Information in the Digital Age
Multimedia Writing and Technical Communication
Spring 2008

Barbara J. D'Angelo
Multimedia Writing & Technical Communication
Sutton 301P
Phone: 480-727-1160
Yahoo IM ID: barb_dangelo

Office Hours:

Mondays 10:00 - Noon
Thursdays 2:00 - 4:00

or by appointment

Course Description, Outcomes, and Objectives

This course explores the creation, organization, dissemination, and use of information; the impact of technologies; and surrounding economic, legal, and social issues.


Outcomes articulate the skills, abilities, and knowledge that students learn in the MWTC Program. If you are a TWC major, you will present examples of your work from the courses you have taken in your capstone portfolio to demonstrate your learning based on these outcomes. As you are taking courses, an understanding of the outcomes will help you in two ways: 1) it will help you understand how the various courses tie together and integrate work and experiences and 2) it will you help to identify and select coursework for your portfolio that meets specific outcomes. In this course, the outcomes that are specifically addressed include:Rhetorical Knowledge:

R1: Understand the role of a variety of technologies/media in accessing, retrieving, and communicating information

R2: Use appropriate technologies to organize, present, and communicate information to address a range of audiences, purposes, and genres

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

CRW1: Use information, writing, and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating

CRW2: Understand that research and writing are a series of tasks, including accessing, retrieving, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate data and information from sources that vary in content, format, structure, and scope

CRW3: Understand the relationships among language, knowledge, and power including social, cultural, historical, and economic issues related to information, writing, and technology

CRW4: Recognize, understand, and analyze the context within which language, information, and knowledge are produced, managed, organized, and disseminated

CRW5: Integrate previously held beliefs, assumptions, and knowledge with new information and the ideas of others to accomplish a specific purpose within a context


P1: Develop research and writing strategies appropriate to the context and situation

P2: Develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading

P3: Understand research and writing as an open process that permits writers to use later invention and re-thinking to revise their work

P4: Understand the collaborative and social aspects of research and writing processes

Knowledge of Conventions:

KC1: Learn and apply appropriate standards, laws, policies, and accepted practices for the use of a variety of technologies

KC2: Learn standard tools for accessing and retrieving information

KC3: Understand and apply legal and ethical uses of information and technology including copyright and intellectual property

To meet these outcomes, on completion of this course, students will be able to:

Course Introduction

Information design is an evolving area of technical communication that focuses on content. Information design incorporates aspects of information architecture, usability, document or web design, and visual design. In the workplace, content management and single sourcing are just two areas that are related to and impacted by information design. During this course we will read and explore principles and frameworks for information design, the importance of audience, research methodologies common to information design work. During the course you will redesign an information product to apply principles and concepts associated with information design.

Course Requirements

This is an online course. If you have never taken an online course, you may want to take the Online Learning Readiness Quiz to see if it's right for you. Read the Course Guidelines and Policies and review all information posted in Blackboard to be sure you understand what will be expected of you.

All assignments are expected to be completed on time. Late assignments will not be accepted for any reason other than documented family or medical emergency.

See course evaluation section below for information on grading and Blackboard for information on assignments and due dates. Readings and assignments are also posted on the Schedule.

Graduate Students: Students registered for graduate credit (TWC551) will complete an additional assignment.

Texts and Required Readings

Albers, Michael J. and Mazur, Beth (2003) Content and complexity. Information Design in Technical Communication. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Additional readings and resources are posted in Blackboard.

Course Evaluation

+/- grades will not be used in this course

Details on readings and assignments are posted in the Schedule. This is a content-heavy course with a significant amount of reading. Each week there will be a short quiz based on the readings. You will also participate in class discussion via the Discussion Board.

Assignment Value  
Confirmation email 5 pts  
Discussion Board posts (13 @ 2 pts each) 26 pts  
Short assignments (weeks 2, 3, 12 @ 2 pts each) 6 pts
Information product (artifact) redesign 120 pts

Scale Grade  
141 - 157 pts A
126 - 140 pts B
110 - 125 pts C
94 - 109 pts D
0 - 93 pts E

Graduate Students (TWC551):

Assignment Value
Confirmation email 5 pts
Discussion Board posts (13 @ 2 pts each) 26 pts
Short assignments (weeks 2, 3, 12 @ 2 pts each) 6 pts
Information product (artifact) redesign 120 pts
Portfolio 30 pts

Scale Grade  
168 - 187 pts A
150 - 167 pts B
131 - 149 pts C
112 - 130 pts D
0 - 111 pts E

Academic Integrity

As a student in this course you are expected to complete your own work, do your own writing, and to properly cite work of others. Please refer to the Student Academic Integrity Policy regarding students rights, responsibilities and obligations.

Students with Special Needs

If you have a documented disability that may impact on your ability to carry out assigned course work, I encourage you to contact Disability Student Resources (DRS).  Their phone number is (480) 965-1362 (voice) or (480) 965-9000 (TTY).  They can also be accessed on the web at

Last modified: 10 January 2008