Kirk St.Amant

Kirk St.Amant
Louisiana Tech University | Louisiana Tech · School of Literature and Languages

PhD in Scientific and Technical Communication

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174
Publications
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Publications

Publications (174)
Article
Healthcare today increasingly involves patients using various devices to engage in different care activities and often doing so without the aid of trained healthcare professionals. This situation means patients must often use health and medical information (i.e., content) in various contexts with different dynamics. As a result, usability – or how...
Article
Complex health and medical contexts demand not only responsive, mutable research but also responsive, flexible pedagogies. Arguing for a shift from the dominant conception of pedagogy as a pre-planned, linear scaffold, this article proposes instead an approach—called Lego™ Learning—that re-conceptualizes instructional content as self-standing, shor...
Article
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Purpose : Design thinking is a process for identifying solutions to problems in certain contexts. The better one understands contextual factors affecting use and interaction, the more effectively one can use design thinking to address issues at the context and greater systems levels. This article examines how the cognitive science concepts of scrip...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has markedly heightened global awareness of online education. This entry presents approaches for addressing this international context when developing online courses and curricula in technical communication.
Article
The ability to use information easily and effectively is essential to medical communication. Yet who uses medical information, when they use it, and how they use it has changed with the rise of personal medical technologies and increased reliance on telehealth practices. As a result, a range of nonmedical professionals now regularly engage in diffe...
Article
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Prior research reveals that cognition – or how the mind processes information – often guides human behavior in familiar settings (St.Amant, 2018). Such factors can affect the communication practices persons use to convey information about health concepts or medical processes (Hamm, 2003; St.Amant, 2021). The challenge becomes anticipating such conn...
Chapter
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Some 4.8 billion persons worldwide have online access, yet this number fails to show the full scope of online education today. In truth, every individual with online access is a learner—someone who goes online to learn something they do not know. The result is a context where online learning has become lifelong learning as multiple generations regu...
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Unexpected developments in an environment often drive the evolutionary process. This is as true for the evolution of societies as it is for species. The effective evolution of education will involve knowing what the key adaptation factors are and making them central to how educators respond to shifts in socio-pedagogical environments on local, regi...
Chapter
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Communicating about health and medical topics can be challenging due to an audience’s familiarity with the concepts presented and the processes described. When expanded to international contexts, these situations become increasingly complex as expectations, perceptions, and attitudes can vary according to different linguistic, cultural, and geopoli...
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Meeting the needs of users requires an understanding of the contexts where they interact with materials. This entry presents an approach for integrating script theory into usability to develop medical materials individuals can use in the settings where they receive or perform healthcare activities. The entry introduces technical communication profe...
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Individuals act on information that connects to their daily lives. In emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, these connections are central to maintaining individual health and community safety. Making such connections requires an understanding of audience perceptions; the better technical communicators address these perceptions, the more successfu...
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In times of public health crises, effective information on how to perform daily activities can be central to the stability of local communities. Technical communicators can make important contributions to these situations by developing materials that meet local informational needs. This entry reviews strategies technical communicators can use to ad...
Article
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Today, diseases can spread internationally faster and farther than ever before, and a range of public health issues can “go global” quickly and easily. The challenge becomes communicating ideas of care—that is, issues of health and wellness—across different cultures, languages, and geopolitical contexts. Doing so involves understanding the dynamics...
Chapter
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The international spread of online access means we live in an increasingly interconnected world. This situation means our students will likely write for audiences in different parts of the globe. Writing for such diverse audiences means addressing different contexts affecting how individuals perceive texts. Writing students can benefit from approac...
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Effective health and medical policy implementation in international contexts is a complex process. Success often reflects effective communication practices. Credibility is often a key to achieving such objectives. Cultures, however, can have differing credibility expectations that can affect these communication and policy implementation processes....
