Multimedia as part of a Tech. Communicator's knowledge base

Subject: Multimedia as part of a Tech. Communicator's knowledge base
From: Sonina Velasquez <tscom009 -at- DUNX1 -dot- OCS -dot- DREXEL -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 20:51:12 +0800

(These question runs parallel to Strandlund's quest for opinions on whether
aspiring technical writers should strive to be more versed on computer
science fundamentals or advanced grammer? etc.)

My questions are two-fold:

1. Do you think multimedia concepts should be addressed as part of a
Technical Communications B.A. or M.S. program at universities? To what
extent do you think it should (or shouldn't) be included?

My personal feeling is that there should be at least one class addressing
mulitmedia today (1994):

During a 4 month-long class I'm sure that learning basic multimedia
concepts and gaining hands on experience with the software can prove to be
valuable to a technical communicator; more specifically a course where one
received hands on experience with authoring software, video file creation,
sound creation, and animation; then later on in the semester addressing the
creation of digital video, file editing, Hypercard programs, learning
Hypercard scripting techniques, and working with software like Photoshop
and Macromedia Director.

I'm thinking this type of training can help in technical presentations and
in a position where one has to place large amounts of information on CDROM
(for example: Ziff and McGraw-Hill publish technical magazines,
newsletters, books, etc. on CDROM) The question some Managers ask is "Can
some of the text be replaced with graphics or video". If you are dealing
with a CDROM deliverable ---in many cases yes, but WHO IS TRAINED TO DO

As a technical communicator/writer/maintainer of information on CDROM I
have recently been approached with this issue.

I'm looking for a stream of consciousness on this one.


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