In 2015, tekom Europe initiated TecCOMFrame as a higher education project with project partners from eight higher education institutes across Europe. The project is part of the Erasmus+ program in the area of Strategic Partnerships KA2: Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices and, as such, co-funded by the EU. By assigning the Erasmus+ project to tekom Europe, the EU underscores the importance of establishing more higher education programs in technical communication across Europe.

 

In most European countries, technical communication does not have a prescribed curriculum because it is a relatively new field of work. No programs of study are offered, and individuals enter the field without formal training. The occupational profile as well as the competencies and qualifications for technical communicators are unclear. At the same time, technical communication is taking on increasing importance due to globalization, digitalization, fast-growing technology and legal or other requirements. Consequently, even in countries where higher education study programs are offered, the number of graduates is below the demand of the labor market.

Technical communicators may be involved in several activities, including writing, information design, user experience, research, programming, web design, and myriad related tasks. Therefore, a comprehensive overview of the field of work was needed to possibly serve as a basis for developing future curricula.

THE TARGET GROUPS OF THE PROJECT:

  • European Higher Education Institutions (HEI)
  • Students
  • High-school graduates
  • Employers
  • Career changers
  • Placement agencies

KEY FACTS

A European collaboration project to improve higher education in the field of technical communication (TC)

From autumn of 2015 until August 2018

EU-funded as Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership

9 project partners

The main objectives of this project are to develop a common academic qualification and competence framework for technical communication as well as several prototype curricula and training modules of technical communication based on this framework. These prototype curricula may serve as templates from which higher education institutes can derive their own curricula and which can be tailored according to their needs and the local conditions. The framework is international in its scope and has the potential to become a European-wide standard, given its consistency with current European concepts and tools and with common methodological approaches such as Bloom’s taxonomy.

It focuses on:

  • The competencies to be taught in higher education programs in technical communication
  • The establishment of appropriate curricula for training in technical communication

MAJOR IMPACTS

Increasing number of:

  • Study programs in technical communication (TC)
  • Graduates in TC
  • Qualified professionals in TC

Facilitating:

  • Better understanding of the profession and its requirements
  • Job mobility through definition of standards
  • Student and staff exchange through availability of programs
  • Employability of students from related studies through
    specialization in TC
  • Employee recruitment due to clear assessment criteria

The academic qualification and competence framework needs to meet several requirements so that it can serve as a solid basis for developing curricula and be transformed into a profiling tool.

The project has delivered the TecCOMFrame as an academic competence framework for education and training in technical communication across Europe. It has also delivered four different prototype curricula reflecting EQF levels 5-7: Specializations, Bachelor and Master. Apart from regular communication and articles on the project, this website has been published. It is a European-wide platform for information about the profession of technical communication. Finally, a qualification and competence profiling tool following the example of the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) for the area of TC has been developed and published.

MAJOR OUTPUTS

1. Development of curricula at three levels

  • EQF level 5: Specialization courses for language/translation and engineering studies
  • EQF level 6: Bachelor program
  • EQF level 7: Master program

2. TecCOMFrame: A joint Academic Competence Framework for Technical Communication

3. This website as a European information platform

4. Competence and Qualification Profiling Tool

Probian, J. (2017). Unbekannte Jobs mit guten Perspektiven. technische kommunikation 1/18.

Straub, D. (2017). Artikel und Interview mit Dr. Daniela Straub über das Berufsbild in WILA Arbeitsmarkt ‒ Infodienst für Berufe in Bildung, Kultur und Sozialwesen. 29. August 2017. URL: http://www.wila-arbeitsmarkt.de/blog/2017/08/29/technische-redaktion-ist-ein-sehr-abwechslungsreiches-feld/ und http://www.wila-arbeitsmarkt.de/blog/2017/08/29/technik-in-sprache-übersetzen/