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The speed and ease with which individuals can share information internationally means almost any discussion can move from the local to the global instantly. Such factors have important implications for communicating about medicine, health, and care on global and local levels. Knowledge of these dynamics is central to effective global communication...
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Successfully sharing information involves holding and keeping an audience’s attention. Yet the dynamics of attention are not random. They reflect how the brain processes information. Understanding these factors can help technical communicators create effective materials for different users.
Article
Pedagogical and programmatic research remains important in technical and professional communication. For such approaches to be effective, meaningful, and successful, they must represent effective scholarship that can be used within and address the needs of the greater field. The authors performed a metasynthesis of pedagogical and programmatic scho...
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Objective The Context of Communicating Care Communicating health information across diverse populations is critical to improving public health and sustaining health-related practices within a community. In this context, successful collaborations can provide models for effectively sharing essential information in other communities. This panel examin...
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Global online access has increased rapidly in the last decade, and online education has become increasingly international as a result. The challenge for writing instructors becomes addressing this new educational environment to offer effective education to globally distributed student in online classes. The four plenary speakers at the 2018 inaugur...
Article
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Global online access has increased rapidly in the last decade, and online education has become increasingly international as a result. The challenge for writing instructors becomes addressing this new educational environment to offer effective education to globally distributed student in online classes. The four plenary speakers at the 2018 inaugur...
Chapter
Full-text available
This entry examines the dynamics of re-humanizing online education in global contexts. The objective is to present a new metaphor for thinking about such processes in order to re-humanize educational approaches. In so doing, the entry presents a framework for approaching the human and non-human elements affecting uses of online media to deliver edu...
Book
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The entries in this volume introduce technical communicators to foundational practices, current approaches, and emerging trends in translation and localization. To do so, the editors of this collection purposefully recruited authors from the translation and localization industries. All of these contributors, moreover, have previous experiences, str...
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The nature of society means health and medical communication often occurs in different international and local settings. Such interactions generally involve offering care-practices that help individuals maintain or return to a level of health and wellness. These exchanges usually take place in different cultural, linguistic, and geopolitical enviro...
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Usability involves connecting design to need. Individuals need to achieve an objective; if the design of an item meets that need, the item is usable. If not, it is not. So, usability depends on how well the design of an item addresses the need of the user. The need to hold two items together, for example, can prompt individuals to design a fastener...
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Usability is about context. If you know where someone performs a process, you can develop materials for that setting. The idea is conforming content to context makes that content easy to use. Today’s global economy complicates this situation by increasing the contexts in which individuals use products. Technical communicators can address this chall...
Article
The global diffusion of online media means individuals are increasingly composing web texts for international readers. To do so effectively, writers need to understand the expectations and preferences cultural and national audiences associate with using online materials – particularly where they are used, when, and how. The usability concept of per...
Article
This article presents an examination of research methods used in empirical research over a 5-year period in technical and professional communication. This examination reveals that the most common methods used are surveys, interviews, usability tests, observations, and focus groups. In addition, the field does incorporate research categories of case...
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User expectations are often connected to context. This means the better UXD professionals understand connections between location and usability, the greater the chances they can create materials that meet expectations of usability in a particular place. The cognitive factors of prototypes and scripts can provide a foundation for investigating such...
Article
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Everything changes over time. Societies evolve, original technologies emerge, and the structure of products shifts to meet the needs of new situations. What constitutes a usable design will similarly change over time. For these reasons, it's important to regularly stop and assess where a field is and what it is doing to determine how well its activ...
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The technical communication service course exists with a range of institutional contexts involving different departments, programs, and faculty. Technical communication program administrators can benefit from mechanisms that help them identify the contexts and stakeholders invested in the service course. This entry presents a research-based approac...
Book
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Communication to a global audience presents a number of new challenges; writers seeking to connect with individuals from many different cultures must rethink their concept of audience. They must also prepare to address friction that may arise from cross-cultural rhetorical situations, variation in available technology and in access between interloc...
