Improving Technical Communication Education in India

Embarking on a training mission to India and realizing that more and more companies are offshoring their technical communication/instructional design functions, I was surprised to find that the offshoring of these jobs to India is not the major force for the employment of Indian technical communicators, but that there is a need to train individuals in the profession.  In Offshoring and Serving the Needs of Indian Technical Communicators with Online Technical Communication Programs: A Feasibility Study, Wang and Baake, the former a PhD student and the latter a professor at Texas Tech University, state that in India, not only the growth in information technology has fueled the need for technical communicators, but also the industrialization of the country.  India is investing in manufacturing and with this comes the need to document the products being produced for the global economy.  This increase has spurred a demand for education in technical communication.  According to Wang and Baake, " there is little training in technical communication offered at Indian universities." According to the Society for Technical Communication (STC) India chapter’s Web site, there is no formal education curriculum in the field of technical communication, although since the 1990s there has been a rise in the number of technical communication professionals. Wang and Baake analyze the barriers to educate Indian individuals interested in further enhancing their technical writing skills through an online program of learning. Barriers involve:
  1. The time difference of almost ten to thirteen hours between the western university and the learner
  2. The ability of the learner to attend onsite classes and web meetings
  3. The tuition to obtain a graduate degree or graduate certificate from a western university
Personal experience reveals that the Indian technical communicator is good at delving into source documents but due to the lack of education in technical communication techniques is not good at discerning what is important and what can be eliminated from publication.  This results in the need to edit and reformat documents received from the Indian technical communicator.  This has also resulted in companies, not educational institutions, to educate Indian technical communicators in the formal methods of technical communication.  Universities though may be able to license their programs to Indian universities thus deriving royalties for their curriculums.  This may be a way to introduce a universal standard into Indian technical writing based on a body of knowledge and benefit from input from Indian technical communicators. Source: Baake, K. & Junhua Wang, (2006). Offshoring and Serving the Needs of Indian Technical Communicators with Online Technical Communication Programs: A Feasibility Study. Technical Communication, 53(4), 427-438. doi: Article

See you at the Summit?

gijdgihaWhere to find your IDL SIG colleagues at the #STC16 Summit (pdf) Hello, I am happy to communicate with you ahead of the STC 2016 Summit next month, where I hope Robert Hershenow and I can meet you in person (if we haven’t before). We are the co-managers of the Instructional Design and Learning SIG, and sometimes it’s lonely volunteering for a virtual community such as the SIG. We do have this one opportunity each year to meet our members and we really look forward to it. Attend our IDL SIG Business Breakfast on Wednesday, May 18th at 7 am Pacific in the Marquis Ballroom of the Anaheim Marriott. Join us for breakfast and an entertaining, informative State-of-the-SIG discussion! Open to all IDL SIG members. Wear your Disney swag to be eligible for door prizes. Here is a quick overview of where you can find us, how you will recognize us, and ways to network with us – and each other, of course. 2016 Summit Email to Members You know, if you haven’t registered for the Summit yet… there is still time. They are taking registrations up until May 15th. Register at summit.stc.org right now: it’s not too late! Thank you.MellissaRuryk300 Mellissa Ruryk  IDL SIG co-manager PS:  If you are a student IDL SIG member and you are participating in any of the Student activities or volunteering at the Summit, please send me an email at manager@nullstcidlsig.org.  

An IDeaL time to read something new!

Three cheers for the return of our beloved newsletter - IDeaL: Design for Learning is now online!!! http://www.stcidlsig.org/newsletter-blog/ Connect with the SIG Management Committee as they bring you up to speed on the latest SIG news and events. Read our full length articles: Elizabeth Allen shares findings from her study on the impact of digital literacy training for adult tutors, and Virginia Butler issues a clarion call to mentor. And of course there is much more... Welcome back dearest reader... http://www.stcidlsig.org/newsletter-blog/ - Crista Mohammed, Managing Editor IDeaL: Design for Learning

Thursday, April 21, 2016 Mary Whalen (Sojoodi) presents “Getting Started With Video Training”

“Getting Started With Video Training” webinar with Mary Whalen (Sojoodi).

10:30 am Pacific / 11:30 am Mountain / 12:30 pm Central / 1:30 pm Eastern Thank you for attending our STC IDL SIG webinar on April 21, 2016. adobe-connect-bwLink to the recording: http://stc.adobeconnect.com/p9lo5c6qfqk/ pdfLink to the slides as pdf: Slides from “Getting Started With Video Training” webinar with Mary Whalen (Sojoodi) GoogleFormsPlease take a moment to share your thoughts in this short survey. http://goo.gl/forms/M4vGhxWsEh   Register on Eventbrite  eventbrite-142   Thursday, April 21, 2016

About the webinar

More and more companies are looking to use videos as a training and support solution. Mary will share her lessons learned through a case study of developing over 70 demo-style training videos for two software systems using Camtasia Studio. Mary will give advice for scripting videos, strategies for conducting reviews, guidelines for setting up a recording area, and tips and tricks for producing video.

Intended Audience

All Audiences. The content will be introductory (e.g., > “101 level”)

About the Speaker: Mary Whalen (Sojoodi)

Mary Whalen (Sojoodi) For over 20 years, Mary has been helping companies use training and documentation solutions to improve employee performance, increase customer satisfaction, and ensure regulatory compliance. Mary has designed and developed live and online training programs, technical and user manuals, and online help for a wide range of companies in various industries, from start-ups to Fortune 500 clients. Mary has taught through the Society for Technical Communication Institute at Northern Illinois University, and her work has received awards from the Society for Technical Communication. Mary Whalen Award Winning Instructional Designer & Technical Writer Improving employee performance and customer satisfaction through documentation and training solutions. eLearning | Online Training | Classroom Training | Train-the-Trainer | User Guides | Reference Guides | Policies & Procedures | Online Help Register on Eventbrite  eventbrite-142  

The race is on! Help our SIG get rewarded from new memberships and renewals

Do you know someone who might be interested in joining STC? There's no better time to join STC and our SIG, or renew STC membership!   The STC new/renewed member recruitment race is now on, and goes through and  May 6, 2016. Communities receive credit when someone joins or renews online and notes the community that referred them. Here's how it works: When recruiting a member, have them include the name of your chapter or SIG on the online application -- in our case, the IDL SIG. The referral field is found under the Membership tab. Your community must be listed on the application to receive credit.
  • One point is awarded for each member in any of these four categories: Classic, New TC Professional, Student, or Gold Value Package.
  • Corporate Value Package (CVP) members are worth one point for each team member. For example, if five new members join or renew from one company as a CVP, your community receives five points.
The winning community will receive:
  • One upgrade from 2016 Classic to Gold Value Package membership
  • 50% off one 2016 online course
  • A copy of WordPress in Depth (1st Edition) by Michael McCallister
  • One free 2016 print subscription to Intercom magazine
  • One free 2016 print subscription to Technical Communication journal
  • Two complete Salary Database kits (including the Excel workbooks)
  • Two $50 Amazon gift cards
  • One “Community Spotlight” post on STC’s Notebook blog
To receive referral credit, be sure to remind new and renewing members to list the IDL SIG in the referral field. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Cheryl Miller, STC Membership Services manager, or call the STC Office at +1 (571) 366-1914.