English 362: Foundations of Technical Writing
Hybrid Course Lessons

Module 8: Scheduling, Business Reporting, and Websites

Module Contents:
    Textbook Readings
    Supplementary Readings
    Discussion
    Assignments
    Peer Review
    Checklist
    Back to Syllabus
    Back to Course Index Page

In this module, we cover the following topics:

  • Scheduling.
  • Formal and informal reports.
  • HTML basics.
  • Website design.
  • What makes a great website?

I've made some video tutorials to help people through the HTML and CSS tutorials and the website project, and posted them to YouTube.
You can find the others in this tutorial, which includes three HTML and CSS video tutorials. Here's the introduction:

Textbook Readings

Finish the textbook readings before the discussion begins on Monday.

Supplementary Readings

Get started with this tutorial, which includes three HTML and CSS video tutorials, right away. If you feel nervous or are having trouble, these walk you through the process of the HTML and CSS tutorials so you'll feel confident building a basic website! Link is here:

How to Create a Free KU Website.

Before you get started, it's a good idea to download a secure FTP program and consider using something like Notepad++ to help make the tutorial easier to follow, and for later building your website. Here's a quick summary of useful website-building links:

This Week's Discussion

Topics to include in this week's Blackboard discussion:

  • Scheduling.
  • Formal and informal reports.
  • HTML basics and suggestions for working on the tutorial.
  • Website design.
  • What makes a great website?

Discussion leaders: Start the conversations by Wednesday morning this week due to Fall Break. Everyone else: Get involved right away, but feel free to continue dropping in to read and respond to new posts throughout the week. Everyone is required to lead at least one discussion, and everyone is required to participate in these discussions by posting useful responses to the student leaders' prompts, or at least in response to other comments in the discussion forum. Your participation level - even when not leading discussions - strongly affects your semester grade, so get fully engaged every week!

Assignments

Graphics exercise due to your peer-reviewer this Thursday by noon - earlier is better! Revised version due to Blackboard by Sunday at 5:00pm.

Begin HTML tutorial. We'll use this tutorial:
http://www.htmldog.com/guides/htmlbeginner


Upcoming bonus opportunity, due week 11: Website (team or individual project). Build a team in class (or, if you have to miss, post to the Discussion Forum called "Website teams") for working on the Website assignment; this can be a team or individual project, whichever you prefer, though I expect more from a team, of course. Not required, but a great opportunity to earn up to +25 bonus points while applying all you've learned in the HTML and CSS tutorials.


After completing each assignment, make sure to back it up (I recommend using a low-cost USB flash device like this or a Web service like Dropbox) before you turn it in or send it to your peer-review partner. Even if you are late creating a project, you can often avoid getting zero points for that assignment by completing it and turning it in to Blackboard late. Be aware that turning in late projects could harm your peer-review partner's score, as well, so be thoughtful.

Upload to Blackboard only after you address your peer-review partner's suggestions.

Peer Review

EDIT: Another Bonus Opportunity: Just about everyone turned in the New Tech Report team project on time, but I noticed that no one turned in a peer review for this project. So a present: I'm giving everyone more time so you have a chance to raise the quality of your project and earn some bonus points by performing a peer-review!

Not only does performing a peer-review earn you bonus points, it also improves everyone's papers. We all need help improving our work. Why not do it?

In order to earn bonus points for this, here's what I need you to turn in, under the appropriate Blackboard assignment ("New Tech Report Peer Review"):

  • Your partner-team's paper, showing your markups, which you gave back to them after reviewing their document. This is probably a .doc file, with Track Changes turned on to show your markups and comments.
  • Your critique document, which you also gave to your partner. This is also best as a simple .doc file.

Each person must turn in these documents to your own Blackboard in order to earn bonus points. You can perform the peer-critique as a team or alone, but only those who turn in the critique documents get bonus points.

Six easy steps to success:

  1. Find a partner-team and exchange your projects with one another.
  2. Write your peer-review and return it to the other team.
  3. Also turn in your critique documents to me via Blackboard.
  4. Based on how much effort you put into your review, each team member who turns in a peer-review can earn up to +10 bonus points.
  5. If you got a peer-review, as well, revise your document based on this new feedback.
  6. Turn in your revised document to Blackboard, under the normal New Tech Report assignment slot (I've set it to allow multiple upload attempts).

Because I really want to encourage you to perform a peer-review of this, I'm giving you more time:

New due date for the finished project: 5:00pm Sunday, October 18. (I'll only score the most-recently uploaded files as of this coming Sunday evening.)


Bonus opportunity: Exchange the Graphics exercise with a partner and turn in a peer review to earn up to +3 bonus points!

When you have completed your responses to the project you are reviewing, turn in the peer-review that you wrote for your partner's project in the appropriate Blackboard assignment slot ("Graphics Exercise Peer Review").

  • Use the peer-review guide document (in .doc format) when critiquing your partners' work.
  • If possible, use Revision Tracking to mark-up the document (for example, when making inline edits) and to provide comments on larger issues.
  • When you're done marking it up, send your peer review of your partner's project back to the original author by Friday at 5:00pm - obviously, earlier is better! Also send the filled-in peer-review guide document to your partner. That gives you plenty of time to review, revise, and comment on your partner's document. Early is better than waiting until the last minute.
  • Submit the peer-review that you performed on your partner's project and the filled-in peer-review guide document to Blackboard under the appropriate peer-review assignment slot ("Graphics Exercise Peer Review") by Friday at 5:00pm. Note that Blackboard can accept multiple files attached to any Assignment.

Checklist

  • Participate in this week's Blackboard forum discussion starting on Wednesday this week.
  • Read the textbook and supplementary readings before class on Wednesday.
  • Begin the HTML tutorial by Wednesday.
  • Exchange the Graphics exercise with your partner for peer-review for bonus points!
  • Turn in your peer-review of your partner's Graphics Exercise and the peer-review guide document to the appropriate peer-review assignment slot on Blackboard at the same time you return it to your partner by Friday at 5:00pm - earlier is better.
  • Turn in the Graphics exercise on Blackboard by Sunday at 5:00pm.
  • Turn in your Reading Response on this Module's required readings before class on Wednesday.
  • Earn a bonus point by uploading a second Reading Response to reflect your thoughts on more readings and reflections on the week's discussions. Due by Sunday at 5:00pm.
  • EDIT: Exchange the New Tech Report team project with another team and perform a peer-review, and earn more bonus points! New due date for both peer-review and your (revised) New Tech Report: Sunday at 5:00pm.

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Last updated 10/12/2015.