MaconCatalog : The School of Engineering : Technical Communication : TCO Courses
TCO Courses
TCO 141. Introduction to Professional Communication (3-0-3)
In a seminar format, small groups explore the history of technology, and the impact of technology in the context of society. Critical reading and thinking skills are developed through extensive readings and discussions of relevant engineering, social science, and humanities topics. Students gain fluency in preparing and presenting the results of these discussions in both written and oral format. (Every semester)
TCO 220. Information Design (3-0-3)
(Previously TCO 285)
An introduction to the design of effective print documents, including posters and presentations, for varying audiences and purposes. Includes basic design principles, integration of visuals, analysis of multiple documents, production issues, and introduction to software applications and online resources for print and presentation design. Emphasis is placed on the design process, together with acquiring useful analytical skills that apply to any document. Requires additional lab time outside of class. (Every year)
TCO 230. Web Design (3-0-3)
(Previously TCO 285)
An introduction to the design of effective web-based documents, including websites and portfolios, for varying audiences and purposes. Includes basic design principles, integrations of visuals, analysis of online content, design and production issues, and introduction to software applications and online resources for communicating in an online setting. Requires additional lab time outside of class. (Every year)
TCO 250. Communication in Management (3-0-3)
Study of the role of communication in management of publications, projects, and people. Includes information specification, planning, and production. Emphasis on understanding organizational structures, building and managing teams, and developing interpersonal and group communication strategies. (Every year)
TCO 325. Multimedia (3-0-3)
Prerequisite: TCO 220 or 230.
An introduction to the technical aspects of computer-based multimedia. Technical and hardware issues as well as theory and design concepts will be covered. Students will analyze the audience and purpose for multimedia, consider advantages and disadvantages of different technologies, and design, build and test multimedia products. Recommended for TCO majors and minors. Includes laboratory exercises and design projects. (Every year)
TCO 341. Technical Communication (3-0-3)
Prerequisites: TCO141 or equivalent; completed minimum of 45 credit hours.
Introduction to forms and processes of technical communication, including letters and memos, resumes, reports, instructions, and proposals. Includes oral presentations, peer reviews, and collaborative efforts. Emphasis is on determining audience and purpose, especially within organizational contexts, and on designing effective documents. Introduction to research and data gathering. (Every semester)
TCO 361. Usability (3-0-3)
Prerequisites: TCO 341.
Theory and practice of designing usable information for different audiences and purposes (document usability, interface design, web usability, etc.). Students participate in a major course project introducing planning and project management, user and task analysis, document and interface design, usability testing. Includes laboratory exercises and design projects. (Every year)
TCO 363. Instructional Design (3-0-3)
Prerequisites: TCO 220 or 230, TCO 341.
Theory and practice of designing information products for teaching or training; includes concepts of adult learning theory, delivery in various models (face to face, online, on CD, etc.), and evaluation of learning. Students participate in a major course project including planning and project management, instructional design, and training. (Every year)
TCO 376. Visual Communication (3-0-3)
Prerequisite: TCO 220 or 230.
Introduction to theoretical and applied principles of visual communication. The course explores theories of visual communication which help us understand the structure and organization of the visual world, and explores practical applications of these principles in planning and designing visual systems for new, emerging media. Includes laboratory exercises and design projects. (Every two years)
TCO 421. Technical Editing (3-0-3)
Prerequisite: TCO 341.
A workshop course covering the essential tasks performed by technical editors, including editing for grammar, style, form, and content; organizational principles for reader-centered texts; integrated use of art, figures, and numbers in layout; indexing; and managing people and processes in all phases of document preparation. Attention is given to the editor’s role in dealing with authors, audiences and purpose, and the complex analytical skills required for technical editors. (Every year)
TCO 451. International Technical Communication (3-0-3)
Prerequisites: TCO 341.
An introduction to the theory and practice of multicultural communication. Students will examine how cultural variables (beliefs, attitudes, and values) shape the communication process. Emphasis on understanding the theory, research, and practices that technical communicators need to consider when internationalizing and localizing communications products. (Every two years)
TCO 476. Communication in High-Tech Environments (3-0-3)
Prerequisite: TCO 341.
This senior capstone course focuses on a topic of significance in the future of technical communication. Through research and presentations, students generate a body of knowledge and identify critical issues related to the future of technical communication. (Every two years)
TCO 480. Introduction to Internship (0-1-0)
Prerequisites: TCO 341 and at least two additional required TCO Courses.
Course provides guidance for the required Internship. To successfully complete the course, students will find an appropriate full-time internship. Seminars will be conducted to assist students in creating portfolios, defining projects, creating an action plan, and interviewing with potential clients or employers. Seminar attendance is required to obtain a satisfactory course grade. Graded S/U. (Every year)
TCO 485. Social Media Management (3-0-3)
Utilize, integrate, and manage a variety of social media applications to create and maintain a consistent organizational profile. Explore best practices in social media usage, trends in social media management applications, and strategies for maintaining a constant and compelling online social presence. Develop proficiency in writing for social media platforms, including blogs, microblogs, and other short and long form social communication channels. (Every two years)
TCO 490. Technical Communication Internship (2-0-2)
Prerequisite: permission of TCO Department Chair.
This full-time, semester-long internship is required for TCO majors. Provides the student with practical experience in a technical communication setting, under the supervision of a faculty member. A journal and written report will be submitted, along with documents produced in the internship, if applicable. Interns will deliver a seminar for faculty and students on their internship experience. An IP grade may be awarded if the final written report and/or the seminar are completed during a term subsequent to the internship experience. (Every year)
TCO 494. Portfolio (1-0-1)
Prerequisite: senior standing; permission of TCO Department Chair.
A culminating experience to evaluate the student’s competencies in the theory and practice of technical communication. Students will prepare an e-portfolio of representative artifacts produced as TCO majors and present their portfolio to TCO faculty and students. (Every year)
SPECIAL COURSES: TCO 491, 492, 493, 499 for variable credit. May be repeated for credit with approval of academic advisor and the Technical Communication Department Chair.
TCO 491-492-493. Special Topics (1-6 hours)
TCO 499. Independent Study