Showing posts from 2011

Reflective Practice

Hi All, As the end of the fall semester approaches, I plan to meet with writing tutors individually to discuss how the semester went (e.g., strengths they feel they exhibited, target areas for improvement, challenges they faced, questions/concerns they have, etc.). Have you found any questions/approaches to be particularly useful when having such conversations with tutors/consultants? And, more generally, I am interested in effective strategies for generating a reflective practice in the writing center. In other words, what have you done to get tutors/consultants to discuss not only issues that come up in their work with students on writing but to reflect on their own tutoring/consulting practices and engage in dialogue about their practices? Thanks! A Reflective Practitioner

Peer Tutoring: Where Collaborative Theory Meets Practice

NCPTW11: Bloggers, Blogging, and the Blogging of Bloggers

Cassandra and Yecca talk about their poster session on working with bloggers at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Writing Studio .

NCPTW Keynote Address by Brian Fallon

Anyone Ever Tutored Online?

Hey guys, I am relatively new to peer tutoring (just started getting some "practice" consulting hours in my university's writing center as part of a Peer Tutoring class I am taking), but it's something that I am really passionate about. Right now, I am trying to learn more about online writing labs and what kinds of different kinds of online writing consultations different schools and universities have available to them. Are there any tutors on this blog who have had experience working as an online writing tutor and would like to answer a couple of questions? Basically, I am working to find out how online writing consultations can foster the same learning experience as a one-on-one, face-to-face consultation in a writing center. If anyone out there has experience with this and would be interested in participating, please let me know by commenting. Thank you!

How To Handle Rhetorical Punctuation Issues?

As I've been tutoring for the past year, I keep coming across an issue that I haven't heard talked about a whole lot--I'd really appreciate feedback on how everyone handles this situation, and (if it applies) what your thoughts are on how it might be handled better. Pointers to any literature on the subject would be awesome too. The enclosed link is just an article from The Wall Street Journal that I thought was interesting--it got me thinking again about the question I've been wanting to pose to other tutors since this summer. Love to hear what your perspective is on the article too, but let me get on with my question. Our writing center sees students from every major and I tutor every undergrad class level. The more I tutor, the more I notice that grammar and punctuation are very rhetorical: in many ways professors' perspectives of  "what is correct" are all different--many times dependent upon their field. For instance, Engineering professors (in my

Survey on plagiarism

This just in from Zuzana Tomas: Dear tutors/consultants, I am working on a study that examines your experience with and beliefs about writing from sources and plagiarism. I would greatly appreciate it if you could participate in the study by completing an online survey. The survey is completely anonymous and should not take longer than 15 minutes to complete. Here is the link to the survey: If you would like more information about the study, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you so much for your help! Zuzana Tomas ( ) Eastern Michigan University

NCPTW Conference tips

On WCENTER, Risa Gorelick posted some handy tips that the WPA email list sends out that might help first-time NCPTW attendees (edited with peer tutors in mind): General First Time Conference Attendees: wear comfortable shoes! network with EVERYONE.  Meet new people.  Stay hydrated.  Conference hotels are dry and you'll talk a lot. Bring snacks (Powerbars, candies, etc.) in case you're in a session during lunch. Go to the parties (don't sit in your hotel room...).  Try to  go to a session on something you don't know much about rather than go to all the sessions on [subjects you know something about].  You'll meet new people and learn something to boot. Try not to go up to some big name and say, "wow, you're so-and-so" (s/he will know that already).  Instead, introduce yourself and start a conversation.  [Don't be afraid to talk to people, in other words!] It's OK to go up to

PeerCentered Podcast! NCPTW 2011 Preview: Daniel Sanford

NCPTW 2011 Preview: Daniel Sanford Daniel Sanford from the University of New Mexico talks about his upcoming presentation at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing: "Writing Tutoring and Language Rights: Spanish and Navajo Writing Tutoring at the University of New Mexico."

PeerCentered FlashMob 3.0

PeerCentered Flash Mob 2.0 in Baltimore Come join PeerCentered colleagues attending the upcoming NCPTW conference in Miami in a flash mob & get an official PeerCentered sticker for your name badge! The plan is to meet up at the Pizza Reception/Poster Session on Friday at 5:00. You can dance if you want to, but if you don't dance and if they don't dance, well they're still friends of PeerCentered. As at the last PeerCentered FlashMob [TM] we will be trading erstwhile mascots. Bring your stuffed animals/tin Elvises/whatever to trade with other PCFlashMobbers. Last year, for example, the SLCC Student Writing Center traded its fake Pepe Le Peu plush animal for a rather fetching tin angel Elvis. This is the third PeerCentered flash mob. Our first was held at the 2008 Las Vegas NCPTW/IWCA joint conference. The second was in November 2010 in again at the IWCA/NCPTW Joined Conference. This is our first with just an NCPTW mob!

