Technical Communication Courses

Below are the certificates offered in this program. You can take any combination of these courses you desire, and one at a time if you wish. It's generally not a problem to substitute courses in a particular certificate. The courses you've actually taken will be listed on your certificate diploma.

If you'd like to discuss courses options and your goals, contact hcexres@prismnet.com.

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Certificate: Technical Communication Essentials
Practice the essentials skills for work as a technical writer and lay the foundations for a career in technical communication. Courses in this certificate include developing a technical writing style; using headings, bulleted and numbered lists, and special notices; adding tables, graphs, and charts to documents; creating infographics to clearly explain data; and, most importantly, practicing clear succinct direct writing that is carefully adapted to its intended audience. You leave this set of courses able to write instructions that are clearly written, professionally formatted, and complete with graphics.
Pick these (TW100, TW101, TW102) for the Essentials certificate.
TW100: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics for Technical Writers

Course syllabus
Quick reviews of grammar, usage, and punctuation as well as units on technical style (such as capitalization, numbers vs words, and abbreviations). During this course, you write several short documents. This course includes studies in Joseph M. Williams' excellent Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace. If you are proficient at the "basics" covered earlier in this course, you can spend most of your time on this book, which is valuable to even the most experienced of professional writers.
TW100: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics for Technical Writers (US$200.00)
TW101: Technical Communication Fundamentals

Course syllabus
This course is an introduction to the format, writing style, content, and organization common to technical writing as it is practiced in the technical-publishing industry. In this course, you write a number of short writing projects in which you practice headings, lists, notices, tables, highlighting, and other format and style common to technical writing.
TW101: Technical Communication Fundamentals (US$200.00)
TW102: Graphics for Technical Communicators

Course syllabus
Learn important skills for handling graphics in your technical documents. These skills include screen-capturing, cropping and sizing, changing graphic file format, positioning and anchoring, combining, adding text labels to, and optimizing images. In this course, you must purchase or make arrangements to access Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, or GIMP (which is free). Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW102: Graphics for Technical Communicators (US$200.00)
   

Certificate: Technical Publishing
Learn the top desktop publishing system in demand by employers; write a user guide typical of those written at Dell, IBM, and Apple; learn and use the automation tools to generate tables of contents, indexing, and numbering streams; and choose from an indexing course or an editing course to get an introduction to the craft of creating back-of-the-book indexes or an introduction to the craft of the professional editor.
Pick these two courses (TW200 and TW201) to start the Publishing certificate.
TW200: User Guides with MadCap Flare

Course syllabus
In this user-guide course, learn the structure and design of user guides as well as how to create a fully "automated" book using FrameMaker or Flare. You will have to purchase or make arrangements to access a reasonably current version of FrameMaker or Flare. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW200: User Guides with MadCap Flare (US$200.00)
TW201: User Guides with Microsoft Word

Course syllabus
Create book-length technical documents with Microsoft Word: create automated tables of contents, indexes, table and figure numbers, and cross-references; use fields for other numbering streams; learn other Word features for increased productivity and rapid updating. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW201: User Guides with Microsoft Word (US$200.00)
And pick one of these (TW203 and TW204) to complete the Publishing certificate.
TW203: Indexing for Technical Writers

Course syllabus
Review the essential functions of back-of-the-book indexes; practice brainstorming and rough-drafting techniques for indexing; practice revision, clean-up, and finetuning techniques for indexes; develop indexes for one or more brief technical documents. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW203: Indexing for Technical Writers (US$200.00)
TW204: Technical Editing

Course syllabus
Learn the roles of the technical editor in the development on technical information; practice copymarking, copyediting, proofreading, and comprehensive editing (substantive editing); practice editing material such as online documents, tables, figures, and other visual-design features; learn how to review and comment on documents electronically; learn how to create style sheets, style guides and how to write edit review summaries. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW204: Technical Editing (US$200.00)
   

Certificate: Online Information for Help and the Web
Learn the basics of creating a web page from scratch by using HTML and CSS as well as by using an macro-based HTML editor as well as website development application such as Adobe Dreamweaver. Learn to support software products by creating online help with one of the leading help-authoring applications.
Pick these or more of these courses (TW300, TW301, TW302, TW303) for the Online certificate.
TW300: Technical Documentation with XHTML and CSS

Course syllabus
In this HTML documentation course, learn how to create web pages directly using HTML tags. You also get an introduction to some labor-saving techniques with macro-equipped text editors and an introduction to the most in-demand web-page and web-site development tool (currently, Adobe Dreamweaver). This course includes units on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and units on HTML5. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW300: Technical Documentation with XHTML and CSS (US$200.00)
TW301: XML and DITA for Structured Authoring

Course syllabus
In this course, learn to create well-formed XML documents, develop Document Type Definitions (DTDs) for those documents, and output those documents using XSLT and XSL-FO. Also learn to Darwin Information Type Architecture (DITA) documents and putput them as HTML, PDF, and other media. A free Internet account will be provided along with recorded tutorials.
TW301: XML and DITA for Structured Authoring (US$200.00)
TW302: Online Help with MadCap Flare

Course syllabus
In this course, you focus on developing online helps. Although it is highly recommended to use Madcap Flare to create helps in this course, you can use other help-authoring applications. In this course, you develop online helps for a small computer application or component. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW302: Online Help with MadCap Flare (US$200.00)
TW303: Web Content Management Systems with Drupal

Course syllabus
In this course, you focus on web CMS (specifically Drupal) to enable collaborative development of information. Install and configure the web CMS; create, format, and link pages within it; add blogs and forums to it; set permissions for visitors. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW303: Web Content Management Systems with Drupal (US$200.00)
TW304: Technical Communication Videos with TechSmith Camtasia

Course syllabus
In this course, use Camtasia and practice creating videos on technical communication topics involving tasks. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW304: Technical Communication Videos with TechSmith Camtasia (US$200.00)
   

Technical Communication Career Startup
Study the history and current status of the profession of technical communication. Explore current issues facing the profession as well as where it may be headed. Study and practice the process of technical publishing, learning from the leading voices in the profession. And finally, prepare for work as a technical writer and a career in technical communication by developing resumes and portfolios, searching for jobs, and practicing interviewing skills.
Pick these two courses (TW900 and TW901) for the Career certificate.
TW900: Documentation Process and Content Management

Course syllabus
This course provides a careful examination of the key phases and deliverables of the information-development process. You study process models, practice estimating projects, write an information-development proposal and plan, develop prototypes and templates, develop a project tracking system, create a usability test plan and style guide, and develop a process guide.
TW900: Documentation Process and Content Management (US$200.00)
TW901: Technical Communicators: Careers and Professionalism

Course syllabus
Learn about finding technical-writing jobs, negotiating permanent or freelance contracts, building a portfolio, creating a good resume, understanding organizations and processes as a technical writer, working as a member of a development team, staying on top of the profession, being an active and contributing member of the profession, and other such topics. Visit with practicing professionals in chatrooms, build a resume and portfolio, have them critiqued by practicing professionals, and do other such activities. Recorded tutorials will be provided.
TW901: Technical Communicators: Careers and Professionalism (US$200.00)
   

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