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Professional Communication Conference (IPCC), 2010 IEEE International

Date 7-9 July 2010

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  • Welcome

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 1 - 2
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 1 - 7
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Service design and technical/professional communication

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 1 - 5
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (473 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    While service-oriented businesses have been around for a long time, service design as a discipline of design has emerged recently. This paper situates technical and professional communication in the area of service design. A brief history of service design is presented, and a framework for understanding communication as an integral part of service is proposed. The paper suggests that service design provides a new perspective for understanding technical and professional communication. View full abstract»

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  • Measuring faculty perceptions of instructional technology

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 6 - 11
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    Electronic learning requires more work for faculty; that work does not often translate into better pay, increased scholarship and publication, increased status, or other results valued by academia. Despite electronic learning's dubious benefits to faculty, it is clear that electronic learning is here to stay, and with that fact comes another question: what is the best way to assist faculty in keeping up with the technology? To address this research question this study looks at the impact of faculty training on their adoption of instructional technology. Phase 1 is underway, and the researchers will report on the results of that phase at the conference. View full abstract»

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  • The diagnosis-resolution structure in troubleshooting procedures

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 12 - 19
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    Troubleshooting procedures are prevalent in the computer industry and in many other industries and subject areas. In the computer industry, they appear in manuals and help systems and, especially, as “articles” in the KB (Knowledge Base) that comprises a core component of support websites. Developing successful troubleshooting procedures is both a technical and a rhetorical task. These procedures take diverse forms and vary greatly in complexity. Troubleshooting procedures, however, almost always have a diagnosis-resolution structure consisting of configurations of symptoms and solution methods. Examining this structure enables us to meaningfully classify the very diverse instances of this genre, reveals key design issues, and can help us identify productive research questions. Complex troubleshooting procedures present the user with multiple symptoms. A set of symptoms may correspond directly to particular causes or may comprise a tree of symptoms. The resolution phase consists of one or more solution paths each consisting of one or more methods. When feasible, solution paths and methods should be variable rather than fixed sequences and should empower users to choose among solution paths. View full abstract»

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  • Virtual writing: A new experience for Iranian EST students

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 20 - 29
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (436 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The various applications of the Internet in language education are of enormous value particularly in foreign language settings where L2 exposure is limited to classroom instruction. The present study has been an attempt to investigate the applicability of online instruction in improving the writing ability of Iranian EFL learners. In so doing, two classes of 20 EFL learners studying airline ticketing in a technical college in Tehran were selected and equated in terms of their general language proficiency and writing skill. The control group attended a traditional writing class for 15 sessions over 5 weeks. The experimental group, however, received the instruction at home through the Internet, from lessons and exercises to the corrective feedback on their writing. At the end of the instruction, both groups sat for a writing posttest and filled out a questionnaire about their experience. Statistical analyses indicated that despite the positive attitude of the experimental group towards their new experience, they did not outperform their peers in the traditional class which could be due to their inability to take full advantage of the learning opportunities virtual instruction provides. The researchers concluded that Iranian EFL learners are just at the beginning of this web-based journey and need time to explore the demands of such self-service instruction. View full abstract»

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  • Equipping higher education students with media literacy skills

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 30 - 37
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    This paper introduces an innovative approach for teaching higher education students how to professionally communicate using advanced technologies. It is based on a large scale experience with 266 students from the Università della Svizzera italiana (Switzerland), Faculty of Communication Sciences. Although a basic mastering of technologies is also taught in the curriculum, the courses where “multimedia communication” is taught focus on design and communication, not programming, by means of a hands-on approach. Three toolkits are used: IDM (Interactive Dialogue Model), a design methodology, and two authoring tools (1001stories and MEDINA) that allow the creation of multimedia multichannel narratives, and more traditional websites respectively. These three tools are trivial in terms of technological competences required to handle them, but powerful in terms of communication outcomes. By using them, students are stimulated to focus almost exclusively on communication issues. The paper presents the pedagogical approach, the results and the learning benefits achieved by students. View full abstract»

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  • The learning experience: A literature review of the role of mobile technology

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 38 - 45
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (385 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we present key findings from a literature review on the use of mobile phones in learning (m-learning). As mobile technologies have become more widely adopted, society's communication practices have morphed accordingly. The literature review presented here examines the benefits and challenges associated with m-learning. The benefits of m-learning include a blending of formal and informal learning environments that open up new avenues of self service through experiential learning, while facilitating teamwork and community. While these benefits are intriguing, it is important to recognize that m-learning also poses challenges for educators and students alike. We examine educator and student buy-in, interface issues, and cost and infrastructure issues tied to cultural differences that present hurdles to the adoption of m-learning. We close with conclusions and suggestions for future research on m-learning. View full abstract»

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  • Enhancing engineering student communication via a publically available wiki

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 46 - 49
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (202 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Undergraduate engineering programs have struggled in recent years to add communication skills to an already crowded curriculum, and many engineering students are reluctant writers. Because these students produce copious and frequent written text through Web 2.0 technologies, capitalizing on this passion in the context is a way to add more writing to the curriculum. This paper discusses the ongoing evolution of a course-based wiki originally intended to promote active learning but which also has had the added benefit of promoting student writing and audience awareness. A discussion topic on the wiki asked students how they envisioned the audience for their postings and whether the audience had any influence on their writing. This paper presents some of the student comments and speculates why some students downplay the role of audience in their writing. View full abstract»

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  • Towards tailorable groupware: A systematic approach to user's requirement assessment in supporting a user-defined environment of synchronous groupware

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 50 - 57
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (522 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Groupware development has reached the point where demands for adaptability and tailorability urged the need for an assessment model that can reflect a user's requirements of the groupware components. Using a three stage approach, we present our work on developing the assessment model and discuss the results of the evaluation of the developed model after being tested with both professional users and non-professional users. Furthermore, the evaluation that was performed over four different scenarios intended to cover most of the domain of modern groupware, has shown good acceptance of the assessment model. View full abstract»

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  • Interactivities between professional translators and professional communicators: what translators would like communicators to know

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 58 - 59
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (136 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This tutorial is designed to acquaint professional communicators with the challenges that professional translators face when localizing the texts that communicators send them for translation. The presenters will engage participants in activities that will demonstrate terminology management, notional equivalence, culturally bound references, and revising and reviewing. View full abstract»

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  • Think-aloud protocols: Analyzing three different think-aloud protocols with counts of verbalized frustrations in a usability study of an information-rich Web site

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 60 - 66
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (302 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We describe an empirical, between-subjects study on the use of think-aloud protocols in usability testing of an information-rich Web site. This double-blind study used three different types of think-aloud protocols: a traditional protocol, a speech-communication protocol, and a coaching protocol. A silent condition served as the control. Eighty participants were recruited and randomly pre-assigned to one of four conditions. With the goal of keeping unintended bias to a minimum, data analysis did not count the number of identified usability problems by condition, which was considered too subjective. Rather, the study collected the number of verbalized and non-verbalized counts of frustration by condition that users experienced. The study also did a count of the number of verbalized and non-verbalized instances of positive comments by condition that users expressed. Results show that there were no statistical differences in the number of counts by condition with respect to the traditional, speech communication, or coaching condition. The study concludes that simply counting the verbalizations of users by condition does not give enough information to determine whether any of the conditions would lead to a better understanding of the usability problems associated with the Web site. View full abstract»

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  • Concept map-oriented technical writing approach for computer science majors in an EFL context: Understanding text applications

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 67 - 79
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1394 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this article, I argue for the importance of using specific kinds of concept maps, such as ladders, in a technical writing class offered for computer science majors. This article presents a strong argument that use of concept maps should be effectively integrated both during planning stages and as part of traditional document production techniques. Assignments and activities in a technical writing classroom should address the use of concept maps for conceptualizing, schematizing and presenting procedural information like software documentation, explaining laboratory reports etc. Using concept maps efficiently can lead to structural and functional conceptualization, visualization, representation and retention of complex information. A survey-based study reported in this article suggests that advanced students in an EFL technical thesis writing course in this computer science institute has enough expertise to understand the use and application of specialized concept maps for technical document production activities. Results indicate that students, on most part, understand specialized document-specific, task-specific applications and especially specific sentences in the domain of computer science and self-reports also indicate that they are reasonably confident about their ability to apply ladders in logical ways. View full abstract»

