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Steve's Final Project

Page history last edited by ez9030@... 5 years, 10 months ago

To: Jared Grogan

From: Steven Dietrich

Date: April 27, 2015

 

Performance Review Memo

 

Introduction

 

     This final assignment is meant to review my past writings and re-evaluate myself in terms of the course learning outcomes, as well as overall performance when completing my assignments. After evaluating myself, I would then argue whether all my work this semester did or did not meet the learning objectives for ENG3050. But first I have to identify the course learning objectives.

Writing and designing, in which I were to write effectively as an individual and in a team with standard genres of technical writing (summaries, resumes, instructions, reports), including the appropriate use of grammar, mechanics, style and document design for formal and informal documents and standard conventions of citation and documentation. Reading and analyzing, I was expected to read, analyze, and evaluate the design of, and the audience and purpose for, technical documents, including text, visual, format, usability, citation, documentation, and mechanics. Researching and documenting, I were to design and conduct primary and secondary research; evaluate appropriate sources in support of composing technical documents. Lastly, using technology and media, I had to make productive use of current technologies for reading, researching, writing, and designing technical documents.

 

Performance Review

 

Individual performance:

            Looking over past projects and assignments, I see very little change, in terms of using the course learning outcomes, in each writings. However, I felt very comfortable with using technology and media effectively, as well as using writing and designing to each different writing. The resume/cover letter required little to no research, but reading and analyzing it was tricky. The tricky part was finding an audience, in which I only created a general resume with basic skills, but if I were to present it to an authority of my field, physical therapy, I would have tuned it more towards medical, biological, and health related information. This same problem arises with the professional site, as the question of what content to put on the website comes to mind. With the website tailored to basic qualities again, it can now be adjusted with more content from this semester with the completed projects and classroom knowledge.

            Creating the WikiHow page was troublesome with how incompetent the website is for making how to articles, but besides that problem, creating an article relied heavily on an understanding of technology and media, which was easy to understand. This was the first project that required heavy analyzing and researching, with analyzing who the audience was, then how to tune the article’s grammar towards them, then to have a member of that audience test the article for results. This project was not handled well as after the test, I found that my writing was still too complicated for my intended audience, so I poorly handled writing for my audience and analyzing my audience.

            The short writing assignments were basic enough to complete without relying too heavily on the learning objectives. Although, I will admit that my final short writing recognized the learning objectives existed and were tailored to the guidelines, as opposed to my first writing, in which it was written based on past experiences with previous writing courses.

            With all said and done, I need to change my approach to future projects differently for now on. I felt lackluster when I had to analyze an audience when I was preparing a writing for them, as beforehand, I only wrote what I would find or think is useful to the piece and not if the piece would benefit my audience with its inclusion.

 

Collaborative performance:

            Overall, the past group projects, seemed to satisfactorily used technology and media, with the feedback for designing a WikiHow article and using Google Documents to create a feasibility study. There was also a huge amount of primary researching for both projects, with the WikiHow article research going smoothly, while the study having some rough times.

            The WikiHow article had a usability test to test the effectiveness of our articles to an audience. That being said, it feels as if I only accomplished half of writing and design when the test occurred. For example, when my test subject read the article, he claimed that he understood what was stated and it makes sense on paper. But when he had to perform test objectives, he became lost and confused. Therefore, the instruction needed more revising so that it could connect to my targeted audience and thus I did not understand my audience at the time as well when I analyzed them. His feedback was extremely helpful in creating an article that, hopefully, was more designed for my type of audience.

            The feasibility study was a train wreck. While some individual sections of the document might have well design, research, and documentation, the overall study has no consistent writing and design. This group project was rushed with multiple sections being brief with almost no primary or secondary research cited after a claim. As a group, I feel like we did find good research, both primary and secondary, but then we did not use it to the full effect, as if we could have included more information that is relevant and would give us more credibility. In general, the audience seems unknown as of the final version of the document, when it started with the construction department of Wayne State, it slowly drifted into the area of generalization. Although the project was semi-finished, it left much to be desired.

 

Conclusion

 

            While I did have some setbacks, I believe that I did me the learning objectives for ENG3050.  In my projects, I wrote general information at first, but after group revision and the usability test, I learned from my mistakes and adjusted my new findings accordingly. My first lesson I harshly learned, was to never underestimate my audience. I wrote general pieces that had a small hint of what my audience would be looking for. After this semester, I learned there was much more to the audience than what I take advantage for. The second lesson I learned, was having a back-up plan for any team project. Having a member who did not contribute a single ounce of effort to the group project, made me realize that there has to be a back-up plan for every step we take, whether it be an non-participating member or if it be an unexpected find in our research, such as not being able to secure an interview. This class taught me more than I expected with collaborative research and genre analysis and was a fresh, but stressful, experience.

 

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