• 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
  • Casting a Wider Research Net: Using Research Tools

    When I create an assignment, I intend the information I include about research requirements to suggest starting points and to encourage exploration. Instead, students probably use that information to determine the bar...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Great Writing Resources from UNC-Chapel Hill

    Recently I needed a resource to help students understand brainstorming. I knew that they generally understood the idea, but I wanted to encourage them to try some new strategies and stretch their invention skills a li...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner
  • Making Time for Software Instruction

    For students to do well in the courses I teach, they have to understand how the course software works. Since the courses are 100% online, the spaces that our course software creates become the classroom where we inter...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Inspiration in Letters of Note

    This week, I have a short post on a great resource (and one related class activity) that I found on Twitter as I was reading through messages with the #womeninTC hashtag. The TC stands for Technical Communication. The...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Zombies in the Writing Classroom

    I kicked off Spring semester with some discussion questions meant to work as icebreakers. Two of the prompts are fairly typical: one asks students to talk about an object significant to their careers, and the other as...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner
  • What Counts as Academic Dishonesty?

    Every term, I end up turning in a few students for violations of the Honor Code. It sucks. I don’t like filling out the paperwork. I don’t like the feeling that students try to trick me. The students invol...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner
  • Designing a Research Poster

    The last assignment in my Incubator series is a research poster, designed to test students’ understanding of document design and audience. The activity focuses on the same topic as the White Paper Assignment stu...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner
  • Writing an Informational Report for Non-Experts

    This term, I designed a new assignment for the major report in my technical writing course. Students focus on communicating a technical subject to an audience unfamiliar with their fields. Additionally, they must inte...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner
  • A Short Proposal Assignment

    The last three assignments in the Incubator series of assignments that I have designed for my technical writing courses are directly related to one another. Students write a Short Proposal for the White Paper and...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • The Term When Things Went Wrong

    What happens when your plans for a term suddenly don’t work? How do you adjust? This fall, I’ve had to do some hard thinking about these questions. If you follow this blog, you know that I disappeared in m...
    Traci Gardner
    created by Traci Gardner
  • Paper or Digital?

    Recently I came under some good-natured (?) teasing about being a 21st-century professor who still collects paper copies of student writing. Yes, I do, for several reasons. I believe that manuscript presentation is pa...
    Suzanne Smith
    last modified by Suzanne Smith
  • Incubator Info Sheet Assignment

    In my last post, I described my plan to organize a series of assignments for my technical writing course around a fictional business incubator. This week, I have the first of those assignments to share with you. For t...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner
  • A STEM-Based Instructions Assignment

    The fourth assignment in the Incubator series of assignments that I have designed for my technical writing courses connects directly to the STEM-Based Technical Description Assignment I shared in my last post. In...
    Traci Gardner
    last modified by Traci Gardner