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  • Engineers learn to write: Coaching the art of noticing with writing samples

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 80 - 86
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (408 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Instructors often use writing samples as scaffolding to help students understand assignments and the instructor's expectations. This paper combines a close analysis of communication genres with a multivariate statistical analysis of clustering among genres. The aim is to help instructors select effective samples by highlighting genre variation and clustering within a corpus of possible text samples. By “effective” I mean samples that (1) help students with rhetorical invention by giving them a range of options for meeting the writing challenges of the assignment and (2) help students notice and model high-level expertise in “rhetorical priming” [1], a key linguistic component of expert technical writing behavior. The paper's findings and conclusions are relevant to engineering and professional communication instructors charged with meeting the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation criteria [2] and with helping students understand and gain control of language differences between, for example, proposals, experimental reports, and applied case studies. View full abstract»

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  • A multi-theory approach towards the adoption, use and effects of IT services: The case channel choice in an e-Government setting

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 87 - 92
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (766 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper discusses theories that help to understand the adoption and use of new technologies and services. We will also discuss the shortcomings of these theories as well as an alternative approach. The paper will conclude with an example of how this approach can be applied in empirical research. The specific case is that of channel and source choice of Dutch entrepreneurs seeking governmental information. View full abstract»

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  • Talking about mobile communication systems: verbal comments in the web as a source for acceptance research in large-scale technologies

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 93 - 100
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (807 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In the research project HUMIC (RWTH Aachen University) we strike out in a new direction in acceptance research. In order to identify previously undetected acceptance factors in user-generated content, traditionally used methods are complemented by innovative methods of computational linguistics. Verbal comments from social media tools like weblogs are analyzed by text mining methods with the aim to get access to user judgements. This methodology offers the possibility to learn how user perceive and conceptualize large-scale technologies using the example of the mobile communication systems. View full abstract»

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  • How change management is influenced by differences in professional discourses: A preliminary conceptualizing study on the adoption of an ICT tool for service engineers

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 101 - 112
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1251 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper describes the discourse analysis of one intervention moment of an organizational change processes due to technological evolutions. This discourse analysis is part of a qualitative case study and suggests that community-specific differences in discourse may have a considerable influence on the success of this organizational change process. The discrepancy between (change) management discourse and work floor discourse in the process of organizational change and the role of social relations within organizational change are important for the success of change. First we describe the organizational and change situation of this case. Second three different context in which change takes place will be described. We use literature on discourse, professional culture, and conversation styles. The discourse analysis gives an example of how the change result can be influenced by analyzing speech acts chronologically in different settings regarding the change process. It seems that within a “technical environment” the change process and interventions need to be specific, concrete, and to the point. We suggest further research on three aspects that are interfering with and influencing the change effort. These are relating to different contexts, discourse, and professional culture. View full abstract»

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  • User-centered design (UCD) and technical communication: The inevitable marriage

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 113 - 116
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (216 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    As teachers of technical communication, we have come to understand and realize the importance of User-Centered Design (UCD) principles required in and applied to technical communication. With the technical communication field changing so rapidly, this particular issue is of crucial importance; this issue is particularly acute within the confines of the self-service society where users are often thrust into learning products and services with no support. Users increasingly demand products and services that they can understand with little outside help; interactions should be intuitive and experiences satisfying rather than frustrating. With this shift, technical communicators are increasingly expected to be true end-user advocates and participate earlier in the product life-cycle development. This workshop will help practitioners understand UCD, rapidly iterate designs, and provide educators with approaches that engage and prepare students (and teachers). Failure to adapt these methods quickly in both the classroom and the profession will invariably lead to the field's further decline and likely extinction as we currently understand it. View full abstract»

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  • Project teams for international communication: Planning collaborations

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 117 - 118
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (139 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This workshop builds upon conversations begun at IPCC 2009 to establish ways to foster international collaboration among academics and professional communicators, with the goal of strengthening academic focus on global communication. Participants are urged to come to the workshop with some specific ideas about an assignment, an exchange, or a communication product. The workshop provides an opportunity to get to know and work with international colleagues to develop plans for specific collaborative team projects involving faculty and/or students and professionals from two or more countries. Project teams are encouraged to submit proposals to share results and best practices at IPCC 2011. View full abstract»

