usability personnel should employ a variety of methods to gather user feedback. Learning how to gather accurate customer feedback from a variety of sources can dramatically impact the effectiveness of your information and the usability of your information delivery product. Effectively dealing with development teams when proposing changes to their product is essential. Gaining great rewards, not only when improving the usability of a product, but in the experience of getting to know our customers on a more personal level make the job enjoyable and effective. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • How to publish a self-study book on professional presentations

    Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1020 KB)  

    The process of writing a book on professional English presentations can be likened to a product development project. The author took an engineering approach consisting of four stages: market analysis, design, production, and quality assurance. Market analysis revealed a growing need for self-teaching materials and course texts on technical English communication in general. In the market analysis, the author evaluated a range of previously available books on English presentations with which the new book would compete. Identification of their strengths and weaknesses through this competitive analysis led to the design of differentiation as a way of offering real value. Capitalizing on his own experience, the author was able to differentiate his book in terms of content, ease of use, reliability, and readability, by providing, for example, caveats against common pitfalls and mechanisms for easy access to key information. Another significant method of differentiation was to include a model presentation, which would enable readers to jump-start their own presentations. Hints on the actual process of book-writing (such as production and quality assurance) are also offered. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Internet-mediated research: Affordances, technology, lessons learned

    Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (885 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Survey and qualitative research conducted online is an exciting new focus in technical communication. This paper reports technical aspects of and lessons learned from online mixed survey and qualitative studies of a large U.S. medical field. Potentially faster to design and deploy than traditional approaches, online research is constrained by the same underlying research principles and conventions. There are abundant commercial vendors of online research technology, and these offer a variety of important advantages compared to traditional, print-based approaches. The technical and logistical limitations of online research may offset the anticipated advantages. Online researchers should see to aesthetics and usability in survey instruments, and take steps to improve participant response rates. Online research facilitates collection of rich qualitative data, but the frequent need for anonymity makes probing of respondents problematic. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Collecting knowledge products: Why position statements matter in professionalizing and understanding Professional and Technical Writing

    Page(s): 1 - 7
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (894 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper focuses on the need for composing and articulating knowledge products - i.e., position statements, such as standards and goals for assessment, and the role of technology, in the field of professional and technical writing. The main argument of this paper is that such knowledge products help further professionalize and shape a discipline by providing the necessary statements from professional organizations to support which serve to support its members and articulate further a professional identity. The three main points covered include 1) what are knowledge products and why are they useful to a discipline; 2) how have such knowledge products been used in other disciplines and with what effect(s); and 3) where to begin in articulating and collecting knowledge products with regard to the field of professional and technical writing. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Managing emotions: What Japanese engineering students know and what they need to know for effective team communication

    Page(s): 1 - 5
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1134 KB)  

    This project reports on a brief investigation of Japanese engineering student perspectives regarding emotional management in team communication. It also reports on Japanese engineering student experiences with education related to this topic. Project results suggest what might be helpful for Japanese engineering students to know in order to fill some of their gaps in knowledge and experience. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Teaching visual design without instructors

    Page(s): 1 - 9
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1926 KB)  

    This paper presents a preliminary implementation of an online just-in-time self-learning tutorial for college students to learn basic document design skills. This project is motivated by a lack of resources and opportunities for students who are not majoring in visual design to learn basic visual communication skills. The tutorial consists of audio-visual explanations of basic concepts and skills, self-assessment tools for testing declarative knowledge, and guided hands-on exercises with individualized feedback. The results of a pilot evaluation study suggest that certain visual design skills can be taught via this self-learning tutorial. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Streamlining communication in teaching and training in the information economy

    Page(s): 1 - 4
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1015 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper addresses some key communication challenges in the information economy and offers simple solutions and their application to engineering education and training. A brief review of communication media and expressions is followed by essentials of their applications followed by a description of todaypsilas communication challenges. Clearly, contemporary communication is confusing, often misleading, and generally messy. The authorpsilas solutions include a definition of a successful teacher/trainer, more dasialearning managerpsila than teacher, able to streamline communication and provide a straightforward guidance. Practical ways to motivate students are spelled out. This paper is based on application for continuing engineering education and practical training, applicable to the general technical education processes. The author believes that the key to todaypsilas educator success is a relentless quest to identify and enhance group and personal learner motivation and finding the right balance between managing learning and good student experience delivery. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Government-funded ethics in the information economy: The effects of a federal grant on a technical communication graduate curriculum

    Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1177 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In the information economy, students can benefit from exposure to theories of ethics that are pertinent to such concerns as corporate governance and worker safety. The wisdom of classical and modern ethicists can provide guidance as faculty help students apply the theories to graduate-level course content as varied as visual design, rhetoric, and project management. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Beyond binary: Technical communication skills and the knowledge student

    Page(s): 1 - 6
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1050 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Traditional forms of tertiary level engineering education are insufficient to meet the needs of the knowledge student. A multi-disciplinary approach needs to be adopted as the knowledge worker requires a new set of skills, key of which is the technical communication skills set. Through a case study of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the West Indies, this paper highlights one such course which seeks to teach these new skills and recommends ways in which a multi-disciplinary approach to engineering education can be achieved in an environment of limited resources. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Not to profit from ppen source: The role of nonprofit organizations in open source software development

    Page(s): 1 - 9
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (906 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The papers explores the role of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in free or open source software (F/OSS ) development process. Based on two dominant NPO theories and a series of in-depth interviews with officials from NPOs in the F/OSS discourse, this paper argues that NPOs have provided the social structure necessary to support the production of F/OSS. By illustrating the role of these NPOs, this paper not only serves as a lens to understand the nonproprietary production process but also examines the robustness of the aforementioned NPO theories. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.