HU3120 | Spring 2009 | Tuesdays 7:05-9:35 p.m. | 134 Walker Arts

Projects and grading

For your semester project, you have a choice between three possibilities:

Needs Assessment Project
Locate a community organization that has an unresolved social, technical, or organizational problem and design a Needs Assessment Report that aspires to solve that problem. A needs assessment is a systematic exploration designed to identify the gaps between “what is” and “what ought to be.” A typical Need Assessment Project follows this process:

  • Learning about the organization for which the assessment is being conducted
  • Acquiring knowledge about the issues to be assessed
  • Investigating the relationship between the clients, customers, consumers, and patrons and the organization’s services, products, administration, or environment
  • Administering the needs assessment — i.e., conducting surveys, interviews, and focus groups
  • Reporting the results of the needs assessment

Technical Documentation Project
Locate a community organization that needs technical or scientific documentation in order to resolve a challenge or solve a problem; provide that technical or scientific documentation. A typical Technical Documentation Project follows this process:

  • Conduct a brief needs assessment
  • Conduct an audience analysis and decide on the level of participation of that audience and of your readers
  • Design a prototype for initial feedback
  • Iteratively redesign documentation for usability and readability sessions
  • Manage all of these materials in a professional document lifecycle

Propose a Project That Integrates People, Technology, Communication
In consultation and negotiation with me, propose a project that meets the goals of the class and meaningfully supports an organization’s or people’s goals and aspirations.

Grading and Evaluation Criteria
All of the writing and document design you do in this class is evaluated with this professional criteria in mind:

  • Your ability to articulate an intended effect, and the steps taken to achieve that effect
  • Your attention to the rhetorical situation and your ability to adapt to multiple audiences
  • Your effective and appropriate use of visuals
  • Your ability to incorporate relevant and compelling research
  • Your ability to edit and revise page (or screen) layout and design

A The writing & design is exceptional. This is the kind of text that might  lead to promotions in the workplace. It is professional and reflects the designer’s careful consideration of audience and purpose. It contains all necessary information, is written in an appropriate and engaging style, is memorable, and its delivery is visually appealing. It is free of mechanical errors.

B The text is strong. It would be considered acceptable in the professional contexts. It too reflects consideration of the rhetorical situation. It is generally above average in terms of the criteria mentioned above, but falls short of excellent in one or more category. It is free of mechanical errors.

C The text is competent. It would probably be returned for revision in professional contexts. It is generally average in terms of the major criteria listed above. It  has few mechanical errors.

D The text is weak. It would probably get the designer into a bad situation in professional contexts. It falls below average in terms of one or more of the major criteria.

F Pink Slip

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