Professor of English, Big State U.

  • 45 years old, married
  • PhD in English
  • Teaches courses in rhetoric and writing
  • Highly proficient in writing and editing
  • Experimented with creating a course Web site to supplement class instruction
  • Member of MLA, IABC, and NCTE’s 4Cs

“I want to see how the whole field is developing & what other schools are doing.”

Carrie has been teaching professional writing in a midsize master’s-granting institution for about 12 years. She was educated in rhetoric-based programs and is most comfortable discussing the products and processes related to writing and editing. As the new director of a bachelor’s degree program, Carrie is interested in expanding the scope of the professional writing degree into more of a mainline technical communication degree.

Carrie needs an overview of the field as a whole; she would also like to look at model programs to gain awareness of industry’s needs. Located in a humanities department, she’d love to find some models and justification for funding and developing laboratories, too.

Key Attributes

  • Is a dedicated teacher who mentors her students
  • Enjoys working with engineering colleagues on occasional writing projects
  • Knows a number of people from across the university


  • Writing a proposal to revise a technical communication curriculum
  • Teaches rhetoric-based courses and has made important revisions to course syllabi
  • Has become interested in taking her courses to another level of practicality for students.
  • Has become very sensitive to students’ needs for practical career choices.
  • Has never developed a curriculum before.

Informational Needs/Goals

  • Needs a good overview of technical communication as a discipline.
  • Wants to understand how STC links to or compares to other technical communication organizations like ATTW or CPTSC.

Scenario of Use: Carrie Watson

  1. Carrie finds the STC Web site and looks around the home page and navigational bar. She reads the informative section called About STC. Then she sees the TCKP and browses.
  2. Carrie finds something called Education. She opens the page for Academic Programs and sees over 150 programs!?
  3. She spots a link to mind maps illustrating the scope of the body of knowledge for technical communication.
  4. Carrie saves the PDF concept map to her computer and then closes the tab in which it was open.
  5. As she scans the TCBOK home page some more, a group of links draws her focus like a magnet: Research on Core Competencies and Skills involved in TC. “Bingo!” she thinks. “Somebody has read my mind.”

Although she is approaching TC from the perspective of an English teacher trained in rhetoric-based writing and editing, Carrie Watson shares many of the needs Alicia Madison and Anu Patel have. Carrie would benefit from talking directly with her colleagues through an interactive feature of the TC knowledge portal.

Carrie is also similar to Consuela Roehl and Caroline Landry. Clustering them will make the differences in their needs can become more obvious. Consuela seems more assertive and savvy about technologies; Caroline would also benefit from a way to interact with Consuela.