Presentation Type



University Student Center Ballrooms 1 & 2


We developed a companion website to help our Technical Writing students navigate professional ethics, rhetorical strategies, digital communication, and document design in their final project. For USF’s ENC 2210 Technical Writing for Health Sciences Majors courses, we developed a website to house a project that involves the global issue of electronic waste and focuses on the more localized issue of federal prison labor in electronics recycling programs. The UNICOR system was involved in a scandal concerning safety hazards in their e-recycling prisoner work program. The Basel Action Network has identified a range of potential occupational hazards including silicosis, toxic exposure to dioxins, mercury and other metals and carcinogens through inhalation of fumes while processing e-waste or from local drinking water and food sources contaminated by e-waste processing by-products (qtd. in Lepawsky and McNabb, 2010). Using a variety of sources, such as the Department of Justice’s report on its investigation and official EPA guidelines, students act as consultants to UNICOR to improve the program. Students navigate complex ethical issues to improve the working conditions of prisoners and staff while ensuring the continuation of the recycling program, which helps keep e-waste out of landfills and overseas dumping grounds. This poster describes the assignment and its context within the larger technical communication curriculum, its pedagogical merits, and its movement to a digital workspace. The implementation of the companion website results in more clearly organized instructions and resources and enhances students’ awareness of global citizenship, digital media, and the public value of their ideas. It facilitates communication between classmates and instructors and provides a space for students to showcase their work for interested stakeholders and potential employers.



Using Digital Pedagogy to Navigate Ethics in Technical Communication Classes

University Student Center Ballrooms 1 & 2