I am happy that you can join me in this
online edition of English 318 at New Mexico State. Through background reading, library research, and your own interviews and observations, this course's assignments
provide an opportunity for you to further develop the practices
you use (or will use) to interact with a variety of audiences for a variety
of purposes in your workplace.
The assignments in this course will give
you experience with a range of written genres. I have designed
a sequence of projects which build upon one another to help
you become more aware and in control of the communication in
which you already engage, as well as to provide you with additional
rhetorical strategies for creating more effective and persuasive
documents. In general, I like to avoid busywork for students
and I have constructed the assignments so they have the potential to have as much relevancy
to your real life as possible. Throughout the course I encourage
you to apply the readings and assignments to your workplace
context or future professional interstes and to select issues of study that relate to your professional
goals. Additionally, I am open to negotiation on several
of the major assignments if you can provide a solid justification
for modification prior to beginning a project.
Since we likely won't have the opportunity
to meet face-to-face during this course, I want to briefly
introduce myself (you are of course welcome to set up an
appointment to meet with me in person if you are in Las Cruces).
My name is Jennifer Sheppard and I have been at NMSU since Fall 2003. I completed my PhD in Rhetoric
and Technical Communication at Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (yes, it was cold and snowed a lot, especially for someone originally from California). My research focuses on web-based multimedia development and workplace communication.
I have been teaching writing, professional
communication, web design, multimedia development, and oral and visual communication
for the past 10 years (you can see my other course syllabi and my multimedia work at http://web.nmsu.edu/~jasheppa). This will be my sixth time teaching an online course, but the first time I am not working with an all nursing student population. I am looking forward to getting to know all of you and your particular professional interests.
Through this course, I think you will
find that I enjoy teaching, that I like to challenge students
to expand their range of capabilities, and that I think it
is necessary to provide students with the support they need
to accomplish the course goals. I am very comfortable using technology
in general and working in an online environment in particular. If you have questions about technologies or
assignments at any time, please don't hesitate to contact me.