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At UWTC, several research and educational projects are aimed at better understanding and enhancing the process of reporting the latest developments in science and technology.
Furthermore, technical communicators are entering the field of technology journalism themselves, as evidenced by the creation this year of a new technology journalism internship at IEEE spectrum, the flagship magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the appointment of a UWTC master's graduate to the position.
The centerpiece of our effort at UWTC, however, is Northwest science & technology magazine (NWS&T), which serves both as the basis for an experiential learning curriculum in technical news writing and as a research platform for empirical studies in technical communication.
First, science and technology news writing was identified in a poll of UWTC students as an area of curriculum expansion that would be of interest.
Spurred by the Boyer report and other forces, the University of Washington moved to transform and invigorate its programs, establishing an internal funding mechanism called Tools for Transformation that supported the development of a technical news writing curriculum in UWTC as a part of a larger effort to encourage experiential learning in the University of Washington College of Engineering where UWTC is administratively located.
A technical news-writing curriculum linked to the production of a regional magazine thus provided a means to address key issues raised both by the ABET criteria and the Boyer report, while furthering UWTC goals in teaching and research, and providing a public service to the community.
The site was created in a collaboration between UWTC and the nonprofit academic publisher EServer.
Using Central Asia as a testbed, two UWTC researchers have been investigating what cultural factors are most operative in determining whether and how a population is likely to make use of ICTs.
The relationship of policy to the success of ICT initiatives has not been thoroughly addressed by the literature, and one goal of our UWTC research is to generate a more complex understanding of the chain of influence between policy and usage.
Another international focus within UWTC is the Technical Japanese Program (TJP).
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