• Understand differences between academic and other types of research
  • Recognise the systematic nature of academic research (e.g. validity, reliability, triangulation)
  • Identify important concepts in research (e.g. usability and user experience, adoption and appropriation of technologies, document/video design, intercultural communication, the changing job of technical communicators)
  • Recognise the importance of research in technical communication (e.g. information design theories such as minimalism; information processing theories)
  • Outline research topics in technical communication (e.g. survey, focus group, interview, ethnographic study, usability study, content analysis, experimental study)
  • Classify theoretical concepts in technical communication
  • Understand the range of methods and instruments
  • Understand the purposes of different research approaches
  • Understand the limitations of each approach
  • Understand populations and research sampling

SEE ALSO EVALUATION AND USER EXPERIENCE

  • Distinguish among different research methods
  • Design and distribute a survey
  • Set up and run a focus group
  • Write interview questions, organise and conduct research interviews
  • Set up and run user tests
  • Design and implement a content analysis
  • Set up and run an experimental study
  • Use heuristics
  • Set up and run a cognitive walk through test
  • Do an ethnographic study

SEE ALSO EVALUATION AND USER EXPERIENCE

  • Choose approaches to academic research in technical communication (e.g. theoretical, empirical, qualitative/quantitative)
  • Identify research goals, questions and hypotheses
  • Review the literature
  • Select an appropriate research method
  • Consider ethical topics in research (e.g. confidentiality, data protection)
  • Conduct a study
  • Gather and store data
  • Analyse study results, using the appropriate techniques (e.g. statistical tests to analyse quantitative data, coding qualitative data)
  • Interpret data -- particularly selecting different and effective theoretical models to guide the analysis and interpretation processes

SEE ALSO INFORMATION MINING

  • Report a study
  • Select the best channels for diffusing the research

SEE ALSO COMMUNICATION THEORY AND MODELS