Velasquez. Las Meninas (1656)


Course Information

Course objectives

Textbooks
Course policies & grade calculation
Gradebook
Course resources
Class e-mail / e-mail archive
Chatroom


Weekly Schedule

May 28
June 4
June 11
June 18
June 25
July 2
July 9
July 16
July 23
July 30
Aug. 6


Other Links

ACC home page
BTCM Program home page

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Course Overview

This course begins with a general focus on FrameMaker in which you learn basic and book-building skills, along with some formatting and writing exercises. After the FrameMaker segment of the course, we move into the major documentation-project segment in which you develop user guides either solo or as part of a team, including the documentation proposal and plan, prototypes, templates, tags, and multiple drafts. As time permits, we will get an introduction to FrameMaker XML, FrameScript, tools for converting FrameMaker documents to XHTML/CSS with WebWorks, and tools for converting FrameMaker documents to help files.

Note: In 16-week semesters, you would do both the practice and the quick-ref assignments as a way of getting lots of exposure to FrameMaker. In this 11-week summer semester, having you do both assignments may be a bit impractical. To cut down on the workload, I've combined the practice and quick-ref assignments. It's an experiment, though. Let me know how it works for you.

See the Course Calendar for a calendar-style view of semester due dates.

Semester/year Summer 2007
Instructor David A. McMurrey
Class meetings None: online-only class
Office Northridge 4225
Office hours Tues./Thurs. 10:00-2:00, and by apptmt. (Always call before driving all the way out to Northridge Campus.)
Phone 512-223-4804
E-mail hcexres@prismnet.com

Week of May 28

Getting organized. In the first week of this course, let's get oriented and organized.

Fill out the questionnaire—due May 31
Write the get-acquainted memo—due May 31
See the get-acquainted memos
Listen to and watch the course overview

FrameMaker basics. Use the FrameMaker basics tutorial to get familiarized with basic tasks such as creating and saving files, making text italics or bold, changing fonts, changing tabs and margins, applying standard tags (such as for headings or numbered lists).

FrameMaker basics tutorial: tutorial—due June 3
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: "Getting Started" and Lesson 1
Listen to and watch the basics overview

Personal memo in FrameMaker. Use what you've learned about FrameMaker so far to write a personal memo. (You can use the same text you posted out on our class website.)

FrameMaker personal memo—due June 3


Week of June 4

FrameMaker paragraph and character tags. You'll learn how to apply tags in FrameMaker and how to modify them as necessary.

FrameMaker tags tutorial: tutorial—due June 7
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lessons 2 and 3
FrameMaker tags practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—due June 7

FrameMaker tags project. In this project, you use existing FrameMaker tags to format text so that it looks exactly like a PDF document (developed originally in FrameMaker).

FrameMaker tags project—due June 10

FrameMaker tables. In this unit, use the FrameMaker table tutorial to learn how how to create tables in FrameMaker. (You'll need to use tables when you do the book-design project in one of the next units.)

FrameMaker tables tutorial: tutorial—due June 7
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lessons 7 and 8
FrameMaker tables practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—due June 7

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 1 (writing mechanics): ReadMe 1 Quizdue June 10
ReadMe 2 (constructing text): ReadMe 2 Quizdue June 10

Week of June 11

Templates in FrameMaker. Review how to apply templates in FrameMaker, and learn how to create your own.

FrameMaker templates tutorial: templates—due June 14
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 4
FrameMaker templates practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—due June 14

Master pages in FrameMaker. Review how to apply master pages in FrameMaker, and learn how to modify and create your own.

FrameMaker master-pages tutorial: tutorial—due June 14
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 4
FrameMaker master-pages practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—due June 14

FrameMaker formatting project. Use graphics and unformatted text supplied by your instructor, create a well-designed technical document using FrameMaker and FrameMaker tags that you have specified.

FrameMaker formatting project—due June 17

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 3 (writing style): ReadMe 3 Quizdue June 17
ReadMe 4 (online writing style): ReadMe 4 Quizdue June 17

Week of June 18

Basic page design. Study some of the standard specifications for headings, lists, notices, cross-references, tables, highlighting, simple typography and layout issues, and other. Explore what is common or standard, focusing particularly on page design concepts for written instructions and rhetorical strategies for writing effective instructions.

Page Design
Page Design Quiz—due June 21

Anchored frames & graphics with FrameMaker. Learn how to create and incorporate graphics into FrameMaker documents (with anchored frames) as well as how to use screen captures as well as create simple drawings in FrameMaker.

FrameMaker anchored-frames tutorial: tutorial—due June 21
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 9
FrameMaker anchored-frames practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—optionally due june 21
/june FrameMaker graphics tutorial: tutorial—due June 21
FrameMaker graphics practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—optionally due June 21


Screen capture tutorial—due June 21

Cross-references with FrameMaker. Learn how to create various styles of cross-references using FrameMaker book—both within the same document and between documents.

