Concepts and Practice of Technical Communication

Develop a thorough grounding in the broad discipline of technical communication as well as a framework for future courses. This course will familiarize you with the challenges that professional technical writers face and the standard practices they use. It will also give you an appreciation of your own competencies and deficiencies, and allow you to tailor the courses you take in the future accordingly.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Mellissa Ruryk $640.00 30 Register

Instructional hours: 20

Schedule clarification: Online courses begin on the first date listed and end six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will 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 will I learn?

Prepare to spend six to 10 hours per week on coursework, including:

  • Weekly course modules accessed through Canvas
  • Independent writing assignments
  • Reading
  • Group assignments
  • Online research and discussion groups

Course materials will be available 24/7, and assignment deadlines will be posted well in advance, allowing you to set your own pace for learning.

Who should take this course?

This course is open to anyone who wants to learn about technical writing or technical communication, and who wishes to study the best practices in the field.

How will I be evaluated?

This course is assessed on a competency-based scale of pass or fail based on the following:

  • Assignments 
  • Quizzes 
  • Participation in discussions 

Textbooks and learning materials

Required text:

Johnson-Sheehan, Richard; Technical Communication Today, 6th ed: 2018. Pearson. ISBN 9780134425733, 0134425731

You can purchase this textbook through the Vital Source website.

Hardware and software requirements

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.

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.

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