Tech Comm Seminar 10/29: Single-Sourcing and User Experience Issues

Jason W. Ellis and Rachel Mahan will lead a discussion on single-sourcing and user experience issues for this week’s seminar.

While technical communication often focuses on software technologies, those same technologies influence and shape what technical communication is and how technical communication is done. A specific area of pedagogical interest where classroom/workplace affordances might significantly differ is single-sourcing. Building on our previous discussions on usability and accessibility, our goals in this seminar are to raise and discuss these questions: 1) what is single-sourcing and what influence does it have on technical communication, 2) what is user experience (UX) and what relationship does it have to single-sourcing, 3) how might we implement single-sourcing or UX assignments in the technical communication classroom and how might those assignments differ from workplace single-sourcing or UX, and 4) what single-sourcing tools and workflows do businesses use that our students will likely encounter and should we prepare them for those specific tools?

In addition to the required readings and videos below, please bring an assignment or an assignment idea to our seminar to share during our discussion. Based on these and other ideas developed during the discussion, we will attempt to develop other single-sourcing and UX course themes, tiered projects, and individual assignments.

In addition to Rachel’s workplace knowledge of single-sourcing and user experience, Georgia Tech alums Andrew Pilsch and Smitha Prasadh also shared their technical communication, single-sourcing, and UX knowledge.


Carter, Locke. “The Implications of Single Sourcing for Writers and Writing.” Technical Communication 50.3 (August 2003): 317-320. IngentaConnect. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Rockley, Ann. “Single Sourcing: It’s About People, Not Just Technology.” Technical Communication 50.3 (August 2003): 350-354. IngentaConnect. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Sapienza, Filipp. “Does Being Technical Matter? XML, Single Source, and Technical Communication.” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 32.2 (2002): 155-170. Metapress Baywood Publishing. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.


UX Enterprise, The Future of UX Work

What the #$%@ is UX Design?

What is UX and why should you care?

Web and Professional Resources:

STC Single-Sourcing SIG (

Other Suggested Readings:

Andersen, Rebekka. “Component Content Management: Shaping the Discourse through Innovation Diffusion Research and Reciprocity.” Technical Communication Quarterly 20.4 (2011): 384-411. Taylor & Francis Online. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Clark, Dave. “Content Management and the Separation of Presentation and Content.” Technical Communication Quarterly 17.1 (2007): 35-60. Taylor & Francis Online. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Dayton, David and Keith Hopper. “Single Sourcing and Content Management: A Survey of STC Members.” Technical Communication 57.4 (November 2012): 375-397. IngentaConnect. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Eble, Michelle F. “Content vs. Product: The Effects of Single Sourcing on the Teaching of Technical Communication.” Technical Communication 50.3 (August 2003): 344-349. IngentaConnect. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Gurak, Laura J. and Ann Hill Duin. “The Impact of the Internet and Digital Technologies on Teaching and Research in Technical Communication.” Technical Communication Quarterly 13:2 (2004): 187-198. Taylor & Francis Online. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Robidoux, Charlotte. “Rhetorically Structured Content: Developing a Collaborative Single-Sourcing Curriculum.” Technical Communication Quarterly 17.1 (2007): 110-135. Taylor & Francis Online. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Sapienza, Filipp. “A Rhetorical Approach to Single-Sourcing Via Intertextuality.” Technical Communication Quarterly 16.1 (2007): 83-101. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Williams, Joe D. “The Implications of Single Sourcing for Technical Communicators.” Technical Communication 50.3 (August 2003): 321-327. IngentaConnect. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Jason W. Ellis

About Jason W. Ellis

As an undergraduate at Georgia Tech, Jason W. Ellis realized that he was better at writing about science than doing science. This led to his research focus on science fiction and the intersection of science, technology, and culture. After earning an M.A. in Science Fiction Studies at the University of Liverpool and a Ph.D. in English at Kent State University, Jason returned to Tech where he now teaches ENGL1101 with the theme, "Writing the Brain: Composition and Neuroscience." He emphasizes interdisciplinarity and collaborative projects in his classes, and his pedagogical interests include digital literacy, multimodal communication, and portfolio-focused student work. His research interests include 20th-century American literature, science fiction, the neuronovel, neuroscientific topics, the digital archive, video games, and eBooks. His current project investigates the gap between the Internet's "long memory" and digital ephemerality through William Gibson's cyberpunk fiction and experimental eBook projects in the 1990s.
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