Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Rhetoric and Professional Communication

First Advisor

Charles Kostelnick


This project focuses on the development and empirical study of design pedagogy for teaching and learning communication work in professional and technical communication (PTC) courses. It provides communication design history, theoretical and practical frameworks, and results of a research study on user-experience (UX) with design pedagogy—specifically in technical communication classes focused on computer-mediated communications (CMCs) in a computer integrated program.

In Chapter 1, the historical relationship between communication and design in professional communication work is examined to establish the value that design approaches and practices offer PTC. This work justifies the pursuit of a design-based pedagogy for PTC. After which, Chapter 2 offers a theoretical framework of multiliteracies for developing design pedagogy for multimodal, digital communication and codifies these literacies into seven principles for teaching and learning contemporary communication. Chapter 3 builds upon these principles by defining and describing the tenets of design pedagogy for CMCs in PTC. It establishes the practices for teaching an approach to communication as design and for composing via the design thinking process. Chapter 4 introduces the qualitative, empirical methods used to capture user-experience (UX) data of faculty, students, and the investigator regarding the use of design pedagogy in technical communication courses. The UX results derived from empirical inquiry are reported and discussed in Chapter 5. The results indicate that design pedagogy in technical communication offers faculty and students a radically user-centered approach to communication, an innovative design process for creating CMCs, and a multimodal emphasis for meeting the needs and expectations of 21st century communications in the workplace and beyond. The final chapter offers these major contributions and a few others associated with how to triangulate UX research methods for studying classroom pedagogy. Also, it provides recommendations from the faculty, students, and investigator for the continued use and improvement of design pedagogy for teaching and learning CMCs in PTC.


Copyright Owner

Philip Brandon Gallagher



File Format


File Size

216 pages