Artificial Intelligence, Large Language Models, and Design Thinking in TPC Classrooms


  • Christine Masters-Wheeler Francis Marion University
  • Jennifer Bay Purdue University
  • Patricia Sullivan Purdue University


design thinking, TPC pedagogy, Technology


How are Technical and Professional Communication (TPC) programs and administrators to approach Artificial Intelligence models? Our contribution to this special issue explores the ways that programs and instructors can incorporate AI models into the TPC curriculum without sacrificing rigor or ethics. We look to design thinking as an approach that we might consider for incorporating AI modeling. Because design thinking is already embedded in TPC pedagogical approaches, we believe that it is a natural fit for teaching students how to use AI ethically and iteratively.


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Author Biographies

Christine Masters-Wheeler, Francis Marion University

Christine Masters-Wheeler is Associate Professor of English at Francis Marion University, where she coordinates the Professional Writing program, directs English internships, and teaches undergraduate and honors courses in technical communication, multimedia writing, digital video cultures, business writing, and first-year composition. Her research interests include digital rhetorics, internships, experiential learning, and TPC program development. Her work has appeared in Technical Communication, the Journal of Technical Writing and CommunicationAda: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, and in edited collections.

Jennifer Bay, Purdue University

Jennifer Bay is Professor of English at Purdue University, where she teaches undergraduate courses in the Professional and Technical Writing major and graduate courses in Professional Writing, Community Engagement, and Rhetorical Theory. Her research focuses on community engagement and experiential learning, digital rhetorics, internships, and rhetorical theory in TPC. Her work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, the Journal of Technical Writing and CommunicationIEEE Transactions on Professional CommunicationTechnical Communication QuarterlyComputers & CompositionProgrammatic Perspectives, as well as in edited collections. Most recently, she has published on data rhetorics and equity and inclusion in the TPC classroom.

Patricia Sullivan, Purdue University

Patricia Sullivan is Professor of English at Purdue University. She is the former director of the Rhetoric and Composition graduate program and has published recently on mentoring, history, usability, photovoice, and lean technical communication. She was instrumental in starting the B.A. in Professional Writing and secondary areas for the Ph.D. in Technical and Professional Writing and in Rhetoric, Technology and Digital Writing. She has published widely in College Composition and Communication, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Educause Quarterly, IEEE Transactions on Professional CommunicationComputers & Composition, and the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication.




How to Cite

Masters-Wheeler, C., Bay, J., & Sullivan, P. (2024). Artificial Intelligence, Large Language Models, and Design Thinking in TPC Classrooms. Programmatic Perspectives, 14(2). Retrieved from