The ACM Chapter International Conference on Educational Technology, Language and Technical Communication (ETLTC)


Intelligent Information Architecture of Content Management Systems and Delivery Portals in Technical Communication

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler
Institute for Information & Content Management
The Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences

Content management systems (CMS) build a well-established technological backbone of technical communication. Especially in Central Europe, there is a long history of CMS facing the challenges of product communication in global environments. They have been used to optimize the internal processes of documentation departments, mainly in the machinery industry and suppliers as well as related areas like the automotive or aviation industries. CMS try to solve and handle the complexity of product documentation arising from product variants, product change, and globalization. For this purpose, they rely on methodologies and technologies like topic-based content, content variants, version management and sophisticated functionalities supporting for example translation management. In order to ensure quality and to reduce costs, content is standardized on a linguistic level e.g. by terminology management, writing guidelines and authoring memory functionalities. Moreover, content is structured by using XML-information models and is then published in highly automated processes creating standardized and reliably styled documents. Many companies use even more sophisticated processes to automated document generation driven by parts lists or other product properties from engineering.

In most cases, product documentation from CMS has been produced – at least for end users – to comply with legal requirements and international standards. Documents have been produced and delivered as classical manuals (information for use) in pdf format or as more or less static electronic documents. The needs of users for an interactive and more situational information delivery have been neglected for a long time. This has changed in recent years. Coming up with modern web technologies and system architectures, content can be delivered increasingly by so-called content delivery portals (CDP). They can make use of the granular topic-based nature of content from CMS and also from metadata which has been used before only for document creation and can now be used for faceted search processes. By this, content can be addressed manually or via web services in many ways and for many use cases. Corresponding applications are even more initiated by recent IoT/Industry 4.0 approaches from engineering, production, product monitoring, and service management. There, content can be delivered to users (technicians or end users) depending on actual machine states and operating conditions. Therefore, content development and provisioning from TC have developed towards a key component of modern product architectures and correlated digital (information) services.

From the perspective of information management, there is subsequently a boost towards more elaborated information modeling approaches and information technologies. Semantic modeling used only for content structures is extended towards semantic metadata modeling, ontology modeling, and semantic networks. These technologies are either used for modeling the complexity of products in combination with content creation or for the enhancement of search processes and corresponding increased precision of search results. Finally, applications of artificial intelligence are included in these technologies. They can be used to support automated content classification or to enhance search and delivery processes. The concept of content delivery will, therefore, include technologies like object and speech recognition to facilitate search, communication with CDP and navigation in product and information space.

3D Printing Architecture: Cities that empower 

Professor Dr. Ana Cristina García-Luna Romero
Department of Architecture
University of Monterrey

Keywords: design, architecture, digital technologies, 3D printing, cities.

Digital technologies provide enticing opportunities to increase accessibility, maximize public standing, decrease costs, and preserve heritage in new, more affordable ways.

The field of architectural design, practice, fabrication, and construction is increasingly becoming aided and dependent on digital technology. The proliferation of computers in design education and practice has resulted in a major paradigm shift and a reorientation in theoretical and conceptual assumptions considered to be central to traditional design education and practice.

Information technology has become ever more pervasive in architectural education and practice and has revolutionized the way we design, practice, evaluate, teach and produce architecture. Digital technology has reconditioned the design process and how we operate as architects. The introduction of new computational tools to architectural design pushed the limits of conventional design models and methods. From inception to the representation of designs, and from production to life-cycle management of buildings, architects had to develop exceptional approaches.
The digital age has also radically reconfigured the relationship between design and production, creating a direct digital connection between what can be imagined and designed and what can be built through "file-to factory" processes of computer numerically controlled (CNC) fabrication (Kolarevic 2003). The ability to generate construction information directly from design information is one aspect of digital architecture. Architectural design information is slowly becoming building information particularly with the emergence of Virtual Building solutions, and Building Information Modelling (BIM) in particular. In fact, BIM implementation could streamline the design and construction processes, and eventually may lead to the re-establishment of the architect as the master builder.

Digital technology also radically changed the way we teach and learn architecture (Gross and Do 1999, Al-Qawasmi 2005). New computerized studios such as the paperless studio and the virtual design studio have been introduced in many architectural schools as new ways of practicing and teaching architectural design.

