Project TRIM (Technical Rhetoric In Major) is an Instruction Documentation Project (Including Usability Test and Usability Test Progress report) assigned during Week 3 of the course, and is worth a total of 50% of your grade for this course (65% if project-related memos are included). 


You will:

1. Write a set of detailed, practical instructions for some complex activity, lesson, training or software application in your major. 

2. Using the Collaboratory, test these instructions, including a pre- and post-evaluation, and post a final version of your instructions on your webspace by midnight April 8, 2009.


  • A Usability Test design (15% of grade) is due by Week 6 of the course.

  • A Usability Post-Test Progress Report (15% of grade) and Project Assessment Memo (5% of grade) are due by Week 8 of the course.

  • Another Project Assessment memo (5% of grade) is due by week 10 of the course.

  • Final documents for this project (20% of grade) must be completed and posted by April 8, 2009.

  • A final Project Analysis Memo (5% of grade) is due on the last day of class.

Examples of project themes might include:


  • Education majors: Detailed instructions for an actual three-weeks long math, English, Social Studies or other subject project to be assigned to students, including pre-test and final exam to determine real-world usability.


  • Psychology majors:  Instructions for a morale-boosting or psychologically beneficial voluntary regimen lasting three weeks designed for a healthy subject, including initial survey and final feedback or self-testing to determine results, if any.


  • Kinesiology and Health Promotion majors: Detailed instructions for a three-week-long low-impact physical fitness, dietary or activity program for healthy, able but mildly obese young non-athletes to increase health and general fitness, including initial self-evaluation or checklist, feedback, and final evaluation or self-testing to determine results, if any. 


  • Criminal Justice majors: Detailed instructions for a three-week voluntary civilian program for El Paso young people or householders to crime-proof their homes and/or their daily lives (to avoid becoming a victim of a violent or property-type crime), including a preliminary questionnaire and a final test or final feedback.  Or, a three-week intensive educational program for young people on what to do if arrested or detained by peace officers and/or charged with an offense, including a pre-test and a final test to determine usability. 


  • Other projects in your major, subject to Instructor approval. All projects must be of three weeks' duration, and designed to be actually learnable or do-able by the average healthy, able UTEP freshman. All projects must include pre- and post-usability testing.

  • See Wysocki and Lynch, Compose, Design, Advocate.  New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. Pages 381-396.



For educational purposes only.
Owen Williamson, Instructor
The University of Texas at El Paso - 500 W. University Ave. - El Paso, TX 79968
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