Basic Certificate in Technical Writing

Course Name

Basic Certificate in Technical Writing

Contact Hours: 90

Course Description

The Basic Technical Writing Certificate consists of three courses that have been developed for those entering into the field for the first time or those in the downsized IT industry. The Certificate in Technical Writing program is Instructor-Led, meaning you learn from highly qualified industry and tech writing university faculty. Now in its 15th year, our program has been designed for those who lack sufficient experience in the field or those who want to enhance existing careers in technical writing or move in a new direction within the corporate workplace. (See Below Outlook for Technical Writers Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The certificate is specifically focused for the following:

  • Those who aspire to develop their technical language and communication skills.

  • Those who need to update their knowledge and skills.

  • Those who need preparation for teaching professional communication.

  • Those who must prepare and deliver training for their companies.

  • Those who aspire to advance in documentation and other technical communication positions.

  • Those who seek a verifiable Certificate Credential from an accredited university.  

 

Common Questions

Do the instructors provide feedback? Instructors provide feedback on assignments. Some assignments are posted on web pages, others are delivered through Blackboard, WebCT and other Learning Management Delivery Platforms.

What credits do you receive by completing this course? These are CEU credits (Continuing Education Credit). They do not transfer to a "for-credit" institution. However, you can expect to take these online courses under stringent guidelines to gain a high quality educational and learning experience. Earning a valid Technical Writing Certificate will help you advance your career and increase your salary in the workplace.

Is any software to be installed, or is contact only through email? There is no software to be installed. You do need to be able to send files in Word or Open Office format. Contact can be made through email.

Do I need to submit a transcript to enroll in the Certificate Program? No, you do not.

What happens once I register? Once you register e-mail notification will be sent to your instructor and also to you. Course of study begins shortly thereafter.

When you say self-paced, do you mean that there are no deadlines on assignments or that you can start assignments when you wish to? You must complete your work within the 5-6 weeks of the allotted time period unless other arrangements are made between you and your instructor. Your assignments can be handled on a rather open-ended deadline. The Technical writing faculty will often work with a student to accommodate their requests for extensions.

How much time should I devote to study, assignments and projects? Individual learning behaviors and workloads can vary. We think about 5 hours minimum per week should be devoted to the Certificate.

Must I sign up for all three courses at the same time? We suggest you do. You can take them one at a time. We do, however, discount the three workshops if you enroll in all three at one time.

Are there textbooks that I need to buy for any of the courses? No additional textbook purchase is required for this course of study.

Upon successful completion of this certificate, you will be able to:

  • Analyze audiences and purposes for various technical documents and write effective technical documents by incorporating editorial changes and user feedback

  • Correct instances of improper usage, eliminate trite and redundant phrases, so you can write clear and precise sentences

  • Apply sound formatting principles to the design and layout of documents and insert eye-catching graphics, charts, and tables that illustrate key points

  • Create information plans and content specifications and implement publications projects

  • Manage production processes and evaluate project successes and failures

 

90 Hours

 

This Certificate Course must be completed within the specified time period noted at the time of enrollment. Extension fees are applicable beyond the end date if additional time is needed; reach out to courseinfo@jeronline.com for additional information.  Upon successful completion of this course, you may apply for a paper-based certificate from one of our Accredited University Partners by writing to requestmycertificate@jeronline.com. Certificate fees apply.

Outlook for Technical Writers Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment of technical writers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations as the need to explain a growing number of electronic and scientific products increases. Job prospects are expected to be good for those with solid writing and communications skills and a technical background.

Employment change. Employment of technical writers is expected to grow 18 percent, or faster than the average for all occupations, from 2008 to 2018. Demand over this decade is expected to increase because of the continuing expansion of scientific and technical information and the growing presence of customer service and Web-based product support networks.

Legal, scientific, and technological developments and discoveries will generate demand for people who can interpret technical information for a general audience. Rapid growth and change in the high-technology and electronics industries will result in a greater need for people who can write users` guides, instruction manuals, and training materials in a variety of formats and communicate information clearly to others. This occupation requires workers who are both skilled writers and effective communicators and familiar with a specialized subject area.

Increasing acceptance of interactive media to provide nearly real-time information will create employment opportunities for technical writers because of the need to revise online information. Businesses and organizations are making more material available online often in formats that permit greater scrutiny and comparison of detailed information.

The growing amount and complexity of information available on the Web will spur demand for technical writers. Professional, scientific, and technical services firms will continue to grow and should be a good source of new jobs even as the occupation finds acceptance in a broader range of industries, including data processing, hosting, and related services and educational services.

Job prospects. Job prospects, especially for applicants with solid communication and technical skills, are expected to be good. The growing reliance on technologically sophisticated products in the home and the workplace and the increasing complexity of medical or scientific information needed for daily living will create many new job opportunities for technical writers. However, competition will exist for technical writing positions with more desirable companies and for workers who are new to the occupation.