It is evident that digital media has fundamentally changed the way we design, practice, and product architecture. These changes have given rise to a discourse and debate on the relationship between digital technology and architecture. Despite the extensive literature on the subject, the impact of digital technology on how we design, practice, teach, fabricate and produce architecture has not been sufficiently examined.
It is proposed to reflect from the forward-thinking of the use of 3D printing in construction from 3 specific processes of application:
1) Robotic arm extrudes,
2) Sand layers linked together,
3) Metal for solid structures.

This debate is argued by recognizing that digital technologies as digital fabrication are ushering in the third era of construction technology. Prior to the industrial revolution, hand-production methods were abundant and craft defined everything. The craftsman had an almost phenomenological knowledge of materials and intuited how to vary their properties according to their structural and environmental characteristics.
The coming of the industrial revolution saw the triumph of the machine over the hand and the machine was used to standardize everything. Now, however, digital technologies such as additive manufacturing allow craft and industry to merge.
The question is, which technologies are best suited to architecture? Further, can 3D printing help solve the housing crisis?

KOLAREVIC, B. 2003, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing, Taylor and Francis, UK.
GROSS, M. D., & DO, E. Y. 1999, Integrating Digital Media in Design Studio: Six Paradigms, In Conference Proceedings of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Minneapolis, pp. 144-148.
AL-QAWASMI, J. 2005, "Digital Media in Architectural design education: reflections on the e-studio pedagogy," Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 4(3), pp. 205-222.

Biomedical Engineering & Healthcare

Professor Dr. Hiram Alejandro Cantú Campos
Department of Biomedical Engineering    
University of Monterrey

Biomedical engineering is a discipline seeking to reduce the gap between Engineering and Medicine in order to provide solutions to healthcare problems. Along the different specialties areas of Biomedical Engineering, there is a field known as Rehabilitation Engineering that involves the design, development, and implementation of solutions and devices for assisting people with disabilities, promoting inclusion and allowing disabled people to have a more independent life.

Emerging technologies have affected the development of the different disciplines, in a positive way in most of the cases, and Rehabilitation Engineering is not the exemption. An example of these emerging technologies is three-dimensional (3D) printing, an additive manufacturing process able to fabricate three dimensional and solid objects of the desired geometry. 3D printing is considered a convenient technique to manufacture devices capable of assist and/or replace body functions.

Additive manufacturing, such as 3D printing, combined with mechanics and/or electronics, core subjects of a Biomedical Engineering program, permits the creation of more robust and sophisticated rehabilitation devices. Such is the case of different innovative projects that have been developed in the undergraduate program by the students of the Biomedical Engineering program at UDEM: a myoelectric-controlled hand prosthesis was fabricated by 3D printing with the ability to react to muscle signals of the amputated arm; a scanning navigation system was designed, 3D printed, and implemented into a wheelchair for children with cerebral palsy in order to give them autonomy while moving; a wristband was developed and 3D printed to recollect frequency ranges of tremor in patients with Parkinson’s disease in order to better control the dose of dopaminergic medication.

The development of these types of projects at the undergraduate level has been a unique and enriching experience for the students at UDEM. It allows them to understand the actual needs of the society and, more importantly, it engages them to focus their knowledge and work in the improvement of the quality of life of others.

Rule-Based Writing - Technical Documentation in the English Language for Engineers

Professor Dr. Michael Tewes
Dekan der Fakultät IMM
Antidiskriminierungs-/Diversitybeauftragter der HsKA

Engineers and authors of technical communication all over the world have to write standardized English texts, although they are not native speakers of English. This trend is constantly increasing due to the progressive globalization of services, trade, and industry. For cost reasons, however, native speakers are rarely available in companies to proofread English texts.

Until a study by tekom, the European Association for Technical Communication, in 2013, little was known about the needs of authors in writing English texts and the tools they use to write them. Available aids such as John Kohl's "Global English Style Guide" are aimed at native speakers of English. They do not take into account the specific problems of non-native speakers.

As a result of the tekom study, a publication was produced which specifically combined the experience of the 190 authors participating in the study with the scientific findings of linguists. In addition, software producers for language technologies were involved. The result of these efforts is the tekom guideline "Ruled-Based Writing – English for Non-Native Writers" (2013).

