Technical Writer

Ontario College Graduate Certificate (13 courses) Full-time Online
Program Code: 1182X09FWO Academic Year: 2016/2017


This program is listed under the following fields of study:

The fees for this program are based on a two-term year.

Other Delivery Options

Part-time Online
Full-time On Campus

Our Program

This one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate program prepares students for careers as technical communicators. Students learn to create a variety of documents found in the workplace such as proposals, white papers, user guides, training material, and instruction sets. Through real-world applications and assignments, students become proficient at research, analysis and organization. Students participate in group projects and collaborative learning activities within the program and across technology platforms.

Technical communicators represent the bridge between a user and a product information or service. They work for an organization but at the same time they advocate for the user by creating usable documentation that lets the user act on the information. Technical communicators are experts at understanding and analyzing different ways the product can be used by a target group. They develop many different types of documentation used in the workplace to help users enjoy all the features of a product. To fulfill these tasks, technical communicators have an aptitude for language, analytical thinking, technical understanding and project management. Well-trained technical communicators can find work in all sectors of the economy including manufacturing, health and medicine, government, high-tech and private training institutions.

Graduates may seek employment writing or drafting technical communications in a variety of technical fields, including the high-tech, engineering, aeronautics, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, biotechnology and government sectors.

Success Factors

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Possess advanced written and oral communication abilities.
  • Enjoy designing, developing, writing and refining online and print material.
  • Possess interpersonal skills for collaboration with colleagues.
  • Enjoy researching, collecting, analyzing and organizing technical information.
  • Function in a self-directed manner in a team environment.
  • Organize their work and pay attention to detail.
  • Enjoy using software tools to create documents and websites.

Your Career

Graduates may be successful in finding work as writers, editors and documentation specialists. Canadian and international demand is high for qualified technical communicators in both the private and the public sectors. While most graduates may work as employees in large organizations, some choose self-employment in the field.

Fees & Expenses

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

  • Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $7,442.94.*
  • International tuition/ancillary Fees: $19,517.94.*

* Amounts include tuition fee, Technology fee and Mobile Learning Program (MLP) fee. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit our website.

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit our website.

Books and supplies cost approximately $525 per term and can be purchased from College bookstore online.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility

For the Technical Writer program, applicants should ideally satisfy one of the two following conditions:

  • Successful completion of a university degree, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standards of writing are demanded.
  • Successful completion of a three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standards of writing are demanded.

However, applicants possessing the following background will also be considered:

  • Successful completion of a two-year Ontario Community College Diploma, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standard of writing are demanded, paired with demonstration of significant experience in the workplace in the production of a variety of written communication products.

Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:

  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band; OR
  • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with the minimum of 22 in each component: Reading: 22; Listening: 22; Speaking: 22; Writing: 22.
Program Eligibility

For the Technical Writer program, applicants should ideally satisfy one of the two following conditions:

  • Successful completion of a university degree, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standards of writing are demanded.
  • Successful completion of a three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standards of writing are demanded.

However, applicants possessing the following background will also be considered:

  • Successful completion of a two-year Ontario Community College Diploma, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standard of writing are demanded, paired with demonstration of significant experience in the workplace in the production of a variety of written communication products.

Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:

  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band, OR
  • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with the minimum of 22 in each component: Reading 22; Listening: 22; Speaking: 22; Writing: 22.

Application Information

TECHNICAL WRITER
Program Code 1182X09FWO

Applications to full-time programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:

ontariocolleges.ca
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3
1-888-892-2228

Applications are available online ontariocolleges.ca. A $95 fee applies. Applications for Fall Term, Winter Term and Spring Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

Note: International applicants applying from out-of-country may obtain an "International Student Application Form" and instructions by logging onto the site or by contacting the Registrar's Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar's Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Avenue
Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632
Email: AskUs@algonquincollege.com

Notes

  • The fees for this program are based on a two-term year.
  • This program is also offered full-time on campus and part-time online.
  • For more information about the field of technical communication, visit the international professional association, Society for Technical Communications (STC).
  • Students must complete a practicum project in WKT2000* which is offered in level 03 of the program. This unpaid practicum requires students to complete a technical documentation project with a sponsoring organization.
  • * Note: WKT2000 PROJECT course – Students in the Online program offering complete the unpaid work placement over the academic term within which they are registered.
  • The software used in this program includes the Adobe Technical Communication Suite (Rls 5.0) and Microsoft Office.
  • Students are expected to negotiate with potential sponsors to find a suitable project that meets the requirements of WKT2000.
  • Online courses follow the same curriculum and have the same learning outcomes as on campus programs; however, the delivery methods and activities may differ.
  • For more information, contact the online program coordinator.
  • Students are not expected to work onsite at the sponsoring organization, although some meetings may be required. Projects may be completed using email, web-collaboration tools, and teleconferencing - depending on the type of project and location of the sponsor.
  • The program coordinator, along with the course facilitator, will support students in their efforts to find and work with a sponsoring organization to ensure successful completion of a practicum project.