In addition to job openings created by employment growth, some openings will arise as experienced workers retire, transfer to other occupations, or leave the labor force. Also, many freelancers may not earn enough money by freelancing to remain in the occupation, thus generating additional job openings.

Please note: Course of study may be completed earlier than indicated. Also, JER Online provides top-tier Technical Writing programs that adhere to academic guidelines. All assignments turned in by students are to be their own work with proper references cited. Any form of plagiarism noted will result in immediate course termination and failure.

Outcome

See individual course outlines below for more details

Assessment

See individual course outlines below for more details

Outline

Course Name

Introduction to Technical Writing for Industry

Contact Hours: 30

Course Description

If you want to become a technical writer, or if you have just become a technical writer and wonder what the job and the profession may involve, this course will introduce you to an exciting and rewarding career in technical communication. You’ll learn what tasks you will do, how your work fits into the organization’s process, and where the field is headed. 

Dig in and get right into planning, writing, editing, and testing – the key activities in a technical communicator’s day. Each lesson focuses on a specific area of technical communications and you will receive information, resources, questions and assignments geared towards the specific area.

You can email any questions, thoughts, or concerns you may have at any time. After your writing assignment has been completed and submitted, it will be reviewed and returned with comments. The course is designed to help you become a professional technical communicator so I invite you to ask any questions that occur to you along the way.

Please note: Course of study may be completed earlier than indicated. Also, JER Online provides top-tier Technical Writing programs that adhere to academic guidelines. All assignments turned in by students are to be their own work with proper references cited. Any form of plagiarism noted will result in immediate course termination and failure.

Outcome

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Identify tasks and job titles in the profession of technical communication.
  • Write and edit step by step instructions.
  • Organize a set of procedures.
  • Articulate the levels of edit.
  • Analyze and edit a document following the recommendations in a style guide.
  • Identify key components of an information plan, and content specification.
  • Analyze an audience.
  • Perform a task analysis.
  • Identify key activities in user-centered design.
  • Perform user testing on a procedure.
  • Identify the key emotional competences for outstanding performance.
  • Define key terms used in technical communication.

Assessment

Your progress will be assessed in several ways:

  • Through instructor evaluation of written work.
  • Through self quizzes.
  • Through instructor comments on your reports of activities that you undertake.
  • In-depth responses from the instructor on your weekly work.
  • A final exam.

Outline


Topic 1

  • What is technical communication?
  • Define the field and what it takes to become a professional
  • The ideas of documentation, documents, and design
  • Forces that have shaped our concept of technical communication
Topic 2
  • Visual display
  • Why is visual analysis necessary
  • Using tables and charts to communicate data
  • The Gestalt principles for design

Topic 3
  • Perform a task analysis
  • Testing your documentation for usability
Topic 4
  • Grammatical structure
  • Creating effective documentation
  • Using the correct formatting, styles, templates, and headings
  • Document design
Topic 5
  • Writing for your audience
  • Perform an audience analysis
  • What is user centered design

Topic 6
  • Editing and delivering a quality product
  • Understanding and using various levels of technical editing
  • Create a style guide
  • How can you become a top notch technical communicator

Course Name

Intermediate Technical Writing

Contact Hours: 30

Course Description

This technical-writing course introduces you to basic page design such as headings, lists, tables, notices, and highlighting.

You`ll learn and be expected to use standard design, format, and style for these page-design elements in the documents you write for this course. These are much the same standards as those used in the technical-publishing industry today.

After you study the page-design units, you will write a set of instructions in which you use these guidelines and of course the general standards for good writing as well.

You will e-mail these instructions to your instructor who will review, comment on, and send them back to you by e-mail attachment.

You`ll follow the same process for the recommendation report. The course is appropriate for people who have had some on-the-job experience as well as those who may have taken Introduction to Technical Writing for Industry. may be taken alone or as part of the sequence of courses leading to a certificate in technical writing.

Please note: Course of study may be completed earlier than indicated. Also, JER Online provides top-tier Technical Writing programs that adhere to academic guidelines. All assignments turned in by students are to be their own work with proper references cited. Any form of plagiarism noted will result in immediate course termination and failure.

Outcome

  • Quizzes on headings, lists, notices, tables, and highlighting. Instructor review and acceptance of the instructions and recommendation report.
  • Activities will include readings, exercises, and quizzes on headings, lists, notices, tables, graphics, highlighting; and then readings, exercises, quizzes, and examples focused on instructions.
  • Activities will also include writing and revising (as necessary) a set of instructions and a recommendation report that apply the standards for design, format, and style covered in the units on headings, lists, notices, tables, graphics, highlighting, and instructions.
  • Throughout the course students will receive in-depth feedback from the instructor on assignments and may discuss any issues related to technical writing with the instructor.

Assessment

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • State good design practices for headings, lists, notices, graphics, tables, and highlighting.
  • Recognize common problems involving headings, lists, notices, graphics, tables, and highlighting.
  • Use standard design, format, and style of headings, lists, notices, graphics, tables, and highlighting in their writing projects.
  • State the common design and structure of written instructions and for recommendation reports.
  • Use headings, lists, notices, graphics, tables, and highlighting effectively in written instructions.
  • Perform audience and task analyses in preparation to write instructions.
  • Create instructions that focus on reader tasks, that explain actions clearly and that use an effective design enabling readers to accomplish their tasks.

