MSTCM Course Descriptions

The course descriptions below are meant to be a brief overview of course content. Consult the current Mercer Macon catalog for more information.

TCO 605. Usability (3 hours)

Designing and testing for usability of information products. Course includes study of human factors related to usability, user and task analysis, design of interfaces, and usability testing techniques. Class consists of lecture, seminars, and projects.

TCO 620. Managing Multimedia (3 hours)

A study of the theory and practice of the management of multimedia production, design, and implementation. Students conduct interviews with multimedia professionals, complete a comprehensive evaluation of three multimedia products, and create a persuasive report recommending a multimedia project at their organization. Class consists of weekly lectures and discussion, as well as offline participation in a discussion board.

TCO 630. Managing People and Projects (3 hours)

A study of the best current methods for establishing and managing technical communication organizations, including international and multicultural work teams. Topics include developing virtual teams, cross-disciplinary work teams, and international considerations. Class consists of lecture, seminars, and projects.

TCO 641. Advanced Technical Communication (3 hours)

A detailed examination of the major forms and processes of technical communication, including reports, instructions, proposals, and online communication. Includes collaboration and peer review. Emphasis on determining audience and purpose, especially in organizational contexts, and on effective document design. The course will consider the theoretical foundations of the major forms of technical communication, the evolution of contemporary practice, and future directions.

TCO 650. History and Theory of Technical Communication (3 hours)

A study of theory and practice underlying the field of technical communication, including such topics as rhetorical theory, history of the discipline, and roots of technical communication in various fields of study. Introduction to research methods in technical communication. Students conduct research and present seminar papers.

TCO 651. International Technical Communication (3 hours)

A study of how in a global business environment, technical communication products must meet significant demands of different cultures and languages. Explores how to balance business needs with culturally diverse users' needs. Investigates how cultural beliefs, attitudes, and values shape the communication process by examining the theory, research, and practices that technical communicators need to consider when internationalizing and localizing communication products.

TCO 665. Instructional Design (3 hours)

Designing information products for teaching, training, or instruction using a systematic method. Course includes foundations in cognition and learning theory. Topics include designing for delivery in person, on CD, computer-based training (CBT), Web-based training, etc. Class consists of lecture, seminars, and projects.

TCO 676. Visual Communication (3 hours)

An exploration of the wide array of elements of visual communication and principles of communication design. Examines the reasons why the design of one document is considered more successful than the design of another. Provides the theoretical, practical, and management background needed to ensure that an organization's communication products, regardless of medium, comply with best practices of visual design.

TCO 685. Project Research (3 hours)

Prerequisite: permission of the program director. A capstone project in which students conduct primary and secondary research on a leading-edge topic, and produce a report or other deliverable detailing their findings. Students demonstrate mastery of content, methods, and management skills acquired in the MSTCM program. When possible, the research project results in a publication or conference presentation.  (Not open to students who are minoring in technical communication management.) Class consists of research, team projects, and production of deliverables.

TCO 691. Special Topics (variable, 1-3 hours)

Topics of interest to technical communicators. May be repeated for up to 6 credits towards the master's degree.

TCO 699. Independent Research (variable, 1-3 hours)

Students who wish to complete independent studies or research must submit proposals and gain approval of the chair of the Technical Communication Department to count these credits towards the master's degree. May be repeated for up to 6 credits.