Book
Full-text available
Communication to a global audience presents a number of new challenges; writers seeking to connect with individuals from many different cultures must rethink their concept of audience. They must also prepare to address friction that may arise from cross-cultural rhetorical situations, variation in available technology and in access between interloc...
Book
Thinking Globally, Composing Locally explores how writing and its pedagogy should adapt to the ever-expanding environment of international online communication. Communication to a global audience presents a number of new challenges; writers seeking to connect with individuals from many different cultures must rethink their concept of audience. They...
Conference Paper
Script theory views communication contexts as sequences of standard processes - or scripts - humans use to move through different contexts in their daily lives. These scripts contain variables that influence how individuals expect to access and use materials in different settings. Prototype theory, in turn, addresses user expectations of what items...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of usability is often connected to the setting – or context – in which individuals perform an activity. International settings complicate such relationships by introducing new variables that affect usability in different locations. In international health and medical communication, this situation can create problems that affect the heal...
Book
In the field of technical communication, academics and industry practitioners alike regularly encounter the same question: "What exactly is it you do " Their responses often reveal a fundamental difference of perspective on what the field is and how it operates. For example, academics might discuss ideas in terms of rhetorical theory, while practit...
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International interest in technical communication education is growing as more individuals gain online access worldwide. This factor means technical communication educators might find themselves developing online classes for students located in other nations. Doing so requires an understanding of aspects affecting international interactions in such...
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The concept of usability is often connected to the setting – or context – in which individuals perform an activity. International settings complicate such relationships by introducing new variables that affect usability in different locations. In international health and medical communication, this situation can create problems that affect the heal...
Article
Content is about ideas: It involves the thoughts, concepts, and perspectives we wish to convey to others. Context is what gives it form. If we know the setting in which we wish to convey information, we can present content in a manner that enhances the chances our ideas will be received (and understood as intended) by an audience. Of course, how we...
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Culture is nuanced and complex. Knowing what factors to consider when engaging in international user experience design (I-UXD) is thus no small undertaking. Technical communicators, information designers, and user experience (UX) professionals can benefit from applications that help identify aspects affecting usability and design in different cultu...
Article
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Many of us have heard the expression "form follows function." It's a nice idea in theory: The notion the item we create inherently lends itself to a particular use. After all, the shape of a hammer should intrinsically tell us the tasks we can perform with that tool - be it pounding or pulling nails. But those of us who study human behavior related...
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The concept of value is one of the most complex aspects of the communication professions. Most organization, for example, would admit effective communication adds value to almost any process. After all, effective communication helps members of an organization perform tasks more effectively (enhancing the value their work contributes to the organiza...
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In less than a decade, social media have transformed almost every aspect of our lives. Now, most of us check our Facebook accounts more frequently than we check our watches, and it is not uncommon for one's Twitter following to encompass dozens --- if not hundreds --- of individual. The broad reach and the interactive nature of such media allow us...
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Commentators often describe media as a "window on the world." That metaphor, however, doesn't work with today's technology. Windows facilitate passive observation: one sits and is at the mercy of what is on the other side of the window in terms of what s/he can view. Today's media, however, are interactive. From television programming to instragram...
Chapter
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Forward for the edited reference volume "The Bedford Bibliography of Research in Online Writing Instruction" online at https://community.macmillan.com/docs/DOC-2834-forward-to-the-bibliography-for-online-writing-instruction
Article
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In today's interconnected global society, health and medical communication must increasingly cover a growing range of international and intercultural contexts. Meeting the communication and design expectations of audiences from different cultures and in other nations, however, is a complex process. By focusing on usability, individuals can create m...