Outline


BEFORE THE CLASS BEGINS

Introductions and start-up. To begin the course, you will fill out an online schedule and questionnaire, specifying your own due dates for the units included in this course. Doing so will generate your own web-page schedule with links to all the assignments, readings, exercises, and related information.

You`ll receive an e-mail introduction from your instructor and will then send e-mail introducing yourself.

  1. Headings and lists. In more or less the first week of this course, you will study headings and lists, using the online textbook and other resources and then take quizzes on these two topics to ensure your understanding of them. Your instructor automatically receives your quiz results and is available by e-mail or chatroom to answer any questions you may have.
  2. Special notices and graphics. In more or less the second week of this course, you will study notices and graphics, using the online textbook and other resources and then take quizzes on these two topics to ensure your understanding of them. Your instructor automatically receives your quiz results and is available by e-mail or chatroom to answer any questions you may have.
  3. Tables and highlighting. In more or less the third week of this course, you will study tables and highlighting, using the online textbook and other resources and then take quizzes on these two topics to ensure your understanding of them. Your instructor automatically receives your quiz results and is available by e-mail or chatroom to answer any questions you may have.
  4. Writing project: instructions. In the next two to three weeks of this course, you will put what you`ve learned about headings, lists, notices, graphics, tables, and highlighting to work in a set of instructions. You`ll use readings, exercises, and examples from the online textbook as well as other resources. Your instructor will be available to discuss your ideas and plans for the instructions project. You`ll send your instructions by e-mail to your instructor who will review, comment on, and send them back to you by e-mail. You will then revise accordingly, e-mailing your instructor if you have any questions. If all goes well, your instructor will approve your revised instructions (if any revision is necessary).
  5. Writing project: recommendation report. In the final weeks of this course, you`ll write a recommendation report that gives you further practice with the concepts in this course. You`ll use readings, exercises, and examples from the online textbook as well as other resources. Your instructor will be available to discuss your ideas and plans for this report project. You`ll send your report by e-mail to your instructor who will review, comment on, and send it back to you by e-mail. You`ll then revise accordingly, e-mailing your instructor if you have any questions. If all goes well, your instructor will approve your revised recommendation report (if any revision is necessary), and you`ll have successfully completed the course.


Course Name

Advanced Technical Writing

Contact Hours: 30

Course Description

This course at the advanced level will give you the expertise and confidence to market yourself as a technical writer or simply to tackle more advanced assignments at work. Building on the skills you have acquired in the previous technical writing courses, this course emphasizes audience analysis, document organization and design, supplements, visuals, and research techniques. The course consists of one proposal that will incorporate all stage of technical writing: planning, writing, designing, and revising.

Please note: Course of study may be completed earlier than indicated. Also, JER Online provides top-tier Technical Writing programs that adhere to academic guidelines. All assignments turned in by students are to be their own work with proper references cited. Any form of plagiarism noted will result in immediate course termination and failure.

Outcome

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze readers and/or situations to prepare for writing a proposal
  • Define the purpose of a proposal
  • Gather, record, and interpret data
  • Use content, design, and style guidelines to produce a more readable, concise document
  • Write and edit technical documentation
  • Write a winning proposal Students will demonstrate their understanding of advanced technical writing by creating a proposal. The proposal will include research, supplemental materials, and graphics. The student will submit the proposal in stages for assessment and feedback. Students demonstrate mastery of advanced technical writing by achieving at least 80% on the final proposal. 

Assessment

Your assignments will be assessed as follows:

  • A (100 to 90)
  • B (89 to 80)
  • C (79 to 70)
  • D (69 to 60)
  • F (59 and below)

Outline

Advanced Technical Writing

Advanced Technical Writing will give you the expertise and confidence to market yourself as a technical writer or simply to tackle more advanced assignments at work. Building on the skills you have acquired in the previous technical writing courses, this course emphasizes audience analysis, document organization and design, supplements, visuals, and research techniques. The course consists of one proposal that will incorporate all stage of technical writing: planning, writing, designing, and revising.

Throughout the course students can communicate with the instructor on assignments and may discuss any issues related to technical writing.

Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze readers and/or situations to prepare for writing a proposal
  • Define the purpose of a proposal
  • Gather, record, and interpret data
  • Use content, design, and style guidelines to produce a more readable, concise document
  • Write and edit technical documentation
  • Write a winning proposal

Assessment:

  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of advanced technical writing by creating a proposal that meets the required standards set forth by the instructor.
  • The proposal will include research, supplemental materials, and graphics that meet the expectations and criteria.
  • The student will submit the proposal in stages for assessment and feedback.
  • Students demonstrate mastery of advanced technical writing by achieving at least 80% on the final proposal.