My Role: Presenter; Curriculum Developer; Lead Editor
The Scenario: Student Resource Center focusing on software support within the UNT Department of Technical Communication; 10 staff members
The Task: Create reusable tutorials for a variety of software applications (e.g., Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative suite, MadCap Flare, Camtasia video editor, WordPress) to be for use in undergraduate and graduate-level Technical Communication courses
Needs Analysis: We worked with professors to understand course requirements and software required for course assignments.
Tutorial Formation: We conceptualized mini-assignments that incorporated the skills and software used in the course projects. These would be used as cooperative learning materials during tutorial sessions.
Technical Writing: For each mini-assignment, we outlined each required step, accompanied by screenshots and explanations.
Script Edit: We then converted the steps to a presentation script. This process included three rounds of editing revision focusing on clarity, style, organization, and layout.
Brochures: We also converted the most commonly used tutorials to physical handouts. This consisted of designing and distributing the content as tri-fold brochures.
Video Series: We are currently in the process of recording and editing video, audio, and screencast presentations of all tutorials for use in off-campus or online courses.
Quick-Start Tutorials: For students needing a refresher after participating in a software tutorial, we developed short task-specific methods for advanced software tutorials.
Rehearse: Upon completion of a tutorial script and brochure, all staff members were required to attend troubleshooting and presenting training. This ensured all students would receive consistent and cohesive information, not matter which staff member assisted them. Especially proficient presenters were selected to record video tutorials.
Update and Maintain: We edited tutorials as needed to accommodate professor requests or software updates.
Formative: All tutorial materials completed an extensive editing and revision process, where multiple staff members reviewed and provided feedback and suggestions on all aspects of the mini-assignment, organization, and clarity of instructions.
Summative: Once implemented in the courses, tutorials were evaluated by professors through online surveys. Topics included comprehensive coverage of software, effectiveness of mini-activities, and presentation consistency and coherency. Survey results provided guidance for tutorial revisions, addition of future tutorials, and alteration of staff training sessions.