The presentation aims to show how this guideline provides engineers and technical writers with a set of rules to help them improve the quality of English technical documentation texts. The rules are available on the linguistic levels of the text (32 rules), the syntax (sentence, 57 rules) and the lexicon (word, 30 rules). On the basis of the rules and the corresponding practical examples, it will be demonstrated how these rules can be applied in everyday business life and how they can increase the quality standard of the texts. In addition, the possibilities offered by the guideline for developing one's own writing rules will be considered.

The aim of these efforts is to continuously improve the quality of English texts in a company, to introduce “Ruled-Based Writing” for all authors and to implement a Style Guide for quality assurance.

Multimedia knowledge transfer based on 3D models used in Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and for the creation of instructional videos and supplemented with dynamic, multilingual, auditory information

Professor Martin Schober
Professor of Internet and Media Technology Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences 

3D models are ideally suited for creating learning applications, training applications and technical documentation with new trend-setting technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and videos. For didactic reasons, these applications should be interactive, multimedia and multilingual.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are technologies to convey knowledge and to support complex actions visually and dynamically. This results in interesting perspectives for technical documentation, e-learning, and service. Which knowledge and tools are needed to create augmented reality and virtual reality knowledge media? Which hardware and which software tools are available? 

Augmented reality is the enrichment of the real world with computer-generated additional objects. The existing reality is supplemented by virtual objects. These can be of a visual, auditory and haptic nature. An everyday example: In a football broadcast, offside lines and the goal distance of a free kick are digitally inserted into the broadcast for the television viewer. Today, glasses are used in service and maintenance which, for example, display information about a fault in a machine via Bluetooth. The spare part to be used can then be organized immediately. The glasses also use GPS to detect when the fitter is standing in front of the machine and display the troubleshooting instructions.   

In contrast to augmented reality, virtual reality is the representation and simultaneous perception of artificial reality and its physical properties in a real-time computer-generated, interactive virtual environment. The real environment is excluded. In the technical environment, this technology can be used to walk through large facilities without danger or, for example, to save the construction of prototypes by using virtual 3D models in development.

Augmented reality" means that in a device (mobile devices, AR glasses, wearables) the current image of the environment, supplemented by artificial extensions, can be seen. These artificial extensions can be media such as texts, images, films or 3D models. The real image can either be transferred to a screen via a camera and supplemented with media, or the media can be projected onto the real image that is seen through a glass pane, as is already the case in many state-of-the-art motor vehicles.  
One characteristic that distinguishes AR from VR and must be taken into account is its portability. With Virtual Reality, the user is bound to a place in the real world; the application only works if the user is at a certain place, e.g. if the sensors for tracking are fixed at a place. With Augmented Reality, it is the user's intention to move around in his environment, to walk around and to have much greater freedom of movement. Nevertheless, the user must be at the point where the AR system's task can be fulfilled. 

Dynamic multilingualism and text to speech in HTML5 documents and Adobe Captivate applications provide a cognitive advantage. 

Texts can be dynamically exchanged from XML files using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) and JavaScript in HTML5 and Adobe Captivate. In addition, they can be read out directly in multiple languages using appropriate TextToSpeech software. It has been scientifically proven that it is advantageous to present additional information on images and films not as text, but auditory. Since the visual sensory channel is already occupied with images, it is better to record additional information in an audio format so that there is no overload, e.g. by watching a film at the same time and reading explanatory texts that are faded in. Some multimedia learning theories describe that visual and auditory information is processed in two different subsystems of working memory. By using the auditory subsystem, the visual subsystem can be relieved and learning performance improved.

   Practical approaches towards steady information workflows: From Marketing Automation to Content Configuration and the connected sub-processes

    Mr. Dominik Lächler
Head, Department of Bürkert Information Management ( bIM)
Bürkert Fluid Control Systems     

Regardless of what the actual terms mean, it is undisputed that change processes are currently running which are changing the work itself, and above all, the way we actually work.
With the increased demands which affect the development of new products in terms of connectivity and networking with other products towards the "digital factory", not only the products themselves and how they are developed change, but also the information belonging to the product must keep pace in this context to keep up with more and more complex products and devices.

