• Design Principles from Career Field to the Writing Classroom

    Students typically know about design in their own career fields. Civil engineering majors, for instance, typically know what a good bridge, a well-designed intersection, or an efficiently designed airport looks like. ...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Writing a Course Manual

    I am currently revising my Technical Writing Course Manual, in preparation for my summer session course, and I want to share the document and how it has worked this week. I first created the manual, using a Google Doc...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Political Memes from the Internet to Protest Posters

    As I have written in my last two posts, I presented on the ways that image macro memes (the memes that usually consist of an image and a text caption) at the Computers and Writing Conference in June. Specifically, I f...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Image Macro Meme Makers

    LOLcat defining Politics, with captions, Politics: n - frum Greek. Poli - many, tics - blood sucking parasites Last week, I shared a Political Meme Scavenger Hunt activity, one of the resources that I also shared at t...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Using Google Forms to Create Fast Class Activities

    Google Forms make an easy task of collecting information from students for class discussion and writing activities. Just gather student responses your Google Form, and use the collected responses as the basis of class...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Political Meme Scavenger Hunt

    Protest Poster showing Grumpy Cat holding an Ethernet cable, with the message, “#NSA Killed My Internet. Now I have to build a GNU one.” Sometimes a LOLcat is just a humorous comment on life. Other times, ...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Write This, Not That: A Class Activity

    Writing a simple email message can turn me into an overthinking scaredy-cat. Am I using the right phrase? Do I sound like I’m apologizing too much? Am I oversharing? Am I being too vague? Ugh. I end up evaluatin...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Tic-Tac-Toe Discussion

    A couple of weeks ago, I shared my Daily Discussion Post (DDP) activity, which asks students to read materials that are related to the course activities and respond to them. This summer I plan to design some new ...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Free-to-Use Visual Assets for Digital Projects

    Good visual assets can take a digital project from average to awesome. Add the photo on the right, which shows an African American woman working on a World War II dive bomber, to a research project on the role of Afri...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Daily Discussion Posts

    For several semesters now, I have made Daily Discussion Posts (DDPs) a key feature in my courses. At the beginning of the term, I explain that these posts meet three goals: to highlight information directly related to...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • A Simple Resource to Teach Documentation Requirements

    In February, I shared a resource I designed to Persuade Students to Think Visually with Infographics. I was taken with the “Thinking Visually” features in the Bedford/St. Martin’s textbook Practical ...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • A Classification Activity Based on Visual Qualities

    Today I have a classification activity that asks students to use visual design as they compare items by creating categories based on the visual qualities of the items they classify. The activity builds on designer Hai...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Persuading Students to Think Visually with Infographics

    I love the “Thinking Visually” resources in Mike Markel’s Practical Strategies for Technical Communication (2nd ed.). The example shown in the screenshot on the right outlines the six major character...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner
  • Designing Visual Outlines with Graphic Organizers

    I have asked students to informally outline all of their projects this term. I am not strict about the form of the outlines. They can use jot lists, topic outlines, tree structures, or any kind of map that shows their...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Land Acknowledgment Statements

    If you attended CCCC last month, you probably heard a land acknowledgment statement, which offered respect to the indigenous peoples upon whose lands the conference took place. For example, Asao B. Inoue began his #4C...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Designing a Twist on Active Learning Strategies

    Last week, I shared a series of active learning strategies focused on design principles, related to a research poster project that students are working on this month. That activity inspired me to consider how I could ...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Examining Design Principles through Active Learning Tasks

    My students are beginning research posters this week, so the course is returning to information on effective design and in particular the design principles of Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. In today&#...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Experimenting with Bribery in the Classroom

    African American woman scientist, with lab equipment in the background I tried an experiment in my online classes this week. Spring Break begins this weekend. Students are working on recommendation reports, the major ...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Casting a Wider Research Net: Checking for Variety

    Last week, I shared an activity encouraging students to move beyond using a Google search to find research. This week’s activity asks students to check the resources they have found for variety. As was the case ...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Example for the “Checking for Variety in Research Sources” Activity

    Use this example to guide your own notes on the research sources you have found as you check for variety. Books Markel, M., & Selber, S. A. (2017). Technical Communication (Twelfth edition). Boston: Bedford/St. Ma...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner