Academic Papers

Bennett, J. G. (2018). From Gatekeeper to Supportive Expert: The unique implications of the iFixit Service Learning Project on the instructor-student relationship. Proceedings of the 36th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication. SIGDOC 2018, Milwaukee, WI.

Carnegie, T. (2018). Sustaining service learning in the service course. Programmatic Perspectives, a Journal of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), 10(1), 110-141.

Getto, G., Franklin, N. & Ruszkiewicz. (2014). Networked rhetoric: iFixit and the social impact of knowledge work. Technical Communication, 61(3), 185-201.

Getto, G. & Labriola, J. T. (2016). iFixit myself: User-generated content strategy in "The Free Repair Guide for Everything." IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 59(1), 37-55.

Johnson, F. & Willi Hooper, M. (2019). iFixit with the library: Partnering for open pedagogy in technical writing. OLA Quarterly, 24(3), 13-17.

McCrigler, B. & Rippens, M. (2018). Human-centered service-learning in the online environment: A model for building relationships between industry and academic partners in a collaborative technical writing project. Proceedings of the 36th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication. SIGDOC 2018, Milwaukee, WI.

McCrigler, B. & Rippens, M. (2016). Industry innovation and classroom constraints: Infusing real-world UX into the university classroom via iFixit's Technical Writing Project. International Journal of Sociotechnology and Knowledge Development, 8(3), 15-28.

McCrigler, B. (2017). Learn by doing... it wrong: Lessons from seven years of industry-led service learning. Proceedings of the 35th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication. SIGDOC 2017, Halifax, NS, Canada.

Nelson, S. & McCrigler, B. (2014). A service-learning collaborative project in a mechanical engineering technical writing class. Proceedings of the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education Zone IV Conference, 289-293.

Waldorf, D. (2012). iLearnIt: An on-line wiki for equipment maintenance and laboratory instruction in engineering education. Proceedings of the 2012 ASEE PSW Section Conference. Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Ternary Data

McCrigler, B. (2015, March). Creating a value triangle: Modeling and evaluating value indicators for instructors, students, and industry to create a symbiotic, value-driven, academic-industry relationship. Presented at the 18th Annual Conference of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW), Tampa, FL.


Eggleston, A. G., & Rabb, R. J. (2019, June). Experiential Learning and Communication: iFixit in the Technical Writing Classroom. Paper presented at 2019 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition, Tampa, Florida.

Eggleston, A. G., & Rabb, R. J. (2019, June). Returning to an Industry-informed Technical Writing and Communication Course Design. Paper presented at 2019 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition, Tampa, Florida.

Hickman, D. W., & Staggers, J. (2014, September). Academic partnering with industry to facilitate a real-world writing experience. Panel presentation at the Annual Conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), Colorado Springs, CO.

Developing long-term relationships with community partners to build meaningful service-learning opportunities for students can be challenging for individual instructors and program administrators alike. This panel examines the potential for a program partnership with the crowd-sourced online repair manual, iFixit, to provide students with authentic, socially-engaged writing opportunities for a real, global audience. The mission of iFixit is to create repair manuals for everything on the planet, but primarily electronics, in order to reduce e-waste. The iFixit website features an active online community that generates repair manuals while partnering with universities on a technical writing program. We see this initiative as a way to immerse students in the material effects of both technology and technical writing in global culture.

Kim, L. & Renguette, C. (2016, October). Enhancing engineering communication course curricula by implementing repair instruction projects for online, open-access use. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Council for Programs of Scientific and Technical Communication (CPTSC), Savannah, GA.

One of the central questions this conference addresses is that of keeping program content and assignments relevant as tools, platforms, and times change. In this panel, we present our experiences working with an industry partner, iFixit, whose ambitious mission is to provide open access repair instruction for all human-made products […] This presentation will examine how variations of the iFixit project were implemented in several different technical communication courses, both in a service program for engineering students and in a bachelor of science degree program. We will discuss how the iFixit project can foster change from administrative, instructor, and student perspectives of technical and professional communication and sustainable design. We will discuss benefits, logistics, lessons learned, and feedback so attendees will be able to implement similar projects in their own curricula.

Lauer, J. (2014, September). Implementing iFixit technical writing project and project/program. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), Colorado Springs, CO.

McCrigler, B. (2013, October). Bridging the gap: Industry perspectives on service learning. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), Cincinnati, OH.

McCrigler, B. (2014, September). Closing the gap between the graduate and the professional through the development of engaged curricula. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), Colorado Springs, CO.

Brittany McCrigler discussed how she has worked with members of both industry and academia to help close the gap between the graduate and the professional via the development of engaged curricula. These curricula place students in an online collaborative community where they practice the role of technical communicator within the community to build skills. Her presentation discussed the development of this project-based curricula, including the implications for programs in technical communication of industry members taking an active role in curriculum development (beyond that of an advisory board) to help produce graduates that are industry-ready.

Rose, E. J. (2014, September). Developing and expanding technical identity: Promoting fixing as a way to engage with technical challenges. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), Colorado Springs, CO.


