Tech Briefing

This assignment requires you to brief the class using a lean deliverable that informs us of a specific communication technology that most of us will either likely encounter or find useful in the workplace.

So what’s a deliverable? Anderson defines it as “the finished communication you will deliver to your client at the end of [a] project” (528). I’m evoking it here because the medium of your finished product could vary. You could distribute a pdf, video, podcast, slidecast, screencast, or something else entirely. Projects are due by the end of Week 6.

While formats for deliverables will vary, each must:

Summarize the technology. Describe its primary and secondary affordances, the developer’s name and contact, how to access the technology, key specs, and potential costs to us as consumers.

Use the textbook to help explain how the technology’s affordances assist with professional communication. How does this app/site/hardware/peripheral assist with reading and/or writing processes in the workplace? At what point in the reading/writing process would we make use of it? To what degree is it collaborative? Does it help us with the quality of our reading/writing? Does it make us faster or more efficient? Does it help us reach a wider audience? Does it help filter? Explicitly connect these affordances to aspects of professional communication we’ve read or discussed. In other words, apply and cite the textbook.

Apply principles of document design. Reference Part VI of Anderson (Chapters 13 and 14), Drafting Visual Elements, to guide your decision making when it comes to laying out your deliverable. The text and the visual elements should be nicely balanced, with neither one dominating the deliverable.

Help the audience. We’ll be doing some audience analysis this week that will help with this, but your classmates will weigh in on your grade. Make sure your specific technology is seen as useful to them.

Truly exceptional deliverables will also:

Incorporate credible testimonials. Ideally these would be interviews with professionals who have used the technology in the workplace and can both assess its use and help explain its affordances. You could also draw from patterns you see in online or professional reviews, but be critical of their credibility.

Show evidence of using the Writing Center. If you aren’t comfortable with design features of programs, or you want to discuss your layout options, or if just want someone to look over over a polished draft, you should meet with a consultant.

Error free. The final deliverable will be nearly 100% free from spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.