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The Department of Computing at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has announced new online Masters degree in Information Design & Development for 2016-17, together with a certificate and a postgraduate diploma. There aren’t any undergraduate or postgraduate university courses in the UK for technical communication, so online courses in other countries can be an alternative solution.
In comparison to the technical writing training courses companies such as Cherryleaf offers, a Masters course should offer a considerable amount of academic rigour. Our courses are focused on the functional skills of doing the work of a Technical Communicator, whereas a university course should make you think about the theories and assumptions that underpin technical writing theory and best practices.
The course outlines for the three courses that CIT offers look quite good. The certificate covers Information Strategy, Information Design & Development, Multimedia Production, and XML in Technical Communication. The postgraduate diploma adds Human Information Interaction, Document Project Management and Emerging Technological Trends, plus an elective module (Information Analytics, Scripting for System Admins, or a free choice of other modules). The elective modules aren’t directly relevant to technical communication (particularly the one on scripting), but sometimes there can be value in looking outside a field for ideas. For the MSc, you conduct a research project.
Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be much on e-learning, the Write the Docs movement, API documentation or localisation. I also wonder if there’s much investigation into the sturdiness of the long-standing theories of technical communication.
The four semester, 18 month, Masters course costs €6,300; the postgraduate diploma course costs €4,200; and the certificate course costs €2,100.
Just a quick update on some recent training-related news.
We’ve scheduled some new classroom courses:
- Cherryleaf’s policies and procedures writing course – 11th October
- Advanced technical writing & new trends in technical communication training – 20th October
We’re also continuing to add more courses to WriteLessons – our bundle of elearning courses for technical communicators looking to expand their core skills. We’ve added courses called “Writing and designing embedded Help” and “Markdown”.
WriteLessons is a subscription service – a bit like Netflix. You pay for it for as long as you need it. You can stop when you want, and the subscription will finish at the end of that month. You have access to all of the courses, which you can take at your own pace.
We’re currently working on a module on post-writing and verification, which focuses on editing and proof reading, which will be added to WriteLessons. You might also see a course on Cascading Style Sheets in the upcoming months.
We’ve scheduled another of our policies and procedures writing course. It will be held on 11th October, in central London (WC2). 25% of the available places have been snapped up already, so book early!
Cherryleaf’s policies and procedures course teaches your staff how to write clear and effective policies and procedures, in a straightforward and efficient way. It is popular with staff from charities and the NHS, although it will benefit many writers of policies and procedures.
WriteLessons, from Cherryleaf, provides you with access to a range of courses in technical communication. You have access to all of the courses contained within WriteLessons, which you can take at your own pace.
Currently in beta, we’ll be adding extra courses over time. At launch, it contains:
- DITA fundamentals
- Single sourcing and content reuse training course
- Introduction to content strategy
- Documenting REST APIs
- Managing technical documentation projects
You have access to all of the courses in the collection under a Netflix-style subscription plan.
Cherryleaf’s technical author basic/induction training course has been accredited by the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators since its launch. This accreditation has to be renewed every few years, which involves having the course is re-assessed by the ISTC’s accreditors. Earlier this year, we submitted the course for renewed accreditation, and we’ve recently received an email informing us the course has been approved again by the ISTC.
The next public Advanced technical writing & new trends in technical communication classroom course will be held on Thursday 23rd June, at our training centre in central London (WC2R). We’ll be updating the content from last month’s course, to reflect the recent and upcoming developments at Microsoft.
Last week, I spoke at, and attended, Madworld 2016, the conference hosted by MadCap Software for its users. It’s the most rewarding and enjoyable of all the conferences on technical communication that I attend. Here is a summary of what I saw and heard on the first day.