TWC 453/553 Information and Technology in American History
Multimedia Writing and Technical Communication
Fall 2007


Babara J. D'Angelo
Lecturer, Multimedia Writing & Technical Communication
Sutton Hall, Room 301 P
(480) 727-1160
Yahoo IM: barb_dangelo

Office Hours:

Mondays 10:00 - Noon
Thursdays: 2:00 - 4:00
or by appointment

Course Description and Objectives

Information and the technologies that produce, manage, and disseminate it have been an integral part of American history.  This course explores the historical development of information and related technologies in the United States from colonial times to the present.  Students will research, explore, and analyze the adoption and use of various information and communications technologies in American history.  Topics may include the use of printing during colonial times leading up to and during the American Revolution, the relationship between the railroad and telegraph in westward expansion, the role of information technologies in the industrial age, the role of radio and film during WWII, the impact of information processing machines on business practices, etc.


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 as part of a larger context and 2) it will help identify and select coursework that meets specific outcomes. In this course, the outcomes that are specifically addressed include:

Rhetorical Knowledge

RK1: Respond to the need of the appropriate audience

RK2: Understand how each genre helps to shape writing and how readers respond to it

RK3: Understand the role of a variety of technologies/media in accessing, retrieving, managing, and communicating information

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


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

Knowledge of Conventions:

KC1: Learn standard tools for accessing and retrieving information

KC2: Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics

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

KC4: Understand and apply appropriate standards for use of technology including accessibility

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

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 (TWC553) will complete an additional assignment.



Meadow, Charles T. (2002) Making connections. Communication through the ages. Scarecrow Press.

Other readings as assigned.


Meadow, Charles T. (2002) Making connections. Communication through the ages. Scarecrow Press.


Chandler, Jr., Alfred D. & Cortada, James W. (2003) A nation transformed by information. Oxford Univ. Press

Other readings as assigned.

Course Evaluation

+/- grades are not used in this course


Confirmation email 5 pts
Discussion posts (15 @ 4 pts each) 60 pts
Research report 65 pts




117 - 130 pts A
104 - 116 pts B
91 - 103 pts C
78 - 90 pts D
0 - 77 pts E






Confirmation email 5 pts
Discussion posts (1 @ 4 pts, 14 @ 6 pts each) 88 pts
Research report 65 pts
Portfolio 20 pts





160 - 178 pts A
142 - 159 pts B
125 - 141 pts C
107 - 124 pts D
0 - 106 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: 14 August 2007