Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication

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Programmatic Perspectives publishes articles related to programmatic issues related to technical communication.


Volume 1 Issue 2 (September 2009)

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From the Editors

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Tracy Bridgeford, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Karla Saari Kitalong, Michigan Tech

Bill Williamson, Saginaw Valley State University

This issue preview welcomes the community to Programmatic Perspectives' inaugural issue. The editors preview articles and invite the community to comment..

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The Pedagogical Missions of Professional and Technical Communication Programs: What We Say in the Journals and What We Say on the Web

Jay L. Gordon, Youngstown State University

Abstract. This article examines the construction of the pedagogical missions of professional and technical communication (PTC) programs, focusing on two forms of professional discourse. Specifically, I look first at discussions and debates about our pedagogical missions in the internally directed or private conversations of scholarly journals. Then, I examine the externally directed or public discourse of 123 PTC program websites. To compare these two discourses, I frame their differences in terms of the doxa, or unspoken beliefs, upon which they ground their approaches to teaching students the techne, or principled practice, of PTC. The main conclusion of my study is that these differences reflect more than mere genre variations; they reflect important internal conflicts within the attitudes and perspectives on the role of PTC programs as sites of pedagogy. I conclude with the recommendation that we consciously resist the doxa that values pre-professionalism for its own sake by designing websites that refer directly to the topics and themes that arise in professional journals.

Keywords. professional communication, technical communication, program missions, pedagogy, doxa, techne

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Designing Collaborative Learning Spaces: Where Material Culture Meets Mobile Writing Processes

Amanda Metz Bemer, Utah State University
Ryan M. Moeller, Utah State University
Cheryl E. Ball, Illinois State University

Abstract. In May 2007, the Department of English at Utah State University (USU) redesigned its computer lab to increase mobility and collaboration during writing projects. Our study shows that despite the Professional and Technical Communication (PTC) field's efforts to promote writing as a socially active, collaborative practice, many students view computer labs as spaces for conducting isolated, single-authored work. In this article, we discuss how a combination of movable furniture and mobile technology, including wireless access and laptops, can enhance student collaboration in group-based writing assignments. The lab included both desktop and laptop seating areas, so the authors created a modified worksite analysis designed to evaluate team collaboration in this new layout. These material changes in the lab allow students to configure the space according to their needs, offering them some measure of control over three crucial elements of successful collaboration: formality, presence, and confidentiality.

Keywords. collaboration, group work, lab design, materiality, mobility, space, writing

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CPTSC Keynote 2008

Programs in Context: Past, Present, and Future

Karen Rossi Schnakenberg, Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract. This keynote was presented at the 2008 annual meeting on October 2, 2008, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The meeting’s theme for that year was “Programs in Context: Past, Present, and Future.”

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Program Showcase

The Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication at Missouri Western State University

Kaye Adkins, Missouri Western State University

Jane Frick, Missouri Western State University

Abstract. This article describes the development, successful proposal, and curriculum of the Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication at Missouri Western State University. A program profile, institutional and program history, and faculty profile are included.

Keywords. applied learning, interdisciplinary programs, program development, New American Regional University, technical communication, writing studies

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Mutual Mentoring: An Editorial Philosophy for a New Scholarly Journal

Karla Saari Kitalong, Michigan Technological University

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In Memoriam

In Memory of Vickie Mikelonis

Constance Kampf, Aarhus School of Business

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David Morgan Memorial

TyAnna Harrington, Georgia Institute of Technology

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