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Here at The Studio, Illinois Central College's writing lab, we have an end of the semester assessment assignment to understand and document our growth throughout the semester. Seeing as most of us, who aren't faculty, have only been consulting since the beginning of the semester in late August, this is a great way to discover how we problem solve and truly interact with our peer writers. The goal is to video tape yourself, however many times you feel is necessary, and watch them. You proceed to take important notes on: strategies you use, specific word choices, body language of both parties, and how well you helped them out as a writer instead of simply modifying the paper. I managed to take two video consultations this past Wednesday, one was a full 30 minute consultation. The other video died after seventeen minutes of video. I haven't had the opportunity to watch them quite yet, but I am interested to see how I consult from a third party standpoint. Of course to help assess my strengths, weaknesses, and ways to improve.
The first video consultation was with a woman writing an argument paper on whether schizophrenia is best treated at home or in an institution. We brainstormed ways she could deal with the topics and when to introduce certain information. We decided that in her conclusion she would provide documented examples of the way people with disabilities have been treated historically. For example, shock treatment or even removing parts of skull or brain. I felt that this would be an excellent clincher for her final paragraph.
I love suggesting to the writers I meet with to include some really great new information that pertains to the topic, but might be a link you haven't spoken of yet, in your conclusion. I think it is a great way to end without simply restating everything over again and leaving it at that.
I'm looking forward to video taping an early morning consultation tomorrow at 9:00am.
I will be sure to post any notes I come across while viewing these videos tomorrow, as well.