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Graduate courses

Engl 621 - Critical Theories of Technology

Class site for Special Topics: Philosophy of Technology

This course was developed as a special topics course, but my hope is that it will be added to the graduate curriculum as part of the Rhetoric and Professional Communication's emphasis on the rhetoric of science and technology. The course introduces students to several philosophers and historians of technology whose works are useful in forging connections with rhetorical theory. Though the course covers early statements on technology, its primary focus is on more recent philosophers of technology and their critiques of the modern technological landscape.

Taught: S08

Engl 505 - Technology in Business, Technical, and Professional Communication

Technology in Business, Technical, and Professional Communication class site

Though this course had been taught previously in the department, Spring '03 was my first time teaching it, so I updated much of the course readings and gave these grad students more opportunities to acquire technological skills important to their future careers. Though similar in some respects to Engl 411, this course focused much more on theories of technological development and was more rigorous in its expectations of student outcomes. Additionally, students completed four technology tutorials that gave them introductory practice with desktop conferencing, web development, desktop video capture, and digital cinema production.

Taught: S07, S05, S03

Engl 542 - Production Processes for Technical Documents

Production Processes for Technical Documents class site

I recommended and first developed this course as an integral part of our department's undergraduate technical communication program, but it has since morphed into a graduate class. With our increasing emphasis on electronic communications, we often ignore the technological revolution that has occurred in the print industry over the past five years. This course does a good job of introducing students to these changes, and students continue to be amazed at the amount of technical knowledge needed to communicate intelligently with a four-color print shop or service bureau.

Taught: S08, S07, S05, F02

Engl 592 - Technology and Professional Workgroups

Technology and Professional Workgroups class site

This special topics graduate course focused on the increasing levels of technological support for professional workgroups. The course was designed to give students an introduction to some of the leading theories of workplace collaboration -- such as organizational memory and knowledge management -- while also giving them practice with workgroup technologies. Students reactions to the course were mixed, with some applauding the focus on practical workplace issues, while others felt the readings were not grounded enough in traditional academic theory. There were also problems with the university technologically supporting this course. A great learning experience.

Taught: F00

Undergraduate courses

Engl 313 - Writing for the World Wide Web

Writing for the World Wide Web class site

Because this course has the most extensive online presence of all my courses, it best represents my ideas about teaching with computer technology in the face-to-face classroom. Some of the materials on this site reflect what takes place in my 313 classes from semester to semester, but most of them provide students with additional materials they can access outside of class, such as weekly lessons about various software routines. I enjoy teaching this course immensely and have received excellent student evaluations.

Taught: F07, S07, F06, S06, F05, F04, F03, F02, S02, F01, S01, S99

Engl 314 - Technical Communication

Technical Communication class site

During my first two years at Iowa State, I taught this course almost every semester, and now I am teaching it again on a regular basis. I really enjoy this elementary course because of the wide range of students' backgrounds and attitudes. I also enjoy overcoming many students' resistance to writing and showing them practical techniques for making their written communication more visually arresting and persuasive. The course also produces good conversations about workplace behavior and ethics.

Taught: F08(2), F07, S04, S01, F00, S00, F99, F98

Engl 411 - Technology, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication

Technology, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication class site

I developed this seminar class to get undergraduates thinking more critically about their uses of communication technology. Because Iowa State is a science and technology university, many of our students tend to accept surface explanations about the role of communication technologies in their present and future lives. In this class, they gain a broader understanding of technological literacy by reading a strong collection of books and articles, maintaining a reading journal, participating in class discussions, and writing a research paper. Discussions in this class have been wonderfully productive and insightful, and students seem to appreciate the opportunity to discuss such issues in a small class environment.

Taught: S07, S06, S04, S02, S00