Article
Purpose: While research is an important to both academics and practitioners alike, it seems the field is currently at an impasse about what constitutes research and what questions should be a priority for the field. We wanted to give practitioners a forum to provide their perspectives on what research is and what questions the field should be resea...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Medical usability (i.e., creating materials that convey usable health and medical information to different audiences) requires designing for diverse contexts and audiences while addressing various usability-related factors. The topics covered by this panel investigate medical usability in a range of contexts related to different aspects of the rhet...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last 2 decades, the nations that once comprised the Soviet Union have begun to play an increasingly important role in the global economy. As a result, today's technical and professional communicators could find themselves interacting with co-workers, colleagues, and clients in these nations. Being successful in such contexts, however, requ...
Book
The collection examines the state of professional and technical communication practice, research, and instruction in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc.
Book
Provides a foundation for understanding a range of linguistic, cultural, and technological factors to effectively practice international communication in a variety of professional communication arenas. An in-depth analysis of how cultural factors influence translation, document design, and visual communication. A review of approaches for addressing...
Article
The authors argue that technical and professional communication is currently facing an issue of incommensurability due to the diversity of the field. They call for unifying the field around its research questions to provide a common foundation for the future.
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Culture can be difficult to define, yet it is central to almost everything humans do. Culture shapes how individuals view the world -- what they consider right and wrong or appropriate and inappropriate -- and often provides the lens through which they perceive communication and create messages (Sardi & Flammia, 2011; Varner & Beamer, 2015). As suc...
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The growth of global markets means technical communicators are increasingly doing or reviewing research on other cultures. For technical communicators, this situation involves addressing one central question: What particular factors must one consider when researching culture and communication? This article presents five principles that can help add...
Article
When we write online, or when our writing goes online, who is our audience? Is it a specific group of readers who frequent our particular blogs or who refer to our specific websites, or is it more complex? After all, as we’re regularly reminded, cyberspace is largely borderless space—a realm in which geopolitical boundaries can often appear to have l...
Chapter
Rhetorical presentation patterns, especially professional ones, are learned through a process of "acculturation". Human rhetorical expectations and preferences vary from group to group and culture to culture. Cultural rhetorical differences can occur on a variety of levels and can affect how certain cultural audiences perceive a given English-langu...
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Advertising messages often are intended to ignite large-scale word-of-mouth campaigns among consumers. Drawing primarily from memetic theory, cognitive fit theory, and perceptual fluency, this research examines how rhetoric and cognitive load interact to enhance or diminish desirable effects such as retention of the original intent of the message (...
Conference Paper
As health and medical communication become increasingly international in scope, information designers need to find ways to create visuals that best address the expectations of different cultural audiences. Doing so can be challenging, particularly if the related content is on health or medical topics. Prototype theory, however, can provide a founda...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly, health and medical communication involves a global perspective. This perspective now includes coordinating international efforts ranging from treating globally dispersed patients to containing infectious diseases. In many cases, the focus of such information is instructional---content that tells individuals how to perform certain heal...
Article
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Social media is increasingly part of the technical communicator’s toolkit. At the same time, the international use of social media on the rise. It would therefore seem logical for technical communicators to use social media to connect with global audiences. Yet not all cultures use these technologies in the same way, nor do all individuals worldwid...
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As recent media coverage of Ebola has demonstrated, there is a growing need to communicate health and medical information effectively on a global scale. Doing so involves creating visuals that effectively convey health and medical information to diverse audiences (e.g., healthcare providers and patients) in different cultures. This entry discusses...
Article
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This difference between the ability to attract user attention and the ability for users to understand and make use of content is one technical and professional communicators cannot ignore. As displays of content—particularly those associated with online delivery—are becoming increasingly visual in nature, we need to find mechanisms that examine asp...
Article
Extending digital products and services to global markets requires a communication design approach that considers the needs of international (e.g. non-U.S.) users. The challenge becomes developing an approach that works effectively. The concept of personas, as applied in user experience design (UX), can offer an effective solution to this situation...
Book
Full-text available
This collection explores ideas related to forging effective academia-industry relationships and partnerships so members of the field can begin a dialogue designed to foster communication and collaboration among academics and industry practitioners in technical communication. To address the various factors that can affect such interactions, the cont...
