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Integrating Discipline Specific Communication Instruction Based On Workforce Data Into Technical Communication Courses

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Writing and Communication I

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.786.1 - 10.786.10



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Paper Authors

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Lisa McNair

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Ben Miller

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Judith Norback

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1009

Integrating Discipline-Specific Communication Instruction based on Workforce Data into Technical Communication Courses*

Lisa DuPree McNair, Judith Shaul Norback, Ben Miller

School of Literature, Communication and Culture/ School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology


Because of Georgia Tech’s collaboration between the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture (LCC), College of Computing (CoC), and Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) departments, our curriculum model combines several approaches. The humanities-driven technical communication instruction teaches narrative professional writing skills within a science, technology, and culture context. The computer science department teaches general analytical skills for adapting to ever-changing demands of a dynamic field. The National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored approach combines these two and provides discipline-specific writing instruction based on actual workforce reports and real-world email protocol. This interdisciplinary pilot is created for Computer Science students, but aims to provide a model for various disciplines that any individual instructor can incorporate into his or her own curricula.

This model of curriculum development is based on Georgia Tech’s NSF-sponsored project to bring workplace communication into a Technical Communication course. Personal interviews have been conducted with computer science engineers; supervisors; and senior executives. The results of the interviews have been used to tailor Technical Communication to the computer science discipline. These findings will be described along with the course content and preliminary student assessment data.

I. Introduction

Georgia Tech is engaged in a collaborative effort that combines approaches from the College of Computing (CoC), the School of Literature, Communication and Culture (LCC) and a workforce communication project originated in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. The goal is to integrate the pedagogical philosophy of the Computing faculty with LCC’s emphasis on

McNair, L., & Miller, B., & Norback, J. (2005, June), Integrating Discipline Specific Communication Instruction Based On Workforce Data Into Technical Communication Courses Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14139

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