The Feburary, 2019 Faculty Office Hours focused on building faculty and community partnerships. We’ve gathered together some resources about this topic here that you can refer to. And if you have a good one to add, please let us know.
Community engaged partnerships for teaching
This idea comes in a lot of different forms in technical and professional communication (TPC), but mostly the experiential learning and engagement that we bring into our classrooms fall under the broad terms of service-learning or client-based projects or problem based projects.
Many institutions will have a community-engaged office that can help you find suitable community partners for your classes or you can leverage an internship or co-op office to help or rely on your own networks and those of your colleagues. Just like when we tell our students that they need to tell everyone they are looking for a job, TPC teachers need to tell everyone that they are looking for a specific type of project.
Following are three handouts that were created by Lisa Meloncon when she was at the University of Cincinnati to assist instructors and the program in these sorts of partnerships:
- overview for instructors (*.pdf: opens in new window)
- an overview and agreement document for the client/partner that outlines the projects for the course (*.pdf opens in new window)
- overview for students to interact with clients (*.pdf opens in new window)
Some literature to help your thinking in this area:
Kastman Breuch, Lee-Ann M. (2001). The Overruled Dust Mite: Preparing Technical Communication Students to Interact with Clients. Technical Communication Quarterly, 10(2), 193.
Kimme Hea, Amy C., & Wendler Shah, Rachael. (2016). Silent Partners: Developing a Critical Understanding of Community Partners in Technical Communication Service-Learning Pedagogies. Technical Communication Quarterly, 25(1), 48-66.
Leon, Kendall, & Sura, Thomas. (2013). “We Don’t Need Any More Brochures”: Rethinking Deliverables in Service-Learning Curricula. WPA: Writing Program Administration, 36(2), 59-74.
Maylath, Bruce, Vandepitte, Sonia, Minacori, Patricia, Isohella, Suvi, Mousten, Birthe, & Humbley, John (2013). Managing Complexity: A Technical Communication Translation Case Study in Multilateral International Collaboration. Technical Communication Quarterly, 22, 67-84.
Scott, J. B. (2008). The Practice of Usability: Teaching User Engagement Through Service-Learning. Technical Communication Quarterly, 17(4), 381.
Youngblood, Susan A., & Mackiewicz, Jo. (2013). Lessons in Service Learning: Developing the Service Learning Opportunities in Technical Communication (SLOT-C) Database. Technical Communication Quarterly, 22(3), 260-283. d
Building Research Partnerships
Following is a brief overview of some questions and suggestions for building research partnerships within the field, external to your field, and in the community.
The University of Minnesota has a good example of thinking through community-based research that may be useful in your own thinking.
And some scholarship to get you started:
Clark, Dave. (2004). Is Professional Writing Relevant? A Model for Action Research. Technical Communication Quarterly, 13(3), 307-323.
Goldberg-Freeman, Clara, Kass, N., Tracey, Patricia, Ross, Glen, Bates-Hopkins, Barbara, Purnell, Leon, . . . Farfel, Mark. (2007). “You’ve got to understand community”: Community perceptions on ‘breaking the disconnect” between researchers and communities. Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action, 1(3), 231-240.
Haynes, E. N., Beidler, C., Wittberg, R., Meloncon, L., Parin, M., Kopras, E. J., . . . Dietrich, K. N. (2011). Developing a Bidirectional Academic-Community Partnership with an Appalachian-American Community for Environmental Health Research and Risk Communication. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(10), 1364-1372.
Kuehl, Rebecca A., Drury, Sara A. Mehltretter, & Anderson, Jenn. (2015). Civic Engagement and Public Health Issues: Community Support for Breastfeeding Through Rhetoric and Health Communication Collaborations. Communication Quarterly, 63(5), 510-515.
Peterson, Jeffrey Chaichana, & Gubrium, Aline. (2011). Old wine in new bottles? The positioning of participation in 17 NIH-funded CBPR projects. Health Communication, 26, 724-734.
Rose, Emma J., Racadio, Robert, Wong, Kalen, Nguyen, Shally, Kim, Jee, & Zahler, Abbie. (2017). Community-Based User Experience: Evaluating the Usability of Health Insurance Information with Immigrant Patients. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 60(2), 214-231.
Tallbear, Kim. (2014). Standing with and speaking as faith: A feminist-indigenous approach to inquiry. Journal of Researcn Practice, 10(2), Article N17.
Wilson, Elena, Kenny, Amanda, & Dickson-Swift, Virginia. (2018). Ethical challenges in community-based participatory research: A scoping review. Qualitative Health Research, 28(2), 189-199.
And if you find yourself needing to write up something with someone, here is an overview on collaborative writing.