Introduction to Technical Communication
Technical writers and editors work in a variety of industries. In this introduction to technical communication, you’ll learn about the core competencies identified by the Society for Technical Communication (STC):
- Project planning and analysis
- Content development, using both visual and written communication
- Organizational design
- Editorial review
- Content management
- Production and delivery
By the end of the course, you’ll be familiar with the processes technical communicators follow every day at work.
Note: this course was formerly called Concepts and Practice of Technical Communication.
Instructional hours: 20
Format: Self-paced within deadlines set by instructor
Duration: 8 weeks
Can be applied to:
Technical Communication Certificate
Register for a course at any time, with the option to apply to a program later.
- Tue, Sep 12 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Sep 19 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Sep 26 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 3 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 10 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 17 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 24 (self-paced all week)
- Tue, Oct 31 (self-paced all week)
What you will learn
After completing this course, you’ll be able to do the following:
- List the nine core competencies of technical communication
- Discuss document planning and project scheduling strategies
- Use standard document development methodology to write and produce effective, user-focused technical documents
- Apply collaboration techniques to produce online or print documentation deliverables
- Organize and present technical information effectively, both in print and online
- Apply plain language principles to communicate clearly with the broadest range of users
- Employ design principles to create print and online documents that make it easy for readers/users to find and use information
- Recognize and recall the product and process terminology used by technical communicators
How you will learn and be evaluated
- Prepare to spend 6–10 hours per week on coursework
- Expect reading and other assignments on a weekly basis
- Plan to access the course at least once every few days to keep up with your work and group assignments
You will be evaluated on:
- Assignments (individual and group)
- Participation in online discussions
To graduate with the Technical Communication Certificate, complete all courses with minimum average grade of B- (70%).
Course fees do not include textbooks. We recommend you purchase your textbook as soon as you’ve registered. We will provide additional course materials online.
Johnson-Sheehan, Richard. Technical Communication Today, 6th Edition. Pearson, 2018. ISBN 9780134425733, 0134425731.
You can purchase this textbook through the Pearson or Vital Source website.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. University of Chicago Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0226287058
Note: Courses use the author-date style from the Chicago/Turabian (17th ed.) citation guide.
Once you begin the course you’ll be sent SFU library access information for this text. Alternatively, you may wish to access a 30-day free trial of the online version of Chicago Manual of Style.
For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.
This course requires:
- Microsoft Word or other word processing software that can create PDF files
- High-speed internet access
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
To get the most from this course, you should be comfortable with the following MS Word and/or Google Docs functions:
- Using Paragraph styles
- Working with headers and footers
- Tracking changes and accepting or rejecting changes
- Inserting a table of contents, media
- Sharing documents
English language requirements
To succeed in this course, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with the following minimums:
- Overall band score minimum 6.5
- No band below 6.0
- Writing band score minimum 8.0
Please note we can’t refund your registration fees after the course start date if you find your English language skills are not adequate.
If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.