On Friday, April 7, the officers of the MSTC student group, TCA, partnered with the Industrial Systems Engineering student group, ISE GSA, to co-host a graduate student professional development opportunity.
Entitled So you think you can present?, this event featured Arthur Berger giving a presentation on how to give technical engineering presentations (very meta, he knows), followed by an interactive workshop wherein the ISE students got to work one-on-one with MSTC students to improve their forthcoming class projects, presentations, and defenses. We had an enthusiastic crowd of about 20 engineers and technical communicators gather together to learn more about aspects of oral communication and discuss best practices. Food and prizes rounded out the evening. See more pictures of the event on our Facebook or Instagram accounts!
About the Student Groups
The ISE GSA serves all the graduate students in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering by representing, providing an open forum for discussion, disseminating information of interest, and fostering unity amongst students through seminars, social gatherings, and other activities like this Speedtalk.
The Technical Communication Association (TCA) impacts the educational value that local NC State students receive by promoting better technical communication skills through a variety of social, academic, and professional opportunities. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, WordPress, and our TCA website!
We look forward to working more closely with ISE and other technical, scientific, and engineering student groups on campus!
Special thanks to the following people:
- First and foremost, to all our attendees, thanks for coming and sharing your research with us!
- To the ISE GSA, especially Lena Abu-El-Haija and Sidd Nambiar, for collaborating with our student group—tech commers and engineering SMEs make a great team!
- To TCA Officer Rachael Graham for coordinating the opportunity to work with ISE
- To TCA Officer Arthur Berger for his presentation on presentations
- To TCA Officers Nikita Apraj, Chris Sanchez, and Jiaxin Zhang for their help with the event
- To the NC State GSA for funding the event under a block grant, and especially to the Treasurer, Freddy, for his unflagging guidance
- To the NC State Student Involvement Center for allowing us to reserve their wonderful facilities and helping us set up the A/V equipment
- The the NC State English Department, for its continuous support of its students
Rachael Graham, 2nd year MSTC teaching assistant and TCA officer, led a workshop on the intersections of technical communication with mixed reality. Participants learned about the virtuality continuum (see figure below), and then practiced developing augmented reality instructions using an online application called Layar.
Figure 1: The Virtuality Continuum
Schedule of events
- Welcome and Sign-in (Arthur, Jiaxin, Nikita, Nupoor)
- Introduction of the Topic (Rachael)
- Workshop with Layar (Rachael)
- Open Discussion of Challenges and Opportunities of TC and AR (Rachael and all participants)
- Mixed Reality Petting Zoo (Rachael, Chris, Nupoor, Sree)
- Prizes and Closing Remarks (Arthur)
Thanks and appreciation
We would like to thank the following people for all their help with the event:
- Rachael Graham: for developing and delivery an informative and engaging workshop on a very cutting-edge technology
- Julia Gonzalez: for assisting with the event as our faculty advisor
- Sree Pattabiraman: for leading one of the mixed reality petting zoos, and for being a consistently supportive MSTC alumna
- The English Department and CHASS: for providing the space and support to conduct the event
- STC Carolina and TriUXPA: for promoting the event on their websites/distribution emails
- TCA Officers Arthur Berger, Chris Sanchez, Jiaxin Zhang, Laura Zdanski, Nikita Apraj, and Nupoor Jalindre: for volunteering their time to plan, organize, and execute the event
And last, but certainly not least, thank you to all the participants of SpeedTalk. We hope that you will continue to join us for future discussions about the technical communication profession.
Collage highlights of the night
Join TCA for a SpeedTalk, a night of informal learning and collaboration on a topic of interest to the technical communication / user experience field.
About the Mixed Reality SpeedTalk
This SpeedTalk will be on Mixed Reality. Learn how trends in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are intersecting with traditional skills and concerns of Technical Communication. Practice making AR instructions! Get free food and prizes!
Students, faculty, alumni, practitioners, interested community members…all are welcome! NC State students, led by 2nd year and TA Rachael Graham, will lead the introduction and workshop portion. Following will be a chance to network and play with a mixed reality “petting zoo.” You are more than welcome to bring a technology to share–it can be loosely related to mixed reality or TC.
Meet us at Caldwell Lounge on Friday, March 3rd at 7pm.
RSVP by filling out this form here. A calendar invite will be sent shortly afterwards to confirm your registration.
Let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to a great event!
What happens when you bring together technical communicators—faculty and professionals, bloggers, technology enthusiasts, humanists, usability expert and students—and get them talking? That was the question that SpeedCon sought to answer on a Saturday morning, Oct. 22 at the North Carolina State University campus.
The theme for this year’s unconference was the “Future of Global Technical Communication”. Several participants from different strands of the M.S. Technical Communication program presented their views on Technical Communication and relevant topics from the industry and outside. The event started with Dr. Huiling Ding’s keynote speech on her experience with global communication. She identified several initiatives that academia and NC State in particular are taking to advance intercultural communication. Her speech served as a perfect start to stir up interest about global technical communication among the attendees. To strengthen this global perspective further, Nupoor Jalindre, a student in the MSTC department, painted a picture about the professional and cultural state of affairs of technical communication in India.
What made this an unconference, in the real sense, was the agenda, built up from the impromptu pitches given by attendees at the beginning of the day. Presenters, across disciplines, pitched ideas that they wanted to present. The organizers and volunteers quickly put together a schedule, based upon classifying all the topics based on genre, and they came up with the schedule, which was instantly published on the official SpeedCon website. All talks were categorized into sessions and workshops which took place in parallel, so that attendees could decide which ones they wanted to attend to get the most out of the event.
Demonstrations: Some demos included a session by Baker Pratt from IBM on software documentation tools, Laura Zdanski on Foreign Language learning, and Alyssa Andersen on her usability testing experience with Cherwell Software. Lauren Di Monte of the NC State Libraries MakerSpace also brought a 3D printer to do live demonstrations throughout the morning.
Conversations: Attendees learned about agile development process through sessions conducted by Susan Carpenter and Beverly Heustess. Other important topics in technical communication were discussed in Ashley Hardin’s session on collaborative writing, Chris Sanchez on alt-text, and Localization challenges by Nikita Apraj. Christine and Tracy from Red Hat conducted an insightful session on Proposal Management. Other sessions on current trends included Moses Ifamose on visual communication and Rachael Graham on Augmented Reality in Technical Communication.
Workshops: Beverly Heustess led participants through creatively developing an agile sprint session. Arthur Berger’s session on creating multi-modal form of online posts leveraged the talents of the participants to source and collaboratively develop a multi-modal synopsis of the presentations at this link here.
The other attractions at the event were the door prizes for participants, speakers and scavenger-hunt prizes which were distributed through a raffle.
In short, a day full of activities, good food, networking, and learning is what this year’s SpeedCon was all about. At its essence, SpeedCon was a team effort. We are truly grateful to the TCA, our sponsors, the English Department, organizers, volunteers, and those who joined in spontaneously for making this event a success.
Looking forward to the next SpeedCon!
Event Coordinator, TCA
nsjalind [at] ncsu.edu