Data
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Website localization is an important part of international technical communication. However, at present, few technical communication programs offer courses in localization. This article provides an overview of a course devised to familiarize students with ideas and approaches related to website localization. The course was based upon Robert Gagné’s...
Article
The culture we are part of tells us what aspects of design constitute "good" both in terms of aesthetics and usability. When it comes to technologies, these factors must be addressed for a given item to be successfully adopted by and correctly used within a particular culture. To put these ideas into practice, consider the following: A given interf...
Article
Full-text available
Extending digital products and services to global markets requires a communication design approach that considers the needs of international (e.g. non‐U.S.) users. The challenge becomes developing an approach that works effectively. The concept of personas, as applied in user experience design (UX), can offer an effective solution to this situation...
Article
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce readers to various factors that can affect the management of international virtual teams. In examining this topic, the authors provide an overview of what each factor is, note how each factor can create problems in international virtual teams, and explain how effective management-or informed approaches to...
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce readers to various factors that can affect the management of international virtual teams. In examining this topic, the authors provide an overview of what each factor is, note how each factor can create problems in international virtual teams, and explain how effective management—or informed approaches to...
Chapter
Full-text available
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce readers to various factors that can affect the management of international virtual teams. In examining this topic, the authors provide an overview of what each factor is, note how each factor can create problems in international virtual teams, and explain how effective management – or informed approaches...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last 2 decades, the nations that once comprised the Soviet Union have begun to play an increasingly important role in the global economy. As a result, today’s technical and professional communicators could find themselves interacting with co-workers, colleagues, and clients in these nations. Being successful in such contexts, however, requ...
Article
Full-text available
Today, we are continually reminded how information communication technologies (ICTs) level barriers of time and distance to open a newer, latter geography of global communication. But as ICTs flatten barriers of physical space, other obstacles have emerged. These new barriers require individuals to reconsider the flat earth paradigm as one that doe...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I discuss how individuals who communicate about technical and scientific topics (i.e., technical communicators) can apply ideas from the theory of rhetoric to communicate more effectively with individuals from other cultures. In so doing, I present a question-based strategy technical communicators can use for planning how they will...
Chapter
Full-text available
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce readers to various factors that can affect the management of international virtual teams. In examining this topic, the authors provide an overview of what each factor is, note how each factor can create problems in international virtual teams, and explain how effective management—or informed approaches to...
Article
Full-text available
Translation is becoming an important aspect of medical communication as medical industries increasingly seek out market share in a global context. Success in such an international sphere often becomes a matter of access, and in many cases, this access is connected to one key factor: translation, which allows speakers of other languages to access ke...
Conference Paper
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Online courses can become international learning environments, but different factors can affect the successes of globalized online classes. This paper examines factors of technology and culture that can affect interactions in global learning environments.
Conference Paper
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The spread of online access creates an environment in which cultural groups interact via visual media for many purposes including commerce, virtual work, education and training, and social exchanges. Because cultural differences influence rhetorical expectations of how information should be presented visually, individuals and organizations wishing...
Article
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The increasingly global nature of the World Wide Web presents new challenges and opportunities for technical communicators who must develop content for clients or colleagues from other cultures and in other nations. As international online access grows, technical communicators will encounter a range of challenges related to culture and communicatio...
Article
Full-text available
This experience report provides an overview of working in globally distributed teams and the role communication technologies and protocols play in the successes of such teams. It describes technical and social aspects for interacting in such teams.
Book
Over one billion people access the Internet worldwide, and new problems of language, security, and culture accompany this new excess in access. Computer-Mediated Communication across Cultures: International Interactions in Online Environments provides readers with the foundational knowledge needed to communicate safely and effectively with individu...

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Project
Collection co-edited with Rich Rice (Texas Tech University) and under contract with Utah State University Press. This anthology examines different aspects of writing/communicating online in international contexts.