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USING NARRATIVE TO IMPROVE REFLECTION IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION

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Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
This thesis explores why instructors should use narrative intentionally and effectively with reflection to better understand adult students' perceptions of experiential learning activities in technical communication. The frequent use of narrative in technical discourse reminds us that the tone of technical texts is often appropriately informal, personable, and reflective. A closer analysis of narratives provides instructors with valuable opportunities to learn more about the motivations for and barriers to learning for adult students and to better understand how these students situate themselves in larger social and cultural narratives. Narrative serves many purposes in technical communication. Not only does narrative add a human element to technical discourse, but it also invites interrogation and inquiry into the technical communicator's decision-making process. For these reasons, narrative is commonly paired with reflection exercises in experiential learning programs as a way for students to make sense of their learning experiences. If instructors can capture the essence of how adult students make sense of their learning experiences, they can determine if experiential learning is an effective pedagogical approach to teaching technical communication to adult students. Using examples of ongoing, initial and summative, and alternative reflection exercises, I illustrate how narrative can be used to facilitate the learning process in adult students and gain access to these students' perceptions of experiential learning activities in technical communication.
Title: USING NARRATIVE TO IMPROVE REFLECTION IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION.
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Name(s): Brkich, Carrie, Author
Flammia, Madelyn, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis explores why instructors should use narrative intentionally and effectively with reflection to better understand adult students' perceptions of experiential learning activities in technical communication. The frequent use of narrative in technical discourse reminds us that the tone of technical texts is often appropriately informal, personable, and reflective. A closer analysis of narratives provides instructors with valuable opportunities to learn more about the motivations for and barriers to learning for adult students and to better understand how these students situate themselves in larger social and cultural narratives. Narrative serves many purposes in technical communication. Not only does narrative add a human element to technical discourse, but it also invites interrogation and inquiry into the technical communicator's decision-making process. For these reasons, narrative is commonly paired with reflection exercises in experiential learning programs as a way for students to make sense of their learning experiences. If instructors can capture the essence of how adult students make sense of their learning experiences, they can determine if experiential learning is an effective pedagogical approach to teaching technical communication to adult students. Using examples of ongoing, initial and summative, and alternative reflection exercises, I illustrate how narrative can be used to facilitate the learning process in adult students and gain access to these students' perceptions of experiential learning activities in technical communication.
Identifier: CFE0003695 (IID), ucf:48827 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-05-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, Department of English
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): technical communication
narrative
reflection
experiential learning
pedagogy
adult students
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0003695
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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