Technical Communication for Engineers
Presented by Hillary Hart and Leah Guren
The ability to communicate technical information effectively is important for all engineers. However, most engineering programs do not cover writing skills from the perspective of a technical communicator.
Technical communication is one of today’s fastest-growing technology-based professions. It involves all aspects of helping people use technical products and services, from analyzing user needs to creating product documentation. Engineers in many companies must work effectively with technical communicators to improve the user experience of a product or process. Cross-functional teams build interface designs, develop documentation, create effective user assistance, and conduct usability testing. As a designer, the engineer should be involved in all these steps.
Technical communication is valuable to engineers for two reasons:
- Engineers need to be able to explain and document their work, yet these skills are seldom covered in enough depth in engineering programs.
- There is a shortage of technical communicators with a strong engineering background; that makes this a lucrative and attractive career for some engineers.
This course offers a fast and effective entry into the theory and application of technical communication. It is designed specifically for engineers of all ages and backgrounds. The material is presented at the level of a graduate seminar by two experts with extensive experience.
The online course combines the best of live lectures (with interactive Q&A) with the convenience of online training. Participants have access to a virtual classroom for handouts, homework submission, and opportunities for collaboration with fellow students.
- Understand important role of the engineer as a technical communicator and the necessity of technical communication within engineering.
- Identify how effective TC writing differs from other kinds of writing.
- Correct common mistakes in writing.
- Master the correct writing style for different kinds of documents.
- Identify and target your audience.
- Recognize and treat hazards (warnings and cautions) in technical information.
- Write effective definitions and technical descriptions.
- Write clear, usable procedures (instruction sets).
- Integrate clear visuals and effective explanations in your documents.
- Communicate more effectively in email.
- Improve your oral communication skills.
- Develop and format proposals and reports.
Sessions and Work Requirements
- 10 weekly 75-minute online lectures
- Weekly homework assignments
- Final exam
- Engineers who have not had formal training in writing technical information
- Engineers who want to improve the usability and acceptance of their documents
- Students (graduate or undergraduate) who have not had training in writing technical information
Understand role of technical communication in your career. Review of punctuation.
Identify and analyse document’s target audience.Filter and organize information appropriately for audience. Plan document: gather and manage information and data.
Master correct writing style for technical communication.
Learn key elements of technical communication theory.
Use effective and unambiguous graphics in your documents. Develop and design appropriate slides for a presentation. Write technical definitions, technical descriptions, and powerful explanations for complex concepts.
Write effective procedures.
Understanding and applying visual structure (layout and design) to create meaning.
Develop proposals and reports and format them appropriately.
Improve your oral communications skills for better success in business. Learn best practices for better emails.
Develop strategies for responding appropriately to ethical dilemmas. Work efficiently with technical writers, editors, tech support, and other colleagues.