We created iFixit’s Technical Writing Project to bring a meaningful service learning experience to the university classroom. Service learning is an effective pedagogical strategy for engaging students and connecting their learning to the broader world, but integrating service learning into an existing curriculum poses unique challenges. Our program addresses these challenges through its innovative design, and we offer individualized support to assist partners throughout the implementation process.

With iFixit’s Technical Writing Project (iTWP), you and your students have the opportunity to partner with an organization that values teaching and learning as much as you do—in fact, it’s at the core of our mission. The iTWP has been designed from the ground up to integrate smoothly into the academic context, with careful consideration paid to timeframe and the structure of deliverables. We’ve developed and field-tested a plethora of resources to better support both instructors and students as they navigate through the project.

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The iTWP is a turn-key service-learning project with a proven track-record: Our program has grown to encompass partnerships with nearly 70 colleges and universities across the United States and Europe since its inception in 2009. Our dedicated team of technical writers has provided substantive feedback to over 13,000 students who have participated in the project to date.

Our program offers a unique opportunity for student teams to create service documentation for a device using iFixit's collaborative online platform. The product of the students' efforts is a free repair manual for anyone to use, as part of iFixit's global effort to keep as many devices as possible out of landfills by helping everyone learn how to repair everything.

iFixit’s Technical Writing Project guides student teams through the process of documenting the replacement of components in a consumer device—either one provided by iFixit, or one of their own choosing. These devices are usually electronics, but the possibilities range from bicycles to appliances and even toys. In addition to a device, iFixit also provides each group with a toolkit for disassembly and component removal. The entire curriculum is hosted online at edu.ifixit.com, where students and instructors always have access to our collection of resources from anywhere and at any time. The project is fully supported by iFixit’s technical writing staff, who are available to answer questions from students or instructors and provide valuable feedback on deliverables at each clearly-defined project milestone.

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Although technical writing is in the project’s title, the iTWP has been integrated into the curriculum across many disciplines in addition to technical and professional communication, including English, Engineering, Environmental Studies, and New/Emerging Media. It is also flexible enough to be integrated into a diversity of institutions, from the community college level through masters’ level graduate programs.

While individual instructors are welcome to integrate the project in a single course, our program has also been successfully implemented department-wide across numerous instructors and sections. We are happy to work with department chairs, program leads, or technical/professional communication studies coordinators to develop an instructor training and rollout plan for effective cross-classroom program integration. We understand that every college and course is different, and we work intensively with new partners to find the right implementation to best meet their particular needs.

For more information about the project, please review our Program Benefits page. If you have specific questions or if you would like to apply for participation in the program, please email us at education@ifixit.com.