The Technical Writing Process
4 steps to help you create better technical writing documents and instructions
Instructions in wet labs come in many forms. Some are handwritten notes vulnerable to loss and damage.
Academic institutions present a more challenging arena than most with regards to ensuring business continuity. The turnover rate is high by design, with graduate students working towards various degrees departing regularly around the two- and four-year marks, undergraduate interns / co-op students whose presence tends to last for only the length of the summer months, and professors strapped for time between teaching commitments, grant proposals, and the various bureaucratic requirements of running a research group.
When a student needs to understand a specific lab process or learn how to operate a piece of equipment, training is often provided by other students, or more experienced lab mates. This training may come in the form of more experienced postdocs and PhD candidates, passing master’s students, or even undergraduates who themselves learned the required methods very recently. As these traditions of knowledge tend to occur in chains from student to student, it is easy to see where and why specific skills and in-depth understanding can go missing. The obvious solution to this issue is the production of instructions, but here we come to another stumbling block.
Instructions in the research environment come in many forms. Some are digital, other are heavy binders filled with old SOPs, and some are handwritten notes passed from one student to the next, vulnerable to loss and damage. Oftentimes instructions are specific to instruments, labs, and research groups. Some instructions are written by professors, some by lab technicians, some by graduate students, and some by undergraduate students. By this point it should be clear that the theme of this and the above paragraphs is that a lack of centralization and consistent, reliable processes for storing and distributing training and instructions is the cause of many a headache in the academic community. Here’s where Dux comes into play.
With Dux’s tools for creating and sharing digital instructions - lab procedures, SOPs, safety procedures, and more - are easy to centralize, preserve, and attach to research groups, lab facilities, and instruments. Using our mobile app, following instructions on handheld devices is easy, and creating instructions for specific lab setups is quick and convenient. Images, audio, and video can all be captured through a mobile device and directly uploaded to instruction cards. Existing PDF documents can be imported and converted. Swipe-able cards make viewing instruction steps on mobile devices very natural compared to traditional documents.
As a company that always looks to the future, Dux supports research and innovation and seeks to aid in the creation of a continuously improving educational environment for students and teachers alike. Let us know how we can help with your research by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.