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Course Overview things to know and think about when considering these sections of Eng2311 Engl 2311 Fricke sections.

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Presentation on theme: "Course Overview things to know and think about when considering these sections of Eng2311 Engl 2311 Fricke sections."— Presentation transcript:

1 Course Overview things to know and think about when considering these sections of Eng2311 Engl 2311 Fricke sections

2 The Instructor Dr. Art Fricke BS in Chemical Engineering & Biochemistry MS & PhD in Anthropology of Science experience doing:  LOTS of things, 10+ professional jobs in 20+ years experience working with:  Engineers, Lawyers, lots of professions  Designers, Marketers, lots of creative types  Salespeople, Entrepreneurs, lots of go-getem types  HR professionals, Admin specialists, lots of gatekeepers  Shopfloor Workers & Managers, lots of no-nonsense types

3 How will I teach? I’m not a PhD in technical communication  My qualifications come from really varied professional work experiences I think that “communication” is more than memos  It’s about how to present yourself as a useful and valuable professional “Being a professional” means helping other folks to manage their own work – for example:  I teach four sections of two different courses (~80 students total)  How can you help me keep this organized ?  How can I help you to succeed in your own course work ?  If you can figure things like this out, then you’ll do VERY well in the world This is a practically-oriented and professionally organized experience where both big and seemingly small “nit-picky” things do have a purpose

4 you folks Very different backgrounds Sophomore to Senior standing Interior Design to Agricultural Economics Very different goals “improved spelling” to “world domination” Generally only TWO things in common 1. No clear idea of what “Technical Writing” is 2. This is a required course in your major THEREFORE, this is a very challenging course to teach

5 The Course 1) An opportunity for an introduction to Technical Writing basics 2) An opportunity to improve writing skills & habits 3) An opportunity to develop very efficient & effective work strategies I will work to present a very practically-oriented section designed to somehow benefit all of the very diverse folks in this room.

6 Think about what you want to do Throughout the semester, you can choose to: 1. Focus on the specific kind of document or skill relevant to your future career 2. Learn to successfully get through everything else with a minimum of effort & time

7 the syllabus follows these professional realities If you practice the habits that will make you very successful in ANY professional job, then you will do very well in this course  work ahead on important projects  get important things to colleagues EARLY  always read and follow directions thoroughly and carefully  always ask when you don’t understand something  get help courteously and professionally from folks who offer it  choose the people you work with very CAREFULLY  show up to meetings, follow through with commitments, fix problems immediately, anticipate problems before they appear, generally be very DEPENDABLE

8 on the other hand... If you practice the habits that will make you merely an average or a below average professional, then you will most likely earn an average or below average grade in this course  finish projects by the absolute deadline  mostly read and follow directions  mostly guess if you don’t clearly understand something  work with who you’re randomly stuck with  show up to most meetings, mostly do what you need to, wait for others to tell you exactly how to fix your problems

9 so, for this syllabus... It’s pretty easy to be average (that’s why it’s called AVERAGE)  Generally works out to a B-  If you generally follow directions, meet the attendance policy, meet deadlines, and are reasonably competent, then you will likely make an average grade. Being below average means you mess some things up  This results in C / D / F grades for these sections of eng2311  Not meeting the attendance policy, not meeting deadlines, sometimes ignoring clear directions, not getting help with something important you simply can’t do on your own, etc – these things WILL all hurt your grade. Being above average doesn’t mean working longer  You can get great results by planning carefully and working ahead  If you do all the routine stuff plus consistently practice at least some effective professional habits, then you will have a good chance for an “A”.

10 keys to the course THESE HABITS make you above average Show up on time ready to CONTRIBUTE something Work (do not overwork) every week  Take the 6hrs per week total time commitment VERY seriously  TALK to me if the course consistently takes more time than this Read and follow assignment directions VERY carefully USE grading comments to improve on future assignments Edit and revise assignments BEFORE handing them in ASK questions and USE help Work ahead on big assignments to use EARLY GRADING!

11 the questions How much work for this course? Three hour course, expect six hours a week total (remember that 18hr courseload = fulltime 36hr/wk job) Fast-paced, expect assignments every week Cumulative, expect to manage weeks-long projects Collaborative, expect to manage group efforts Interactive, plan to PARTICIPATE in class meetings

12 the questions What to expect from me? Clear directions and course organization  all assignment descriptions already posted, materials linked to daily schedule, clear grading criteria, etc Lots of feedback  you’ll have early submission opportunities, you can get editing help from me, etc Availability outside of class  email and phone contact, 6hrs/wk of office time

13 the questions What will I expect from you? On-time (or early) and complete assignments that FOLLOW EXPLICIT DIRECTIONS Self-managed (I won’t chase you) attendance Effective email and phone contacts  I’ll need timely communication for missed classes, etc  I’ll need clear, concise, complete email messages Useful (SPEAK UP!) class assistance COMMUNICATION about issues and problems before they become a crisis that can’t be fixed

14 so, be REALISTIC and honest... This section is likely not a good choice for you if:  You are a freshman  You are taking 18+ hours this semester  You need an easy B, are expecting a guaranteed A, or absolutely cannot end up with a C or a D or an F  You are working and trying to take a full load of classes at the same time  You need an instructor who will let some things slide

15 GET AHEAD right away If this is the right section for you, then start getting a week ahead so you can take advantage of early grading:  Get up and running on Blackboard  Read the “Problem Solving Memo/Letter” project descriptions  Start brainstorming your approach to the project  Complete the “Introductory Memo” assignment

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