Technological Adaptability: Developing Basic Technical Skills

INSTRUCTORS:

Melonie McMichael
Senior Instructor, University of Colorado Colorado Springs and proprietor of the consulting firm Technodaptability

Technological Adaptability: Developing Basic Technical Skills

21 June-26 July (Thursdays) | Asynchronous (Self-Paced)

Technological adaptability is the ability to learn technology quickly or deal with technology issues efficiently and with confidence. A required skill for technical communicators today, we can expect even more need for this skill as we move into a future filled with interesting technology.

In this course, participants will learn about technological adaptability and the vital need for this skill in our field. They will learn how to cultivate this skill and then expand upon it. Participants will learn sub-skills that will assist with adaptability. Practice exercises will provide participants the opportunity to build adaptability skills while learning about Microsoft Office products.

The ideal participant for this course will be a student or a new communicator in the field who has little technical knowledge or struggles with technology.

Session Descriptions

In this first week, we will explore the differences between rote learning and adaptability training. Additionally, we will look at how adaptability is both a skill and an attitude. The exercise for the week will be on tables and pictures in Microsoft Word and will include an intro to Word and Microsoft.

This week, we will examine resources for finding assistance. The exercise for the week will be on Word Textboxes and drawing tools which will include a discussion on Word’s peculiarities.

This week, we will discuss how to find the right search terms when searching for help. The exercise for the week focuses on creating Microsoft Word styles and templates and will include a discussion on consistency in communication.

This week, we will learn ways to take information and adjust it to fit our needs. The exercise for the week will cover PowerPoint master pages and will include a discussion on the function and use of master pages.

This week, we will look at troubleshooting. The exercise for the week will touch on PowerPoint drawing tools, animations and timing and will include a discussion on technology and design.

This week, we will discuss technological areas (page layout, vector graphics, photo manipulation, etc.), how these technologies interrelate with software, and how such knowledge can add to adaptability skills. The exercise for the week will be an overview on Publisher and will include a discussion of how software programs from the same company often share attributes.

Bio:

Having been in the field of technical communication for 25 years, Dr. Melonie McMichael has experience in both industry and academia. She worked as a technical communicator in Austin’s high-tech sector for over a decade, including multiple stints at AMD as well as contracting work for 3M and working as a lone writer for a small software company. She held multiple roles in the field that ranged from production through writing to print buying. In 2010, Melonie earned her PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University where she taught for five years. Since 2011, she has taught at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the Professional and Technical Writing emphasis. With over a decade’s worth of workplace experience and another decade teaching technical communication, she brings both scholarship and industry knowledge to the classroom.

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