Useful Stuff You Should Know

An informative podcast

About the Assignment

The technical writing podcast assignment had students work in groups to create an instructional, informative, and/or descriptive document in a format which is not traditionally associated with technical writing. The final assignment was developed out of several smaller assignments throughout the semester, scaffolding into the final project. Students applied technical writing techniques to create proposals for individual podcast episodes. These proposed episodes focus on an aspect of their academic or professional interests. Working from these proposals, students then presented an elevator pitch, aimed at a popular podcast series.

During their presentations, students noted similarities between their proposed topics and those of their classmates. From there, students formed small groups and developed a series of podcasts based on their proposals. Each student was responsible for an episode of the series. Producing podcasts has students using technical writing to make their interests accessible to a public audience. Students were given a maximum time limit of 5 minutes per episode, which had them thinking carefully about craft and brevity in digital communication. Each group produced a series website for their podcasts, explaining the purpose and ethos of the series and how it relates to each episode. They practiced usability testing and feedback-driven revision.