Linking engineering students in SPAIN and technical writing students in the US as coauthors
The challenges and outcomes of subject-matter experts and language specialists collaborating internationally.
In a first-of-its-kind international collaboration, technical writing classes in Spain and the US matched engineering students with international technical writing students to coauthor procedural instructions. These were then tested for usability by students in Finland and the US, and subsequently translated and localized by students in Belgium, France, and Italy. The coauthors faced challenges in gaining expertise, communicating clearly in a lingua franca, handling differing cultures, testing for usability, and managing differing semester schedules and time zones. Insights from these experiences yield recommendations for instructors who wish to replicate such collaborations.