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Writing for the Workplace S10

Writing for the Workplace S10

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Published by: Christa B. Teston, PhD on Jan 25, 2010
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 Writing for the Workplace Course Syllabus | page 1
W
RITING FOR THE
W
ORKPLACE
spring 2010 | dr. christa b. teston
Course Rationale
 According to scholars who study communication in the workplace, today’s workersaren’t sitting in cubicles as independent documenters of information. They arecollaborative producers of
 knowledge
--knowledge that gets circulated “across andthrough organizations;” to be effective in the workplace, knowledge workers need tobe “
 strong rhetors
” (Spinuzzi 2006).Toward these ends, this course is not necessarily designed to teach students how tode-contextually and artificially compose memos, proposals, and reports. Instead,this course will facilitate opportunities for future knowledge workers to improve their“rhetorical aptitude” (Faber, 2002). Students, therefore, will engage in thecollaborative production of knowledge--collaborations that may, in their finalinstantiations, take the form of a wide range of deliverables common to 21st centuryworkplaces.
Learning Objectives
Specifically, this course is designed to facilitate (a) a foundational understanding ofwhat it means to be a “strong rhetor,” (b) opportunities for collaborative investigationof actual workplace communicative practices, and (c) the production and sharing ofknowledge about those investigations through a wide range of genres common totechnologically-mediated workplaces. Course deliverables will not be ends inthemselves, but are the means by which we might better understand complexcollaborative processes and “discursive formations” (Foucault 1969; McNely 2009)necessary to the production and sharing of knowledge in the workplace.
Required Materials
Access to your Rowan email, Gmail account, Google Wave accountAll course materials will be provided in electronic format (mostly on Blackboard).You are responsible for printing them or whatever you prefer so that you havethem with you in class (otherwise your participation may suffer)A ash drive
“Rhetorical practices must play substantive roles in theprocesses of technological innovations, technologytransfers, and the developments of newproducts.”
(Doheny-Farina 1992)
 
University + Department of Writing Arts Policies
 Accommodation StatementNot all students learn the same way. The federal government, through the Americans with Disabilities Act andSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, tries to ensure that all students have a fair chance at being successful. Ifyou have a disability that may have an impact upon your work in this class, please contact me early in thesemester. Additionally, students must provide documentation of their disability to the Academic Success Centerin order to receive
official 
University services and accommodations. The Academic Success Center can bereached (856) 256-4234. The center is located on the 3rd floor of Savitz Hall. The staff is available to answerquestions regarding accommodations or assist you in your pursuit of accommodations. We look forward toworking with you to meet your learning goals.Departmental Policy on Recycling Old AssignmentsThe Department of Writing Arts does not allow students to turn in the same writing assignment for more thanone class. Students must receive express written permission from both instructors when submitting writing or asubstantial part of a written text previously submitted to another class. Not doing so is considered academicdishonesty and, following the policies laid out by Rowan, may result in an F for that assignment and possibly anF for the semester.Departmental Policy on AttendanceThe Department of Writing Arts has established an attendance policy that you are responsible for knowing andabiding by. The entire policy can be found on our Blackboard page. In summary, the maximum number ofpermissible absences are 6--excused or unexcused. The only time you’re permitted to make up missed work iswhen the absence is excused, in which case you must provide official or verifiable documentation. The fiveinstances where absences may be excused, pending necessary documentation, can be found in the actualpolicy on Blackboard. Bottom line: you are expected to arrive on time and prepared for every class meeting.
The Writing Center
The Writing Center (4th floor, library) supports students in Writing Intensive courses with one-on-one or smallgroup consultations. Students can get help with all steps of the writing process: invention strategies, drafting,revising, and editing. Writing Center hours are M-TH 12 -6 pm. Call 856.256.4376 or emailwritingcenter@rowan.edu. Limited walk-in appointments are available.
Course Organization + Deliverables
It may help to think of yourselves as newly hired organizational communication consultants. As such, we’llspend the first few weeks developing a fundamental understanding of germinal theories and research related torhetoric and workplace writing. The remainder of the semester, however, will involve you actually conductingfieldwork and engaging in some of the kinds of knowledge work common to contemporary workplaces. Also,because
 process
is as important as
 product 
in the workplace, assessment of your grade will take place instages and will consider not only the rhetorical effectiveness of final deliverables, but also each student’s levelof collaborative responsibility. Each stage allows for the possibility of earning a maximum number of points.Rubrics that identify how these points can be earned will be collaboratively developed in class during Stage I.
 Writing for the Workplace Course Syllabus | page 2
Stage I
:: 100 points. Examineassumptions, formulate theoriesabout workplace writing + rhetoric4 Pre- and Post-Discussionreflections on assigned readingsin Bb [submitted as Word docs toBb]Project management for next 2stages & collaborativedevelopment of assessmentrubricsSet up teams, Google waveaccounts
Stage II
:: 400 points. Collaborativelyinvestigate one actual workplace’scommunicative practicesIndividual resume [uploaded toteam workspaces]Design of team workspaces,consultant profile [Wikis]Cover letter & proposal forinvestigation [Google Docs, Wave]Progress report on investigation[Google Docs, Wave]Informal presentations [Handout,PowerPoint]
Stage III
:: 500 points. Report on andpropose solutions on behalf of theinvestigated workplaceFormal presentation of findings,possible solution [Handout,PowerPoint and/or Prezi]Collaborative White Paper thatreports on findings, possiblesolution [Google Docs, Wave,Wiki]Small-scale grant proposal forpossible solution [Google Docs,Wave, Wiki]
 
