Limestone College Associate Professor Dr. Randy D. Nichols was a featured panelist at the 2018 Annual Conference of the Council on Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) in Minneapolis, MN.
The CPTSC works to brings together faculty, administrators, and researchers of technical, professional, and scientific communication. Its mission is to advance the study and teaching of technical, professional, and scientific communication across the globe.
At the conference held in October, Nichols worked alongside colleagues Dr. Tharon Howard (Clemson University) and Dr. Josephine Walwema (Oakland University) to present “Ready Student One: Emerging Trends in the Technical Communication Classroom.”
The panel explored what happens in technical communication classrooms where the educational goal is to immerse students in new instructional technologies. Each panelist presented examples of student work and classroom activities to illustrate the teaching of such radically diverse topics as Virtual Reality and 360-degree photography, Content Strategy Research and Design, and User-Generated Content in technical communication classrooms.
Nichols focused on “Teaching New Literacies for the Emerging (Meta) Medium of Virtual Reality,” answering such questions as, “What happens when we meet a medium that is multiple – that is to say, a medium that, even in its infancy, is capable of containing several previous media as content?” Nichols discussed the experience of working with Limestone College Digital Literacies students as they engaged the emerging space of virtual reality, and their discovery of new grammars for the new meta-medium. The students’ findings and reflections were presented to the international audience as a framework for future studies.
Nichols holds a PhD in Rhetorics, Communication and Information Design from Clemson University and has been a member of the Limestone College faculty since 2011. He teaches Communications and Digital Literacies and Critical Thinking.