Gabrielli, S. Technical writing class focuses on community based learning. Retrieved March 16, 2018, from

Gregory, M. (2019, August 23). A new generation of students is teaching us how to reduce e-waste. Motherboard: Vice. Retrieved August 25, 2019, from

Heffernan, J. (2012, January 3). Pilot project leaves students to their own devices. James Madison University News. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from

Herring, B. (2018, April 10). Freshmen create repair guides for iFixit in TECM 1700. University of North Texas College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences: Technical Communication News. Retrieved May 14, 2019, from

Illini Gadget Garage will provide a space to repair electronics on campus. (2015, August 24). University of Illinois News Bureau. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from

Johnson, Tom. (2018, July 25). Reciprocal knowledge networks and the iFixit Technical Writing Project: Conversation with Guiseppe Getto. I'd Rather Be Writing: Exploring technical writing trends and innovations. Retrieved August 6, 2018, from

Karlin, S. (2010, October 6). Teaching people how to fix everything: An IEEE member works to teach people how to repair and extend the life of their electronics. The Institute: The IEEE News Source. Retrieved May 2, 2016, from

Peña, L. (2013). Engineering Communication: The minds behind iFixit return to their alma mater to improve the future of technical communication. Cal Poly Magazine. Retrieved August 25, 2019, from

Scrogrum, J. (2013, November 12). Why younger minds will solve the e-waste crisis. GreenBiz. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from

Simeonova, A. Students gain hands-on experience as technical writers. Retrieved September 8, 2016,  from

Watylyk, G. (2016, December 14). Gaining professional experience without leaving the classroom. University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts: Writing Studies News. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from

Wiens, K. (2012, July 20). I won't hire people who use poor grammar. Here's why. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from

Wiens, K. (2013, July 30). Your company is only as good as your writing. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from

Wiens, K. & Bluff, J. Tech Writing Handbook. Retrieved March 15, 2016, from

Writer's Toolbox: An English class on helping fix what's broken. (2014, Spring). UMaine Today, 5.


Relevant research, journal articles, and publications organized by category.

Collaboration, Teamwork, and Peer-Review Strategies

Wolfe, J. (2010). Team writing: A guide to working in groups. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's.

Brewer, E. & Holmes, T. (2016). Better Communication = Better Teams: A communication exercise to improve team performance. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 59(1), 288-298.

Situated LearninG & Guided Participation

Freedman, A. & Adam, C. (1996). Learning to write professionally: "Situated learning" and the transition from University to professional discourse. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 10, 395-427.

Blakeslee, A. M. (2001). Bridging the workplace and the academy: Teaching professional genres through classroom-workplace collaborations. Technical Communication Quarterly, 10, 169-192.


Dubinsky, J. M. (2002). Service-learning as a path to virtue: The ideal orator in professional communication. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 8(2), 61-75.

Hea, A. C., & Shah, R. W. (2016). Silent partners: Developing a critical understanding of community partners in technical communication service-learning pedagogies. Technical Communication Quarterly, 25(1), 48-66.

Youngblood, S. A. & Mackiewicz, J. (2013). Lessons in service learning: Developing the Service Learning Opportunities in Technical Communication (SLOT-C) Database. Technical Communication Quarterly, 22, 260-283.

Technological Literacy & Writing in the online environment

Breuch, L. K. (2013). Thinking critically about technological literacy: Developing a framework to guide computer pedagogy in technical communication. Technical Communication Quarterly, 11, 267-288.

Alexander, K. P. (2013). The usability of print and online video instructionsTechnical Communication Quarterly, 22, 237-259.

Trice, M. (2016). Evaluating multilevel user skill expression in a public, unsupervised wiki: A case study. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 59(1), 261-273.

Cowan, B. R. & Jack, M. A. (2010). Exploring the wiki user experience: The effects of training spaces on novice user usability and anxiety towards wiki editing. Interacting with Computers, 23,(2), 117-128.

Pedagogy in Technical Communication

Ornatowski, C. M. (1995). Educating technical communicators to make better decisions. Technical Communication, 42, 576-580.

Bernhardt, S. A. (1995). Teaching for change, vision, and responsibility. Technical Communication, 42, 600-602.

Miller, C. R. (1979). A humanistic rationale for technical writing. College English, 40, 610-617.

Quick, C. (2012). From the workplace to academia: Nontraditional students and the relevance of workplace experience in technical writing pedagogy. Technical Communication Quarterly, 21, 230-250.

Repair & Sustainability

Behdad, S. (2017, July 11). Why can't we fix our own electronic devices? The Conversation.

Houston, L. (2017). The timeliness of repair. continent., 6.1, 51-55.

Jackson, S. J. (2014). Rethinking repair. In T. Gillespie, P. Boczkowski, and K. Foot (Eds.). Media technologies: Essays on communication, materiality and society (pp. 221-239). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lepawsky, J. (2018). Reassembling rubbish: Worlding electronic waste. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lepawsky, J., Liboiron, M., Keeling, A., & Mather, C. (2017). Repair-scapes. continent., 6.1, 56-61.

Minter, A. (2015). Junkyard Planet: Travels in the billion-dollar trash trade. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.


Baldé, C.P., Forti, V., Gray, V., Kuehr, R., & Stegmann, P. (2017). The Global E-Waste Monitor 2017: Quantities, flows, and resources. Bonn/Geneva/Vienna: United Nations University (UNU), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

Lepawsky, J. (2018, May 15). Almost everything you know about e-waste is wrong. The Conversation.

Lundgren, K. (2012). The global impact of e-waste: Addressing the challenge. International Labour Office, Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork), Sectoral Activities Department (SECTOR). Geneva: International Labour Office (ILO).


Henry, J. (2010). (Re)Appraising the performance of technical communicators from a posthumanist perspective. Technical Communication Quarterly, 19, 11-30.

Mara, A. & Hawk, B. (2010). Posthuman rhetorics and technical communication. Technical Communication Quarterly, 19, 1-10.

Research on Teaching & Learning

Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R., (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brain, Mind, and School; Expanded Edition. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.