Room 42

Room 42 is a new hybrid, taking the best parts of traditional webinars, interview-style podcasts, a ... more

Latest Episodes

22

June 07, 2022 00:48:52
Techcomm, Technology, and Civic Engagement

Techcomm, Technology, and Civic Engagement

Isidore K. Dorpenyo is an  Associate Professor of Professional Writing and Rhetoric at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He received BA in English at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana (2008) and the MS in Rhetoric and Technical Communication at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI (2013) and his PhD in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture at Michigan Technological University (2016). His research focuses on election technology, international technical communication, social justice, user experience, public (civic) engagement, and localization. He is the author of the book: User-localization Strategies in the Face of Technological Breakdown. Isidore has co-guest edited two special issues: technical communication, election technology and civic engagement for Technical Communication and enacting social justice in technical communication for IEEE. He has published in Technical Communication Quarterly, Community Literacy Journal, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, and the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication. In this episode of Room 42 we discuss how electoral spaces serve as one avenue for TPC professionals to demonstrate discipline-in-practice. A conversation about the intersections among technical communication, election technology, and civic (public) engagement will reveal most of the issues that technical communicators are interested in, namely, social justice, public engagement, user experience, usability, document design, data, visualization, algorithms, localization, etc. This topic remains relevant because our electoral spaces have proven to be the breeding ground for social injustice. If you are in the US, think about the 2020 elections and its many issues; if you are in Ghana, think about the electoral space since 1992. A conversation like this helps to expand the scope of technical communication beyond organizations. Technical communicators in the field can expand the horizon.  For transcript, links, and show notes: ...

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21

April 27, 2022 00:47:28
Humanities Improve Science Communication

Humanities Improve Science Communication

Marybeth Shea teaches advanced composition at the University of Maryland. These courses include professional and technical writing where she typically instructs scientists and engineers in science writing, writing about the environment, and special sections under design for data analysis and computer science students. She has also co-taught special courses on big data and visualization. Recently, Shea developed a gateway course for medical humanities with colleagues in history, languages and literatures, and philosophy. She also consults with scientists – particularly environmental science teams – about communicating their findings for policy. In this episode of Room 42 we discuss how an English Professor ended up in a chicken coop. A humanist, a social scientist, and a nitrogen/ammonia scientist specializing in flow across air, soil, and water systems walk into a poultry house... What happens next? What can an environmental humanist offer to specialized interdisciplinary environmental science for policy deliberation? Scientists use scientific methods; many humanists use stasis theory, a method used by scholars to work on the human dimensions of wicked problems, such as the environmentally destructive ammonia pollution from poultry production on the Delmarva Peninsula. The choices that poultry farmers make can be a large part of the solution to reducing the ammonia pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. But how do you convey the science and the choices in the most effective way?  Human values and viewpoints are central to decision making and those are best understood with humanities and social science tools, like Q-Methodology (Q). Using Q, you can probe human subjectivity and gain a deeper insight into priorities and decision making of your audience. In this session, we’ll talk ...

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20

April 06, 2022 00:44:57
Simulation and Realism in TPC

Simulation and Realism in TPC

Dr. Daniel P. Richards is an associate professor and associate chair of English at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. He also serves as Chair of ACM SIGDOC. His research focuses on environmental rhetoric, risk communication, the public understanding of science, and the politics of higher education. His most recent project—a project funded through the Department of Defense—applies UX and rhetorical approaches to political negotiation between military readiness and renewable energy development. His work has appeared in Technical Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Contemporary Pragmatism, and several other journals and edited collections. His most recent edited collection, On Teacher Neutrality (2020), is available through Utah State UP. In this episode of Room 42 we discuss the recent trend in risk communication to rely on realism and simulation as a way to communicate a variety of risks. In terms of sea level rise, there has been a trend towards visualizing the effects of water inundation in mainly coastal communities as a way to facilitate understanding and generate action and awareness. Rhetorically, this makes sense. But do we know enough about whether or not realistic visualizations are more effective than less realistic ones? or just data? Are the downsides to using realism, or simulation and, if so, what are they? We discuss how to test these assumptions by applying user experience research to sea level rise visualization tools. For transcript, links, and show notes:  https://tccamp.org/episodes/simulation-or-realism-to-facilitate-understanding-and-generate-action/ ...