Additional Information

For more information, please contact Program Coordinator Melissa Langlais at langlam1@algonquincollege.com or 613-727-4723 ext. 7310.

Courses

Online:Online Learning   
Course
Number
HoursCourse NameSummer
Level: 01
TWR200060.0Technical Writing I

TWR2000 Technical Writing I

Technical communicators must craft documents that inform, instruct and persuade. Students learn how to communicate technical information by profiling audiences and structuring documents to meet the needs of busy readers at work. In addition to communicating technical information in written form, students communicate orally through the delivery of presentations. Through the use of writing assignments and activities, students develop their abilities to work individually and collaboratively as members of a group.

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR200245.0Desktop Publishing

TWR2002 Desktop Publishing

Technical communicators must be proficient with publication tools that help write and edit large and complex documents. Students learn the major features of a leading publication tool preferred by technical communicators to achieve consistency in documentation. Through guided learning activities, students produce large publications that focus on visual layout, and emphasize automatic formatting features that create structured documents.

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR200930.0Selected Topics I

TWR2009 Selected Topics I

Significant changes in the workplace are the result of new and advanced technologies. Students are introduced to emerging trends in the field of technical communication, and are shown possible career options in a number of different sectors of local industry.

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR201030.0Designing VIsual Information

TWR2010 Designing VIsual Information

Technical communicators must ensure that written content is supported by visual elements. Students learn the principles of designing effective visual information including the textual, spatial and graphic elements that support the rhetorical situation. Through analysis and assignments, students learn to maximize communication impact through the assessment and redesign of online and print elements.

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
Level: 02
TWR200345.0Online Documentation

TWR2003 Online Documentation

Technical communicators must be proficient at creating online help systems. Students are provided with a strong foundation with a leading help authoring tool that can publish to multiple channels. Through guided learning and laboratory activities, students learn how to improve the quality, visual appeal, presentation and the functionality of help systems.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2010

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR200460.0Technical Writing II

TWR2004 Technical Writing II

Technical communicators must get information from subject matter experts and translate their knowledge into useable documentation. Students research a product, information, or service in order to refine their communication skills. Through collaboration with clients, users, experts, and other group members, students develop a variety of task oriented documents that allow them to work effectively as a member of a team.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2010

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR201130.0Usability and Ux

TWR2011 Usability and Ux

User experience (UX) plays a critical role in making our physical and digital lives frictionless and enjoyable. Students integrate principles of information architecture, content strategy, and visual design with components of usability and interaction design to understand UX design fundamentals. Through task analysis, user interface prototype design, and website usability analysis, students learn to characterize, describe and improve UX.

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR201445.0Information Planning and Management

TWR2014 Information Planning and Management

Content is generated by organizations to support their products, services and processes. Students take a unified content strategy approach as they produce project plans, content specifications, estimates, and proposals. Through their involvement in collaborative projects, students practise skills in planning, designing, managing, and controlling online and print content, with an emphasis on their relationship to other team members in information development.

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR201530.0Editing I

TWR2015 Editing I

Technical communicators often act as editors. Students formalize their abilities to edit written work at the copyediting and proofreading levels in a variety of media. Students develop an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an editor. Emphasis is on reviewing and applying the basic rules of grammar, mechanics, spelling, punctuation, and usage to passages and documents for improvements in clarity, conciseness and precision.

Co-requisites: TWR2000

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
Level: 03
TWR201245.0Web-Based Documentation

TWR2012 Web-Based Documentation

Technical communicators must be aware of the latest tools in order to be effective in the workplace. Students learn current tools and technologies used in industry to create web-based documents. Through the use of assigned readings, projects, and computer-based instruction, students build and manage websites, design screencasts, and create PDF documents used for online review. Students receive guided practical training on various software applications.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2010

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR201630.0Editing II

TWR2016 Editing II

Advanced editing skills are required by technical communicators. Students enhance their abilities to edit written work at the copyediting and comprehensive levels in a variety of media. Through the use of assigned readings, exercises, and collaborative assignments, they refine their abilities to apply advanced rules of grammar and usage, style, and organization to documents, such as technical reports for improvements in clarity, conciseness, precision, correctness, accuracy and readability.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2015

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
TWR220130.0Selected Topics II

TWR2201 Selected Topics II

The job of a technical communicator often involves creating training materials. Students learn how to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate instructional material that can be used to train adult learners. Through a variety of learning activities, students learn to conduct training sessions, embrace emerging technologies and build a career portfolio.

