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Participatory Assessment: Negotiating Engagement in a Technical Communication Program

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This article narrates the experience of conducting an internal assessment of Purdue University’s well-established undergraduate program in professional and technical writing. This assessment is characterized by negotiation and dialog among various internal stakeholders, including students, administrators, faculty and instructors. Ultimately, the article offers a new model for program assessment—Participatory Assessment—which is built on recent research in participatory and user-centered design. The authors carefully distinguish Participatory Assessment from traditional expert review by reporting the processes and results of conducting such an assessment in a particular institutional and programmatic context. They conclude with a discussion of the relative merits of the Participatory Assessment model and its implications for practitioners and researchers in technical communication.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: 01 November 2007

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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