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19

March 17, 2022 00:44:15
Technology’s Impact on Accessiblility

Technology’s Impact on Accessiblility

Dr. Casey McArdle is the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. He directs the undergraduate programs: Experience Architecture (an undergraduate user experience degree housed in the Arts and Humanities), Professional and Public Writing, and a Minor in Writing. His research is centered around user experience, instructional design, technical communication, rhetoric and writing, accessibility, project management, and online writing instruction. His latest publications include “Finding a Teaching A11y: Designing an Accessibility-Centered Pedagogy” appearing in IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, which he co-authored with Kate Sonka and Dr. Liza Potts. His book, Personal, Accessible, Responsive, Strategic: Resources and Strategies for Online Writing Instructors, which he co-authored with Dr. Jessie Borgman, won the 2020 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award. The book was followed by their edited collection, PARS In Practice: More Resources and Strategies for Online Writing Instructors. These texts were inspired by the website he co-founded with Dr. Borgman, The Online Writing Instruction Community (owicommunity.org), created in 2015 as an open resource for contingent faculty struggling to find support for teaching writing online. In this episode of Room 42 we discuss the ways accessible technologies and curriculum are impacting pedagogy and how programs are preparing students for professional spaces beyond their institutions. He will discuss how using his role as an admin can better connect his faculty and students with innovative spaces that create equitable learning environments while also modeling such practices to be used post graduation. For transcript, links, and show notes:  https://tccamp.org/episodes/how-accessible-technologies-impact-teaching-methodologies-and-practice/ ...

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18

March 03, 2022 00:41:17
Designing Multilingual Experiences

Designing Multilingual Experiences

Dr. Laura Gonzales is an Assistant Professor of digital writing and cultural rhetorics in the Department of English at the University of Florida. She earned her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric with a concentration in digital rhetoric and professional writing from Michigan State University in 2016. Laura is the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, books, and edited collections focused on issues of language diversity, community engagement, and technical communication. She is the current chair of the Diversity Committee for the Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication and the co-chair of the 2021 Association of Teachers of Technical Writing Conference. Laura is also currently collaborating with multiple community groups and organizations on the design of technical information related to COVID treatment and prevention in Indigenous languages.    ...

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17

February 23, 2022 00:50:33
How Techcomm Can Impact Climate Change

How Techcomm Can Impact Climate Change

Sean D. Williams, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Technical Communication and Information Design  (TCID) department at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. TCID is the only stand-alone technical communication department in Colorado, and currently partners with major companies on projects ranging from user experience design to cybersecurity research to designing professional development courses in engineering writing. Sean’s research has taken many forms over the years, beginning with information architecture in complex web environments to social media in technology start-ups and user experience design for 3D virtual reality. Most recently, his work focuses on user experience design in environmental communication, where his central focus is understanding how best to communicate science to drive personal conservation behaviors and public policy changes. His new book, Technical Communication for Environmental Action, (SUNY Press) due out in fall of 2022 investigates this question in detail and presents essays from 12 notable scholars who write about the intersections of environmental communication, science, and social justice. In addition to his work in the academic sector, Sean has been a founder or co-founder of four technology start-up companies, and he has consulted extensively with industry clients on a range of projects that include electronic health care records, intranet redesign, corporate training design, and usability assessments of mobile cybersecurity software.  In this episode of Room 42 we discuss Sean’s recent research with water companies to describe the critical role that technical communication can play for environmental action and how technical communication might work at the edge of marketing, public relations and science communication. He will also reflect on recent advances in technical communication that connect issues of social justice and environmental justice, specifically with respect to how we use, ...

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