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Friday, October 28, 2005

Hot Topic Friday

Those of your who are familiar with blogs as a genre (or are they a medium?) know that it is common practice to have a topic on fridays that is either some sort of survey of readers or a question to sollicit discussion from readers.

In that grand tradtion, I give you the first ever PeerCentered Hot Topic Friday[TM]! (It is not really TMed, but it looked funny to write that.)

Today's topic: Why don't peer writing tutors participate more in online forums (such as on writingcenters.org/boards) or in places like PeerCentered? Discuss....

1 comment:

  1. I think there are a couple reasons tutors don't automatically blog about their sessions: Writing is not necessarily the best means of reflection for all tutors - just because we're Writing Center tutors doesn't mean we all write for fun or for any other purpose that isn't directly tied to publication or "because it's part of the coursework."

    So why would you have tutors blog about their experiences? Do you want your tutors to reflect on an article or on a session? Talking with other tutors might be better for many students; you could then hear direct feedback about a session, and have definite interaction. With a blog, there can be more of a feeling of having to sit down and formulate a response. It can be comparatively difficult to have to read something and then respond to it, without having the benefit of having the other person being physically present to ask for clarification.

    Do you want to promote a sense of community in your Writing Center? A lot of tutors at our WC are young - undergrads and grads under the age of 25. At that age, is blogging the best way to promote interaction, or would a better way to get everyone in the same room and start gabbing about a topic at hand? (The past 2 years I was able to attend and present at NEWCA, and let me tell you: That conference probably did as much if not more for tutor development than reading articles and responding via Blackboard or a blog, because we were excited about what we were hearing, and since it was a common experience, we discussed what we were hearing. And since we were all hearing different things via different panels, it was very interesting to compare what we'd heard.)

    I think there's something to be said for face-to-face interaction, something that's missing on a lot of blogs. I have my own blog, one in which I tend to write a lot for myself, becauses I want to clear my head and write things out for my own clarification. However, I've always been one to write for myself, and even though writing is yet another way for me to reflect on a tutoring session (or anything else), quite simply I'm not sure this would hold true for most people.

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