The realization that the future not only belongs to the individual product but also to the specific content and not to the static document itself is only gradually gaining ground in classical mechanical engineering companies: What people actually want today is not “Illustration shows special equipment” but “Illustration shows what you actually ordered”. So what companies are struggling with is how to implement it and how to set up the infrastructure to really make a difference in terms of information in the context of digitalization. So they face two major challenges here: What kind of digital content do customers need and how can we generate this kind of content as efficient and automated as possible? Is it only a matter of publishing a PDF as online help and thus only changing the format, but not the content, or is it a matter of fundamentally realigning communication with the customer, which produces completely new ways of thinking, processes and business models and thus breaking with previous publication structures and channels.
The respective decision is important and effects tools, content and the necessary classifications.

It is clear that individual departments of a company cannot cope with these challenges on their own and so it’s the management of a company that has to define it as a part of its company strategy. This highlights the importance to think out of the box – within the management and the departments. This is what Bürkert has recognized and therefore has begun to set the course for the information of the future, which will meet the increased demands on information, the delivery, and retrieval of it. The boundaries between the individual departments are becoming increasingly blurred because the creation of information has to be seen as a process and not as a departmental task: this affects the technical editing as well as the marketing of a company as the main producers of information today.

Bürkert in particular as a manufacturer of products with a high degree of variance faces particular challenges: On the one hand, the classical approach to the structuring and classification of content in the form of product and information-related metadata is not sufficient if the appropriate product information for the product is to be generated ad-hoc. Therefore, the evaluation of technical features of a product has to be considered what has not been the focus of most editors and goes far beyond the work of the ordinary technical editor. From pure Content Management, the way is being prepared to Content Configuration in Content Management System (CMS) On the other hand, it is an immense effort to deliver sales information that really supports the sales department in their daily work by providing the right information at the right time in a language that the user understands. Building up ontologies to build intelligent searches to deliver precise content through sharp classifications is what Bürkert is striving for at the moment - it’s Content Delivery.

Additionally, a consistent language in source and target languages delivers the base for all multi-language content-related activities at Bürkert.  A state-of-the-art Authoring Assistant Tool and a Translation Memory System (TMS) form the necessary IT backbone.


    Technical Communication from the Perspective of Cognitive Psychology - Including Technical Communication Comprehensive Program

Professor Manabu Kishi   
  Director, Japan Technical Communication Association: JTCA
Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Gakugei University

Technical Communication from the view of Cognitive Psychology is to explain it from the following four points of view:
The Vertical Axis: it tries to grasp your comprehensive ability, or not to do.
The Horizontal Axis: it tries to inform you of all the knowledge, while carefully selecting.
The points of the above views are as follows:
1. Accuracy and Understandability are different.
2. Changes of receivers' minds are important.
These points can be concretized in the Technical Communication as follows: "Technical communicators convey necessary technical, products'
information including services to the receivers (readers, listeners) accurately and understandably in order to raise the receivers' understandability and satisfaction of achievement."
The Technical Communication Comprehensive Program is the one to authorize a person acquired basic knowledge and ability being necessary
for Technical Communication as a Completed Graduate.

This program is aiming at making studying contents at universities useful in the business world.

    Four Missions about Re-design for Technical Communication
Professor Kuroda
Councilor, Chairperson of Planning Committee of Public Activities, JTCA
Guest Associate Professor 
Center for the Study of Co* Design
Osaka University

Technical Communication has been continually changing for its 60 years of development while always responding to the social requirements and to the changes in the industries. We can look down over these changes every 10 years. Now, we face the changing epoch where the Technology of Technical Communication has been rapidly changing to cope with the social changes toward the aging society and the technical changes based on the AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the IoT (Internet of Things).

Technical communicators have been trying to enlarge the applicable targets of the Technical Communication and to change the Output Package Form from Document to Information; for this purpose, we Technical Communicators have been actively developing New Elemental Technologies
while looking for the optimal combinations between the knowledge and
technology, etc.

Such changes prove that the technologies of Technical Communication would continually shoulder the social missions in the future as well and they would continually contribute to the compatibility of heightening users' value of experiences and users' protections; they show the future possibility as ones of practical business affairs.