FrameMaker cross-reference tutorial: tutorial—due June 21
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 10
FrameMaker cross-reference practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—optionally due June 21
FrameMaker cross-reference quick-ref: quick-ref—due June 21

Brief procedure project. Get started on the brief procedure in which in 2 FrameMaker pages you provide some instructions.

Brief procedure documentation project—due June 24

Week of June 25

Autonumbering and variables with FrameMaker. Learn how to automate any numbering stream in a FrameMaker book, how to enable versions of the same documents, and how to create variables for rapid updating.

FrameMaker autonumbers, variables, and version control tutorial: tutorial—due June 28
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lessons 6, 13 and Appendix C
FrameMaker autonumbering practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—due June 28

Book building and TOCs with FrameMaker. Learn how to build a book and generate, format, and update automated tables of contents.

FrameMaker book-building and TOC tutorial: tutorial—due June 28
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 11
FrameMaker book-building and TOC: practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref— due June 28

Basic book design. Study or review the standard components of a user guide, from front cover to back cover. We'll explore what is common or standard, look at your user guides, and develop specification grids for decision making.

Book Design
Book Design Quiz—due June 28

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 5 (links): ReadMe 5 Quizdue July 1
ReadMe 6 (tasks, procedures, steps): ReadMe 6 Quizdue July 1

Week of July 2

Reference pages with FrameMaker. Learn how to use FrameMaker reference pages to store frequently used graphics that must be positioned consistently throughout a document, to hold boilerplate material or clip art that you can copy and paste on body pages (for example, symbols for cautions and notes), and to maintain hypertext commands, formatting information for generated lists and indexes, definitions of custom math elements, and mappings for converting to XML and HTML.

FrameMaker reference-page tutorial: tutorial—due July 5
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading — check the index
FrameMaker reference-page practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—due July 5

Indexing with FrameMaker. We'll discuss standard process and guidelines for indexing hardcopy books, and then learn how to create indexes using FrameMaker. The task for this unit will for each member of the class (or small teams of class members) to index one or more chapters of a book and then consolidate that work into one unified, well-designed index.

ReadMe 14 (indexing): ReadMe 14 Quiz—due July 8
FrameMaker indexing tutorial: tutorial—due July 5
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 12
FrameMaker indexing practice & quick-ref: practice & quick-ref—due July 5

Book-formatting project with FrameMaker. Your project will be to build a book—complete with automated page numbers, cross-references, tables of contents, indexes, headers, and footers—from text supplied by the instructor.

FrameMaker book-formatting project—due July 15

Week of July 9
Book-formatting project with FrameMaker. — continued.

FrameMaker book-formatting project—due July 15

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 7 (international): ReadMe 7 Quizdue July 15
ReadMe 8 (legal): ReadMe 8 Quizdue July 15

Week of July 16

Brief procedure 2. Find another relatively simple task you are familiar with, and then document that task using FrameMaker and FrameMaker tags that you have designed.

Brief procedure documentation project 2—due July 22

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 9 (document types): ReadMe 9 Quizdue July 22
ReadMe 10 (editors): ReadMe 10 Quizdue July 22

Week of July 23

Project development. You can either work solo or build a team. In either case, describe your project on your solo or team project website.

  • Start the final project. Develop a user guide for a computer hardware component or software application, using the techniques and tools covered in the first part of the course.

  • Define team roles & rules. If you work as part of a team, determine who will do what: roles such as writers, editors, graphics specialists, designers, technical researchers, formatters, coordinators, and overall team supervisor/manager. Post these details on the team web page.

  • Post project, audience, and outline. Whether you work solo or with a team, post descriptions of what you will document, the audience, and a detailed outline on the project web page.

  • Design the project. Whether you are working solo or as a part of a team, decide on the specifications for your document (margins, fonts, etc.) and post them on your project website.

Project milestones. Set up your solo or team project page, list team members if you are working as part of a team and describe the project and design details.

Set up your project page using the following links:
Solo project page set-up—due July 22
Team project page set-up—due July 22

Team details: if you are working as a team, post details about your team—due July 29
Project details: whether you are working solo or with a team, post descriptive details about your project and its design—due July 29

First draft—due Aug. 13

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 11 (illustrations): ReadMe 11 Quizdue July 29
ReadMe 12 (GUIs): ReadMe 12 Quizdue July 29

Week of July 30

Project details. Don't forget! Details about your projects, its audience, design, and outline are due this week. See requirements.

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 13 (glossaries): ReadMe 13 Quizdue Aug. 5

Week of August 6

Continue developing your project. Continue your work in learning the product you are writing about, designing your FrameMaker tags and templates, and developing your prototype documents.

First draft—due Aug. 12
Final draft—due Aug. 16

Week of August 14

End of semester. This is not a week in the semester. I have until midweek to review your final drafts and turn in grades.

Prepare the final draft. Receive your instructor's review and revise as necessary.

Final draft—due Aug. 16


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