Pre-requisites: TWR2009

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning
WKT200045.0Project

WKT2000 Project

Students participate in an unpaid work placement after they have completed their course work. This opportunity allows them to apply their skills to actual writing projects in an on-the-job setting. Most projects are completed in cooperation with local organizations. Students work with an advisor.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2002 AND TWR2003 AND TWR2004 AND TWR2009 AND TWR2010 AND TWR2011 AND TWR2012 AND TWR2014 AND TWR2015 AND TWR2016 AND TWR2201

This course is part of a complete program of study, individual course registration is not available.

Online Learning

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

TWR2000 Technical Writing I

Technical communicators must craft documents that inform, instruct and persuade. Students learn how to communicate technical information by profiling audiences and structuring documents to meet the needs of busy readers at work. In addition to communicating technical information in written form, students communicate orally through the delivery of presentations. Through the use of writing assignments and activities, students develop their abilities to work individually and collaboratively as members of a group.

TWR2002 Desktop Publishing

Technical communicators must be proficient with publication tools that help write and edit large and complex documents. Students learn the major features of a leading publication tool preferred by technical communicators to achieve consistency in documentation. Through guided learning activities, students produce large publications that focus on visual layout, and emphasize automatic formatting features that create structured documents.

TWR2009 Selected Topics I

Significant changes in the workplace are the result of new and advanced technologies. Students are introduced to emerging trends in the field of technical communication, and are shown possible career options in a number of different sectors of local industry.

TWR2010 Designing VIsual Information

Technical communicators must ensure that written content is supported by visual elements. Students learn the principles of designing effective visual information including the textual, spatial and graphic elements that support the rhetorical situation. Through analysis and assignments, students learn to maximize communication impact through the assessment and redesign of online and print elements.

TWR2003 Online Documentation

Technical communicators must be proficient at creating online help systems. Students are provided with a strong foundation with a leading help authoring tool that can publish to multiple channels. Through guided learning and laboratory activities, students learn how to improve the quality, visual appeal, presentation and the functionality of help systems.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2010

TWR2004 Technical Writing II

Technical communicators must get information from subject matter experts and translate their knowledge into useable documentation. Students research a product, information, or service in order to refine their communication skills. Through collaboration with clients, users, experts, and other group members, students develop a variety of task oriented documents that allow them to work effectively as a member of a team.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2010

TWR2011 Usability and Ux

User experience (UX) plays a critical role in making our physical and digital lives frictionless and enjoyable. Students integrate principles of information architecture, content strategy, and visual design with components of usability and interaction design to understand UX design fundamentals. Through task analysis, user interface prototype design, and website usability analysis, students learn to characterize, describe and improve UX.

TWR2014 Information Planning and Management

Content is generated by organizations to support their products, services and processes. Students take a unified content strategy approach as they produce project plans, content specifications, estimates, and proposals. Through their involvement in collaborative projects, students practise skills in planning, designing, managing, and controlling online and print content, with an emphasis on their relationship to other team members in information development.

TWR2015 Editing I

Technical communicators often act as editors. Students formalize their abilities to edit written work at the copyediting and proofreading levels in a variety of media. Students develop an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an editor. Emphasis is on reviewing and applying the basic rules of grammar, mechanics, spelling, punctuation, and usage to passages and documents for improvements in clarity, conciseness and precision.

Co-requisites: TWR2000

TWR2012 Web-Based Documentation

Technical communicators must be aware of the latest tools in order to be effective in the workplace. Students learn current tools and technologies used in industry to create web-based documents. Through the use of assigned readings, projects, and computer-based instruction, students build and manage websites, design screencasts, and create PDF documents used for online review. Students receive guided practical training on various software applications.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2010

TWR2016 Editing II

Advanced editing skills are required by technical communicators. Students enhance their abilities to edit written work at the copyediting and comprehensive levels in a variety of media. Through the use of assigned readings, exercises, and collaborative assignments, they refine their abilities to apply advanced rules of grammar and usage, style, and organization to documents, such as technical reports for improvements in clarity, conciseness, precision, correctness, accuracy and readability.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2015

TWR2201 Selected Topics II

The job of a technical communicator often involves creating training materials. Students learn how to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate instructional material that can be used to train adult learners. Through a variety of learning activities, students learn to conduct training sessions, embrace emerging technologies and build a career portfolio.

Pre-requisites: TWR2009

WKT2000 Project

Students participate in an unpaid work placement after they have completed their course work. This opportunity allows them to apply their skills to actual writing projects in an on-the-job setting. Most projects are completed in cooperation with local organizations. Students work with an advisor.

Pre-requisites: TWR2000 AND TWR2002 AND TWR2003 AND TWR2004 AND TWR2009 AND TWR2010 AND TWR2011 AND TWR2012 AND TWR2014 AND TWR2015 AND TWR2016 AND TWR2201