Because of low enrolment, the Integrative Literature Workshop that was scheduled to begin this Thursday has been canceled.
I hope to offer a section at a later time.
Purpose: Explores internal divisions within our profession by exploring one particular type of tension that exists: that technical communicators do not have a unified view of professionalization for the field.
Methods: Proposes that prevailing approaches to professionalization are rooted in theories of occupations, the exclusive right to perform a job. True occupations have such rights legally; aspiring occupations like ours are professions. Common components of an infrastructure for occupations includes professional organizations, bodies of knowledge, education, professional activities, and certification.
Results: Professions often establish these in anticipation of becoming an occupation, but some practicing professionals interpret and use them differently, resulting in a spectrum of approaches to professionalization.
At one end of the spectrum is formal professionalism, which views professionalization as a stepping stone to full occupational status. It is rooted in a worldview that values expertise and sees the infrastructure of an occupation supporting the development of expertise and controlling access to the profession.
In the center of the spectrum is quasi-professionalization, in which individuals participate in the activities of the occupational infrastructure but without the expectation of exclusive rights to perform the work. Quasi- professionalization is rooted in professional identity.
At the other end of the spectrum is contra-professionalization, which refers to initiatives that offer or promote professional services outside of parts or all of the infrastructure, sometimes circumventing it completely. This world view is rooted in market theory and characterized by concepts like Do-It-Yourself (DIY), user-generated and Subject Matter Expert (SME)-provided documentation.
Conclusions: The differing views suggest tensions regarding support for specific efforts to professionalize technical communication, including formal branding of the profession, establishment of certification, and support for professional organizations.
"no plans to generate revenue—the service is free and does not carry advertisements. Ms. Sankar said that she didn't write a business plan for the site, because she doesn't believe in them, and that she believes that once a critical mass of students and professors are signed up, revenue models can emerges" (quote from the article from the Chronicle cited above).
Isn't that how the tech bubble burst the last time?
Students also do not receive university credit; they receive certificates of completion.
The courses have no measures to protect against cheating.
And, most significantly, when the article cites the impact of courses on students, they have no figures to report. They provide qualitative data. That's fine, because it provides insights into whom and how the courses affect students. But both of the students mentioned are working professionals, rather than degree-seeking students.