Your first writing assignment will be to rewrite a set of instructions. The scenario for this assignment is described below.
You have just taken a position as a student worker for the Communications Arts Department at Anderson College. You began your job last week.
Anderson College has an enrollment of 10,000 students. Among this student population, 20% of the students are international students for whom English is not a native language, 10% of the students are dual-enrollment high school students, 20% of the students are graduate students, and the remaining 50% of the student population consists of a mixture of adult learners and traditional students.
Anderson adopted LEO as its learning management system two years ago. Anderson uses LEO for both its online classes and its hybrid classes.
Since moving to LEO, Dr. Richard Johnson, Dean of the Undergraduate School at Anderson, and Dr. Lynn Peterson, Dean of the Graduate School at Anderson, have noticed that both students taking classes at Anderson and instructors teaching at Anderson are often not aware of the different settings one can choose to view discussions in LEO. This lack of awareness has caused confusion and frustration as students and faculty members have attempted to navigate through the discussions in their classes.
Dr. Johnson and Dr. Peterson tried to address this problem two months ago. At that time, they asked the previous student worker to write instructions on how to change the settings for discussions in LEO for the optimal viewing arrangement.
The previous student worker wrote some instructions. However, the worker wrote them very unprofessionally and poorly. They cannot be distributed to students in their current form. Moreover, shortly after the student worker finished the instructions, he left his position for another job.
As a result, Anderson College now has a set of poorly designed instructions that it cannot send out to students and faculty members. Meanwhile, students and faculty members are still experiencing frustration with the system, and they need a document that guides them through how to adjust their settings in LEO for viewing discussions.
Dr. Johnson, who is your immediate supervisor, has now asked you, the new student worker, to rewrite the instructions that the previous student worker wrote. He has asked you to use the same graphics the previous student worker used. He has also suggested that you use arrows to point to sections of the graphics if such arrows can help in understanding specific steps in the instructions.
Keep in mind that potentially 10,000 students will be using the instructions, in addition to various faculty members. The instructions should be clear, professional, and well designed. Moreover, you will want to consider the different types of students at Anderson College, including their backgrounds and their varying demographics.
Dr. Johnson has given you the following resources to help you in this project:
Instructions: Tell Them How to Do It! by David Mcmurray
Instructions: How to Write Guides for Busy, Grouchy People
Wikibooks’ Professional and Technical Writing/Instructions
Strategies to Consider for this Assignment:
Consider your audience. Your primary audience is the students and faculty members at Anderson College. However, Dean Johnson will be reviewing your document as well. Most likely, department heads will be viewing it also. Therefore, the dean and the department heads can be considered secondary audiences.