Clemson University Tries a New Approach to Technical Writing
Clemson University students made a video for their technical writing class to show how electricity is delivered to the school. While this seems unorthodox, maybe there’s something to it. Maybe technical writing needs to be visual in more than just a 2D booklet or user guide.
A New Look at Technical Writing
Videos allow users to move beyond words and into practical applications of the instructions.
- Users are able to see what the instructions mean, if there is any lack of clarity. While the written instructions should be as clear as possible, when the video is accessible, the instructions can be followed step by step.
- Reading a booklet and watching a video together helps to address the visual and the audio learners at the same time. Everyone gets a chance to learn in the way they learn best.
- Trainings can be done over the Internet, across the globe. Since training can’t always happen in person, the videos allow everyone to be on the same page in terms of the necessary information.
- Information can be shared with other technical writing teams, via social media outlets.
- Videos create a more personal connection between those who are watching the video and those who have sent the video to be viewed. This is especially helpful for teams that might not get to meet in person.
Clemson students certainly wanted to create a project that stood out from others in their group. But this also brings up a good idea that will be addressed in a later post – when does technical writing become less effective? Will there come a time when writing becomes obsolete? Perhaps video is the next way to share information more easily.
But then, what happens to the technical writers? Will they become script writers and video producers?