Course Schedule
[subject to change]PDR: Pre/Post Discussion Reflection
 Writing for the Workplace Course Syllabus | page 3
Week 1Deliverables DuePlans for Class MeetingW 1.20
n/aReview syllabus, discuss course, annotation writing
Week 3Deliverables DuePlans for Class MeetingM 2.01
Drucker (1998) PDRDiscuss Scott (1967). Google Wave, Docs. Assign IRB protocolapplication.
W 2.03
Scott (1967) PDRIRB training; Draft IRB protocol application; Assign Resumes,Team Profiles and Online Portfolios.
Week 4Deliverables DuePlans for Class MeetingM 2.08
IRB Training Certificate: bringcopy to class; Draft of IRBprotocol application.Discuss Harrison (2004). IRB protocol applications.
W 2.10
Harrison (2004) PDR; IRBprotocol applications; Drafts ofresumesSubmit IRB protocol applications. Discuss resumes, keyconstructs invoked thus far.
Week 2Deliverables DuePlans for Class MeetingM 1.25
Bb discussion responseDiscuss: Spinuzzi (2007) and Rivers & Tides; course schedule;group assignments; pre- and post-discussion reflections;rubric for Stage I; Gmail accounts
W 1.27
Bb discussion responseDiscuss Drucker (1998); Project management (Gantt Charts)
Week 5Deliverables DuePlans for Class MeetingM 2.15
Doheny-Farina (2004) PDR;Stage I Gantt Chart DraftDiscuss Doheny-Farina (2004); Team profiles & workspaces.
W 2.17
Winsor (2004) PDRDiscuss Winsor (2004); Team proles & workspaces.
Week 6Deliverables DuePlans for Class MeetingM 2.22
Professional resumes, Stage IGantt Chart & Team profilesuploaded to online portfoliosReview resumes, team profiles, and portfolios; Discuss rubricfor Stage II.
W 2.24
Gantt Chart for Stage II; Discussion of Stage II Deliverables.
Week 7Deliverables DuePlans for Class MeetingM 3.01
Stage II Gantt ChartsCover letters/emails; Formal research proposals.
W 3.03
Formal research proposals;Cover letters/emailsDiscuss research & pre-spring break progress reports.

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