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ENTC 3030 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

ENTC 3030 - Technical Communication

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is a comprehensive study of technical and professional communication in written and oral form. It covers rhetorical principles and their application in various types of business correspondence, reports, and technical/scientific documents. For success in academic settings and the private sector alike, the ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and convincingly is extremely important. Today, communication skills consist not only of the ability to write effectively, but also to convey information orally and electronically. This course provides an opportunity to practice communication skills in all three formats. 

Course Outcomes:

When the student completes this course they should be able to:

  • Learn how to be creative within the corporate environment, including consideration of ethical, personal and cultural factors.
  • Create various forms of writing – description, illustrated description, resumes and business letters.
  • Do oral presentations to a peer group.
  • Be comfortable with software for writing (Word), creating charts, graphs and other visual expressions of technical information (Excel) and software for presentations (PowerPoint).
  • Gather information and write concise, precise and grammatically correct technical documents.
  • Write in clear, efficient and precise technical style.
  • Understand and be able to adequately create the components of a technical document, including simple page and information design, content presentation and index and glossary inclusion.
  • Apply a clear graphic design to present technical information.
  • Revise and edit technical documents.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

ENGL 1010 and 1020. These prerequisites ensure that the student has the proper writing experience to be successful in this class.

Course Topics:

Communication attributes: content, structure, format, language, illustrations
Writing as a process
Library resources and research strategies
Technical Proposals
Strategies for designing persuasive, informative, or motivational documents
Standards for technical reports 
Revising and editing technical documents
Grammar review
Technical presentations
Illustrations, graphs, and tables
Collaborative writing 

Specific Course Requirements:

You will need Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Word will be your primary tool. Excel is used for creating tables and graphs. PowerPoint is for presentations. We will be adding audio to PowerPoint files to do presentations. The audio feature is found in PowerPoint under the tab slide show and is listed as narrative. You will need a computer microphone to record your voice for this class. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:
Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

At the end of each module there will be a quiz that is required. These quizzes are there to solidify the reading from the text. Please go to the Assessment tab and take the quiz there. You can take each quiz an unlimited number of times. All quizzes for the entire semester are available from day one of the class.

Written assignments are to be submitted to the digital drop box with your name, date and assignment number on the document. I will then grade each of the assignments and post the grades in the grade book under the appropriate heading. 

Grading Procedures:

Grades are based on a 1000 points scale. This translates to a simple correspondence once all assignments are complete. For example: 945 points= 94. 5 %. You can keep track by adding up your points (also watch the D2L grade book). The breakdown for each individual assignment is listed on the assignment sheets within each module. Below are the general point breakdowns for each component of this course: 

500 points (50%) - Written assignments (1 research paper (200 points) 15 other written assignments at varying points)

300 points (30%) - Oral and PowerPoint presentations (2 PowerPoint presentations in module 3 at 150 points each)

50 points (5% )- Participation via forum postings (10 required posts at 5 points each) 150 points (15%) - End of module quizzes (10 quizzes at 15 points each)

Written Assignments 50% or 500 points

  • Module 1 Written Assignments - 30 points
  • Module 2 Written Assignments - 40 points
  • Module 4 Written Assignments - 20 points
  • Module 5 Written Assignments - 50 points
  • Module 6 Written Assignments - 40 points
  • Module 7 Written Assignment - 200 points
  • Module 8 Written Assignments - 50 points
  • Module 9 Written Assignments -30 points
  • Module 10 Written Assignments - 20 points
  • Module 11 Written Assignments - 20 points

**Note: Module 12 is optional, with a possible bonus 20 points

Presentations - 30 % or 300 points

  • Module 3 PPT Presentations - 300 points

Participation 5% or 50 points

  • Module 1 Discussion Post - 5 points
  • Module 2 Discussion Post - 5 points
  • Module 3 Discussion Post - 5 points
  • Module 4 Discussion Post - 5 points
  • Module 5 Discussion Post - 5 points
  • Module 6 Discussion Post - 5 points
  • Module 8 Discussion Post - 5 points 
  • Module 9 Discussion Post - 5 points
  • Module 10 Discussion Post - 5 points
  • Module 11 Discussion Post - 5 points

Module Quizzes 15% or 150 points

  • Module 1 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 2 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 3 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 4 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 5 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 6 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 7 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 8 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 9 Quiz - 15 points
  • Module 10 Quiz - 15 points
Grading Scale:
Below 60F


Assignments and Projects:

All documents are to be turned in using the digital drop box noted for the assignment. Unless otherwise noted, written assignments are to be turned in Microsoft Word format. Remember that if it is a a written assignment, put your name on top of the page to let me know who is submitting the assignment.

Due dates for assignments are within each module and on the course calendar in Content.

Please note: All weekly work is due in the D2L dropbox by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. CST (see dates on course calendar).

I will take late work, but it will be assessed at a -10% penalty per day that it is late. 

Class Participation:

You must participate in weekly discussion boards and ongoing course discussions. Participation is factored into your grade. I expect you to read all discussion board postings and to have a 1 posting minimum per week. 

Late Policy:

Each module has due dates. There will be a penalty for assignments turned in late. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 28, 2017