STC Web-Telephone Seminars
IMPORTANT: STCEO is no longer hosting the Web-telephone seminars at Mosaid. We are looking for other sites to host these webinars. As of November 28, we do not have a location for any upcoming webinars. If you believe your organization may be willing to support this endeavor (even on a webinar-by-webinar basis) or if you are interested in any of the upcoming webinars, please e-mail email@example.com.
If there is sufficient interest for any given webinar and we have a host for it, cost per person would be $20 (including GST) for STCEO members and $30 (including GST) for non-members.
Seminars are somewhat irregular for 2008. Keep an eye on http://www.stc.org/edu/seminarsList01.asp for additional information about future events.
STC is still working out the details for the 2007/2008 webinars.
Reviews/summaries of past seminars
Instructions for Writing Instructions Seminar
By Melanie Curtis
On Wednesday March 8, 2006, seven of us met at the beautiful Mosaid building in Kanata for a web-telephone seminar on writing instructions. The presenter, Caroline Stern, has a doctorate in Instructional Design, and is an award-winning professor of Languages and Literature. We followed the hour and a half long power point presentation over the web, while listening to Dr. Stern over a phone link. Using numerous examples, Dr. Stern covered a range of topics including:
- Instructions and liability
- Format and document design
- Audience analysis
- Major steps
While the time restrictions prevented Dr. Stern from going into too much detail, the handouts given included a number of web site references for further information, particularly regarding usability. For $20 for STCEO members ($30 for non members), it was time and money well spent.
Instructional Design and Learning Seminar
By Melanie Curtis
Five of us met at Mosaid in Kanata on March 15, 2006, for an hour long web-telephone seminar on "Successful Instructional Design: Where Theory and Practice Meet." The speaker, Dr. Michael Tillmans, has a Ph.D. in Instructional Design. The seminar focused on research findings from Cognitive Psychology, specifically those related to learning, and how these findings can be applied to teaching, and to print and online learning. Dr. Tillmans described the Information Processing Model of Learning, which is a framework for how we process and respond to information from the environment. He defined five types of learning:
Dr. Tillmans then described the best methods for teaching and learning, for each of the five learning types.
This was the first time that an STC Special Interest Group (SIG), the Instructional Design and Learning SIG, has hosted a web-telephone seminar. Unfortunately, perhaps because it was the first time, there were some technical glitches and the audio portion became disconnected about half way through, and we were unable to re-establish a connection. STCEO reimbursed their web-telephone seminar fees to all the participants in recognition of these technical problems.
Despite the technical issues, we were able to follow along with the web portion of the program, and afterwards received handouts of the power point slides, a reference list, and a teaching template. While it was only an introduction to a much broader topic, it was a starting point for understanding how to present material to aid learning.
March 16 to 19, 2008, in Portland, Oregon
Held a couple of times a year.
DocTrain West 2008 is May 6 to 9, 2008, in Vancouver, BC. DocTrain East 2008 is October 29 to November 1, 2008, in Burlington, MA. DocTrain Life Sciences conference is June 23 to 26, 2008, in Indianapolis, IN.
Technical Communication Summit
June 1 to 4, 2008, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [2007 session materials]
June 16 to 20, 2008, in Baltimore, Maryland.
November 6 to 8, 2008, in Honolulu, HI.
Online Courses and Certificate Programs
Continuing Education - Certificate Program
Malaspina University-College is a publicly-funded University-College with its main campus in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Malaspina University-College offers a part-time, non-credit, online certificate program in Technical Communication through their Powell River campus.
Delivered by Technical Communication professionals, the curriculum follows the guidelines of the Canadian Interest Committee (1997) who were formed from STC professionals to determine just what a technical communication program should cover in terms of training.
Details of the Technical Communication Program can be found at: www.pr.mala.bc.ca/techcomm.htm. Courses can be taken individually or as part of the Certificate Program.
Information Design Program
Online-learning.com is an Ottawa-based education company that provides online courses for the professional development of technical writers and information designers. All courses provide extensive instructor support, interaction, practical hands on experience, and certification.
Courses may be taken individually or as a part of their Information Design program.
| STC Ottawa (STCEO) has registered with Online-learning.com, giving every local member a 10% discount on course registration.
For further information, please visit www.online-learning.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technical Writing Certificate
Great User Documents
This Web-based course used to cost $650 US but is now offered as a free download. It includes approximately seven hours of MP3 audio files.
View the full course syllabus to get an idea of the course content.
Writers Digest Online Workshops
Writers Digest offers an eight-week online workshop in Technical Writing that "focuses on the documents and challenges faced most often by people who write in technical environments."
Online Graduate Degrees
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Master of Science in Professional and Technical Communication
East Carolina University
Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Professional Communication
Masters of Arts in English, concentration in Technical & Professional Communication
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
Graduate Diploma in Information Design (GDID)
The Graduate Diploma in Information Design is a world-renowned qualification in information design, which has been taught entirely online since 1996, from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology in New Zealand .
The GDID is open to graduates and experienced practitioners from around the world. We offer the flexibility of online learning, the input of international experts, and the favourable New Zealand exchange rate.
The GDID focuses on industry-ready skills in all aspects of information design, including professional writing and editing, design of documents and online information, project management and usability testing. GDID graduates are highly sought-after professionals who work in a range of fields, including industry, commerce, public service, local government, science, and medicine.
Please visit their website at www.cpit.ac.nz/infodesign for more information.
Classroom-based Courses and Programs
Continuing Education Courses
Algonquin College doesn't currently offer any continuing education courses specifically related to technical writing.
Algonquin College offers a one-year Technical Writer post-diploma certificate (Ontario Graduate Certifcate Program): http://www.algonquincollege.com/technicalwriter/
Other Related Education
The Editors' Association of Canada
Certification in Editing
The Editors' Association of Canada (EAC) began offering a program for professional certification starting in the fall of 2006. Primarily for editors with at least two years' experience, the certification tests will ultimately cover the four core editing areas outlined in EAC's Professional Editorial Standards:
- Elementary knowledge of the publishing process
- Structural and stylistic editing
- Copy editing
Currently, the first two exams are available. The remaining two exams will be offered at a later date.
Candidates can become certified in one or more of the four core editing areas. Candidates who write and pass all four tests will obtain the full credential of Certified Professional Editor. The tests are open to EAC members and non-members (although non-members pay a higher fee). EAC has published certification study guides, which can be purchased from Captus Press, for the two available exams.
For more information, please visit the Certification section of EAC's Web site at http://www.editors.ca/training_certification/certification/index.html.
Graduate School, USDA
To quote their site, "We are a non-profit government entity created 85 years ago by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide adult continuing education. Our mission is to develop people and to make government more efficient and effective." In addition to day and evening on-campus courses, they offer a number of paper-based, distance education courses that would be of interest to technical writers, including:
editcetera, a California-based organization, offers several courses by mail in proofreading and copyediting, skills which can be useful to technical writers.