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This course and these—Advanced Technical Communication: Recent Developments and Advanced Projects in Technical Communication—will be ready end of August 2017 from JER Online.

These courses—Technical Communication: The Profession, Writing Style, and Format, Technical Reports for Industry, Government, and BusinessUser Documentation for Technology Products—are ready and available now at JER Online.

This view of the course does not include links to the individual units.

Course owner: your_name
Course instructor: instructor_name
Instructor e-mail: instructor_email
Course start date: mmddyy

In Career as a Lead Technical Writer, part of the Certificate for Current Technical Writers, you study and practice some of the most important activities as a lead writer: shaping the process to industry standards, determining the library for products, developing documentation plans, estimating projects, coordinating usability tests, developing a style guide, implementing team use of versioning, and looking to the future of technical communication. (This course is the third in the Current Technical Writer Certificate.)

When you complete a unit, click the Completed button for that unit. If you mistakenly mark a unit as completed, contact your instructor (or just wait until you've actually completed it.)

Getting Started

Please read the overview of this course to learn how it works and what the requirements are. Make sure that you understand the objectives of this course, the schedule of activities, the methods of operation, and the assessment of your work.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 1: Documentation Process: Overview

For this unit:

  1. Use the study guide for documentation process to learn what the leading voices of the technical communication profession have to say about how the documentation process should be structured and write a brief summary with a flowchart.
  2. Then begin your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 1, "Getting started," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  3. When your instructor has reviewed and signed off on this project, post it in your online portfolio.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 2: Product Library and Project Estimating

In this unit:

  1. Use the study guide for project planning to plan a library for a software or hardware product, determine the media the different library items will be offered in, and estimate the resources (people, time, costs) that the project will require. Create a project planning document containing this information.
  2. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 3, "Marketing and product visibility," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  3. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 2, "Controlling technical communication costs," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  4. When your instructor has reviewed and signed off on this project, post it in your online portfolio.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 3: Documentation Usability Testing

In this unit:

  1. Use the study guide for usability test plan to find product documentation for which to test the usability of its documentation, create the test plan, run the test, and document the results including recommendations for improvement of the documentation.
  2. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 4, "Legal and regulatory issues," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  3. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 5, "Assessing the situation," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  4. When your instructor has reviewed and signed off on this project, post it in your online portfolio.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 4: Style Sheets and Style Guides

For this unit:

  1. Use the study guide for style sheets and style guides to understand style sheets and to create a guide for an information-development team to develop documentation for a product.
  2. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 6, "Architecting a solution," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  3. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 7, "Managing risk," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  4. When your instructor has reviewed and signed off on this project, post it in your online portfolio.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 5: Introducing Version Control

For this unit:

  1. Use the study guide for versioning to develop a getting-started guide for an information development team on how to use a version application such as Git or Subversion to store team-written documents, and then write a translation plan for a product of your choice.
  2. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 8, "Case studies," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  3. When your instructor has reviewed and signed off on this project, post it in your online portfolio.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 6: Planning for Translation

  1. Use the study guide for translation planning to learn or review how product documentation gets translated, what documentation problems hinder that process, how much time and money the proccess costs.
  2. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 9, "Methodoloy," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  3. Continue your study of content strategy by reading Chapter 10, "Managing change," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  4. When your instructor has reviewed and signed off on this project, post it in your online portfolio.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 7: Team Building

  1. Use the study guide for building documentation teams learn or review some methods for building documentation teams and for building team work into the fundamental logistics of an information development organization. Write a white paper on your observations and recommendations.
  2. Complete your study of content strategy by reading Appendix A, "Creating useful information," in Content Strategy 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  3. When your instructor has reviewed and signed off on this project, post it in your online portfolio.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 8: Looking to the Future of Technical Communication

In this unit:

  1. Use the study guide for looking to the future of technical communication to survey ideas on whether we have a future, whether current trends are causing a decline, whether new trends offer hope for the profession. Write a white paper on your findings and recommendations.
  2. When your instructor has reviewed and signed off on this project, post it in your online portfolio.

Due date: mmddyy

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