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Technical Communication Practitioner-Student Interaction: An Opportunity for Students to Learn from the Practitioners' World of Work

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Abstract:

Purpose: This article informs practitioners of the types of interactions that their peers prefer to have with technical communication students and of ways that those interactions can be arranged to the benefit of all parties.

Method: I conducted a survey of STC members regarding interactions between practitioners and students. A total of 480 practitioners responded. I analyzed and presented the responses.

Results: Practitioners are interested in and experienced at interacting with students in both company-sponsored activities, such as internships, and personally initiated activities, such as mentoring and part-time teaching. Practitioners acknowledge that students and employers benefit from these and other kinds of activities.

Conclusion: Practitioners can interact with students in ways that help the students and that honor the interests and time constraints of the practitioners. Practitioners and academics can initiate activities that bring practitioners and technical communication students together.

Keywords: ACADEMIC PROGRAMS; INTERNSHIPS; MENTORING; PRACTITIONER-STUDENT INTERACTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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