English 5106: Technical Writing in the Digital Age
Arts and Sciences (COAS) 203
The MGA Catalog indicates that English 5106 "provides intensive and advanced study of principles and strategies for researching, planning, composing, and revising technical documents and workplace communications in the digital age. It promotes nuanced and effective use of language, sophisticated analysis of purpose and audience across a wide spectrum of disciplines and workplace environments, and rhetorical and document design strategies to craft succinct and optimally readable documents in a variety of genres and delivery platforms.
Student learning outcomes: Students will
Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing and Digital Communication program, or permission of Program Coordinator (me, Dr. Rogers).
Technical Communication, by Lannon and Gurak, 14th edition with MLA update and MyWritingLab access, ISBN 978-0-13-467882-5
Final grade breakdown and Instruments of evaluation
Threaded discussions: This component of your grade is determined primarily by the frequency and quality of your contributions to the threaded discussions, which generally focus on your response to readings from the assigned texts. You should participate with thoughtful, meaningful contributions in each unit's discussion. Threaded discussions must be posted prior to the deadline to receive credit. You should post discussion contributions early and late in each unit, and it is essential that you read all posts by your classmates (and me) each unit. Threaded discussions approximate class discussion in a face-to-face class, and just as students in traditional classrooms cannot just share their contributions and leave the classroom without hearing and benefiting from what others say in discussion, you should not just contribute your posts to discussions without attending to what everyone else has to say. Students who post only on the last day of any unit will receive no higher grade for that unit's discussion than a B; students who fail to read at least 80% of classmates' postings each unit will receive no higher grade than C.
MyWritingLab exercises: These activities in Pearson's MyWritingLab online resource for Lannon and Gurak's Technical Communication textbook include diverse analytical exercises, writing assignments, and chapter post-tests assessing your mastery of concepts covered in reading assignments.
Individual projects: generally brief writing assignments in a variety of genres, implementing principles, tactics, and strategies emphasized in the readings.
Collaborative projects: documents and other assignments generated through teamwork with your classmates. Project grades are uniform for all team members.
Formal report: This assignment of moderate length involves independent research and composition. You will have a wide range of options in choice of report topics.
Formal proposal: a substantial, thoroughly researched and carefully refined document produced in carefully orchestrated collaboration with classmates.
Course, Departmental, and University Policies
Textbooks: The textbook(s) ordered for this class, in the correct edition, are absolutely mandatory.
Participation: Although this online class is in some respects independent study, due dates apply and your timely participation in discussions is essential. Your grade will be adversely affected by anything less than diligent, conscientious participation in threaded discussions and all other course activities.
Late work: Threaded discussions are not accepted late. All other late work will lose 5% per calendar day late. I accept no work more than two weeks late. To reiterate particularly, threaded discussions must be posted prior to the deadline to receive credit.
Plagiarism: Except for assignments expressly calling for collaborative effort, all written work must be your own. Any unacknowledged borrowing from the writings of others will be considered plagiarism, a serious breach of academic integrity. I will submit cases of plagiarism or other academic dishonesty for review by the Student Conduct Officer. The penalty for plagiarism in this class is an "F" for the entire course, not just the assignment in question.
Note that the Department of English's more specific definition of plagiarism is operative in this class:
Withdrawal Policies: Students are encouraged to read the withdrawal policy found at http://www.mga.edu/registrar/dropadd.aspx before dropping/withdrawing from the class. Students may withdraw from the course and earn a grade of “W” up to and including the midterm date (November 3, 2017 for second-session classes). After midterm, students who withdraw will receive a grade of “WF.” A WF is calculated in the GPA as an “F.” Instructors may assign “W” grades for students with excessive absences (beyond the number of absences permitted by the instructor’s stated attendance policy). Students may withdraw from a maximum of five courses throughout their enrollment at Middle Georgia State. Beyond the five-course limit, withdrawals result in “F” grades.
Class Behavior Expectations and Consequences for Violations: Middle Georgia State University students are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the MGA Student Code of Conduct. Student Code of Conduct, Responsibilities, Procedures, and Rights are found at
MGA Policy on Disability Accommodations: Students seeking academic accommodations for a special need must contact the Middle Georgia State University Office of Disability Services in Macon at (478) 471-2985 or in Cochran at (478) 934-3023. See http://www.mga.edu/disability-services/
“Technical Policy” (re: plagiarism detection): a plagiarism prevention service is used in evaluation of written work submitted for this course. As directed by the instructor, students are expected to submit or have their assignments submitted through the service in order to meet requirements for this course. The papers may be retained by the service for the sole purpose of checking for plagiarized content in future student submissions.
HB 280 Campus Carry Legislation: http://www.mga.edu/police/campus-carry.aspx.
End of Course Evaluations: Student evaluations of faculty are administered online at the end of each term/session for all courses with five or more students. Students will receive an email containing a link to a survey for each course in which they are enrolled. All responses are anonymous.
The Bottom Line
I hope every member of this class gets an A, and I will do all I can to make this happen. Don't get me wrongthe standards for "A" work are high, and I make no exceptions in course policies on participation, missed assignments, plagiarism, or late work. The number-one key to succeeding in this class is that you take responsibility for your own success, meaning that you attend to all assignments with careful, earnest diligence, that you respond positively to any setbacks and heed my feedback on all assignments, and that you seek my help as much and as often as you need it. I guarantee you have one of the most accessible professors at Middle Georgia State: ask for help outside of class, and I'll do my level best to deliver.
I know this
is a "distance course," but if you are in the Macon area
I'd enjoy meeting you in person and I strongly encourage you to see me
in the office for help with any course matters large or small throughout the semester. I also
encourage students near and far to telephone me in the office. Don't
be bashful about seeking my one-on-one attention outside the "virtual