ENHANCING TECHNOLOGY USE IN A TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION CLASSROOM AT A TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY IN SWEDEN
Technical communication is a field that studies how people communicate about technology. The importance of technology use in a technical communication classroom has been discussed. For example, according to Breuch, many industry partners, who provide internships and full-time employment to technical communication graduates, emphasized that “there were no specific ‘tools’ that students should learn, for they acknowledged that tools vary widely from workplace to workplace. However, they collectively voiced the expectation that students understand technologies and have the aptitude to learn them quickly; thus, they implied that students be very familiar with common and emerging technologies in their academic programs. What our industry partners were asking, in other words, was that students be technologically literate” (482).
Still, in some technical communication classes, technology use could and should be enhanced. In this poster presentation, I will discuss several possible ways of doing that. In particular, I will explain how I applied my US experience of teaching technical communication at Georgia Institute of Technology in my technical communication classroom at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. I will first introduce the changes in course design focusing on blended and active learning and then describe several multimodal technical communication assignments. My goal is to provide clear recommendations for instructors who are considering enhancing technology use in a technical communication classroom. However, similar techniques could also be used in academic writing or foreign language classes.
 Kastman Breuch, L. A. (2004). Thinking Critically About Technological Literacy: Developing a Framework to Guide Computer Pedagogy in Technical Communication. Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom. Dubinsky, J. M. (Ed.). Boston, MA: Bedford / St. Martins, 481-499.