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  • Using problem finding to integrate communication and design for student learning in engineering

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 119 - 120
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (151 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This tutorial provides communication instructors with a set of design/communication activities that encourage critical thinking and argument. The design activities aim at the early end of the design process—the problem finding phase—where the ideas are unsure and in need of careful justification and judgment. This selection provides exigence for developing argument and evaluation skills. The design activities include developing a 20-minute design charrette and generating an RFP. The activities are evaluated as learning activities using William Perry's scheme of intellectual development and David Kolb's learning styles inventory to demonstrate how an instructor can enhance student learning by opening the problem finding stage of design. View full abstract»

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  • Use, user, and usability research for mobile geo-applications for personal orientation and navigation

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 121 - 130
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (5788 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper deals with the communication of a specific type of information: geographic information. Map displays are the major communication tool, but are nowadays embedded in more complex information systems in which for example, hard- and software, user interfaces, (connections to) databases and other means of communication also play a role. This is demonstrated by a research project directed towards the improvement of mobile geo-applications for pedestrian navigation. In this research a user-centered design methodology has been applied. This paper emphasizes the use, user and usability research that has been executed in the requirement analysis stage of the user-centered design process. So far, this stage has been neglected in the geographic and cartographic information domain. Another problem is that the required user research has not often been executed in the proper field context. Therefore, a unique technical solution for observing the users who are interacting with their pedestrian navigation system, and, at the same time, with their geographic environment, is presented in this paper as well. The current outcome is a conceptual design of a prototype of an improved pedestrian navigation system. View full abstract»

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  • Passenger information systems in media networks: Patterns, preferences, prototypes

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 131 - 137
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (524 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In the study we explore how users evaluate new self-service applications for mobile phones. The application under examination is a passenger information system for public transport. The study is part of an interdisciplinary project (Cairo, context aware intermodal routing) and investigates two questions: How do users evaluate the communicative usability of novel applications? Which characteristics are relevant and how does the knowledge about already established communicative patterns, means and services influence their judgements? To explore the users' expectations and mental models user tests were conducted with two groups: younger and older participants. The results show that new applications have to be analysed against the background of established multi-media networks. Within this networks, different media and communicative formats get the status of key solutions and reference objects. Thus, self-service applications as part of media networks require a terminological, structural and visual harmonization. View full abstract»

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  • Accommodating learning styles: An EFL pronunciation course for science and engineering students

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 138 - 142
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    This paper describes a course in pronunciation for science and engineering students studying English as a foreign language in Japan. The course is designed to address the pronunciation needs of science and engineering students while simultaneously catering to the sensory, visual, and active learning styles of these students as well as their interest in and higher aptitude for math, physics, and technology. Students are introduced to the sound system of English and use computer-based tools to look at graphic representations of their own voice, comparing it to those of native speakers. Students learn how to diagnose their own pronunciation problems and develop skills so that they may continue their pronunciation development long after the course is finished through autonomous learning. View full abstract»

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  • Reading strategies for procedural information in EFL business writing environment: An exploratory analysis

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 143 - 151
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (443 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Technical reading ability and context awareness are important preconditions to be able to understand the audience, purpose, task orientation and overall significance of any technical text. In an EFL context, such activities often might mean employing cognitive tools like skimming, headings search, etc., for text comprehension. This study undertook an exploratory analysis of how effectively readers are able to understand technical text and whether it is related to the overall score for the assignment whereby they produce a document based on the technical reading. Findings suggest that there is some correlation between different reading strategies and it has some significance for the overall score of the document production. However, data did not show any significant pattern over the weeks to suggest that the overall score is significantly influenced by a combination of reading strategies. This indicates that a properly developed formative assessment model is important to systematically capture the effects of reading strategies and task approach and also explore any possible improvement over time. View full abstract»

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  • Incorporating corpora into English language teaching for undergraduate computer science and engineering students with limited proficiency

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 152 - 156
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (242 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of corpora in foreign language education. The results of past studies suggest that it is effective for learners with high language proficiency. This study attempts to incorporate the use of corpora for teaching engineering students with limited language proficiency. Student feedback suggests that even with their limited English proficiency, they found it beneficial to use corpora in language learning. View full abstract»

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