Documentation Project #1

Download  assignment (.pdf)

Due

  • Documentation Project #1, peer-review draft due: Feb. 29, 10:00 PM
  • Documentation Project #1 peer review due: March 5, 10:00 PM
  • Documentation Project #1, instructor-review draft due: March 11, 10:00 PM

Please submit your Documentation Project #1 as an attachment via Blackboard.

Introduction

For our first documentation projects, let us assume that you’ve been hired as a counselor with a STEAM 1) Most of you, I’m sure, are familiar with the acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). STEAM is STEM + Arts, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. summer program for high school students. Learning that you’ve taken a technical communication class, your boss asks you to create some informational sheets that both other camp counselors such as yourself and your students will be able to use as they work on various projects. The good news, your boss tells you, is that you don’t have to create everything from scratch. Rather, she suggests you repurpose the content from various tutorials found at Sparkfun.com. The tutorials, she notes, are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0), which means that you are allowed to adapt and share their content as you see fit as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • You attribute the source and indicate whether changes were made,
  • You use it for noncommercial purposes, and
  • You share anything you create under an equivalent license.

You know that the plan for the program is to start students off with the Sparkfun Inventors Kit for Arduino Uno before dividing them  up into one of three groups:

  • a music group that uses the Arduino-compatible Bare Conductive Touch Board to create MIDI interfaces, 2) For an example, see “Making New Instruments with Open Source Technology & Conductive Paint.” Be sure to check out the embedded video “Programming Expression.”
  • a physical computing group that uses the Arduino to create interfaces with Minecraft and Scratch, 3) For examples see “Controlling Real Objects Using Minecraft,” “Scratch + Arduino Drawing Robot,” and/or “Mobile Robotics with Scratch.” and
  • a sewable electronics group that works with the Arduino Lilypad4)For examples, see the Sew Electric DIY Tutorials page.

When you ask for additional information, your boss tells you that she wants you to create well-designed, technical descriptions, each no longer than three pages. You also learn that she hopes to use these technical descriptions as evidence of the educational content offered by the program as she seeks funding for future years. Ultimately, she wants you to create six different technical descriptions based on the Sparkfun.com tutorials, but suggests you start by creating one technical descriptions to run by the group. The technical descriptions she wants you to create are:

  • an introduction to voltage, current, resistance, and Ohm’s Law drawing from the Sparkfun tutorials “What Is Electricity?” and “Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm’s Law.” (Your focus should be on the concepts of voltage, current, and resistance with enough information about electricity to help understand voltage, current, and resistance, and you should touch on Ohm’s Law just enough to explain the importance of using resistors when making basic circuits to do such things as lighting up an LED.)
  • an introduction to resistors and their importance in creating circuits using the Arduino Uno and Lilypad drawing from the Sparkfun tutorial “Resistors.”
  • an introduction to circuits drawing from the Sparkfun tutorial “What Is a Circuit?
  • an introduction to digital logic drawing from the Sparkfun tutorial “Digital Logic.”
  • an introduction to LEDs drawing from the Sparkfun tutorial “Light-emitting Diodes (LED).”
  • an introduction to the differences between analog and digital electronics drawing from the Sparkfun tutorial “Analog vs. Digital.”

General Assignment

For this assignment, you will select one of the tutorial topics listed above and repurpose its information into a technical description that does the following:

  • meets the criteria of a good technical description as described in ch. 6 of Technical Communication Strategies for Today.
  • is 1-3 pages in length, depending upon need.
  • represents information through both text and graphics.
  • follows the principles of good visual and informational design as described in the “Designing Documents and Interfaces” (ch. 13) and “Creating and Using Graphics” (ch. 14) of Technical Communication Strategies for Today, and the “What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Information Design?” (ch. 16) of Solving Problems in Technical Communication,
  • adheres to the requirements of the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license, including paying attention to Creative Commons’s Best Practices for Attribution and Compatible Licenses, and
  • provides as list of references for any additional resources you might use.

Your technical description should be accompanied by a a 1-2 page memo in which you describe your design choices, making direct references not only to your technical description but the textbook chapters listed above.

Deliverables

  • One technical description of 1-3 pages, that condenses information from the written for a high school audience
  • One project memo of 1-2 pages in which you describe your design choices.

Peer-review Draft

Your peer-review draft should be a complete, revised, and edited draft of your technical description.

Please submit your peer-review draft via Blackboard using the File Exchange tool to within your assigned Documentation #1 Peer-review Group.

Instructor-review Draft

Based upon your peer-review, revise your project at least once.

Please submit your technical description and project memo as attachments via the Assignments tool in Blackboard.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Most of you, I’m sure, are familiar with the acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). STEAM is STEM + Arts, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
2. For an example, see “Making New Instruments with Open Source Technology & Conductive Paint.” Be sure to check out the embedded video “Programming Expression.”
3. For examples see “Controlling Real Objects Using Minecraft,” “Scratch + Arduino Drawing Robot,” and/or “Mobile Robotics with Scratch.”
4. For examples, see the Sew Electric DIY Tutorials page.