Fall semester here we come!

Here we are at the start of another school year. Here is an idea to get your PeerCentered juices flowing: post a comment to this post about something you would like to improve on in your tutoring writing.

Writing Center Haiku Project

I encourage everyone to check out and submit to my project.

CFP: Writing Center Theory and Practice

The Winter 2011 Issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly is still accepting submissions until the end of August for its special section on writing center theory and practice.  This section will particularly focus on how the founding and funding of writing centers influence who they serve and why. In addition to Writing Center Directors and other administrators, we welcome submissions from professional staff, faculty tutors, and graduate students who work in the writing center! For the official CFP please .      

Praxis publication and news

This just in from the editors of Praxis: Praxis, the writing center journal at The University of Texas at Austin is happy to announce the publication of its Fall 2011 issue, From Triage to Outreach: Raising the Institutional Profile of Writing-Center Work. Please find our latest issue online at the Praxis website: . Beginning this spring, Praxis will be published as a peer-reviewed journal. Our Spring 2011 issue is the second in a series about the institutional profile of writing centers and writing center practice. Please see our Call for Papers at . Our guidelines for submissions have changed. Those interested in submitting aritcles for peer review, column essays, and book or conference reviews can find our new guidelines for submission at . The deadline for submissions is August 20, 2011.

Electrical Tape Was Our Bond

Hey Friends~ My name is Angie, I'm a English Writing Major at Montana State University, where I also tutor in our Writing Center. I'm new to the tutoring community, but I've fallen in love with it already and am trying to get more familiar with writing center research, culture, jargon, conferences--ya know, everything! This blog has been really helpful for me just to hear the kinds of conversations peer tutors in other places are having. Thanks! My last day of tutoring for the semester made me think about things I'm not sure I've thought this deeply about before. Like how easy it is to profile a writer by the appearance of their paper and how this can jade our opinions of the paper and the writer before we even read, causing us to miss out on powerful teaching/learning moments. And also how there are many ways we can connect with a writer; some of them so obvious that I, for one, didn't even see them until my interaction with this student opened my eyes. Like

Crossing the Age Gap with Adult Learners

Working with adults returning to school for either their bachelor’s or graduate degrees has helped me develop my skills as a consultant and peer tutor. Consultations with adult students have a different atmosphere about them than do traditional, young students; they are usually able to better articulate their problems and explain their concerns. When the age difference is significant enough, challenges can inhibit the client gaining trust in the tutor. To overcome them, we have to look at different ways of thinking about what being a peer tutor means. The broadest definition of “peer” is someone who belongs in the same group as you, and most commonly this refers to age. Peers can just as easily be people with similar abilities, qualifications, and other statuses, but age is the first impression. Most of the consultants at our Writing Center and the students who come in are undergraduates and graduate students within the same age range. Before any words are exchanged, this automatically

2011 NCPTW Conference

The National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing will take place November 4-6 in Florida International University's Biscayne Bay campus. Since the deadline is right around the corner (April 25), I wanted to know if anyone is planning on attending. If so, what are you thinking about presenting?

Facebook: The Writing Center

At the 2011 Rocky Mountain Peer Tutoring Conferece hosted by Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Joe McCormick, Writing Advisor at the Salt Lake Community College Student Writing Center, presented his work on incorporating Facebook as a writing center platform, including standard information and writing-related resources as well as online tutoring.

Revenge of the Podcast

After a couple of years of on-again, off-again quest for a new server home, the PeerCentered Podcast is back!  There are some "episodes" from the last couple of years that were placed in other venues and represented here in the PeerCentered blog. If you are interested in doing a podcast episode, contact me (Clint Gardner.)

Steps to Success: Examining the Effectiveness of Follow-up Consultations

It started as any other consultation with a graduate student. I met the student, Kevin, and discovered that he wanted help with his journal article. He had been to the University Writing Center (UWC) once before a few months ago, so he had an idea of the kind of work we do. His concerns centered mostly on article use and the structure of sentences. I was also able to identify comma use errors and some capitalization issues when naming proper nouns. Overall, Kevin was eager to learn. It seemed more important to him to really understand the underlying concepts we discussed rather than just covering as much ground as possible. This was my first hint that perhaps this client could benefit from a more long-term consultative relationship. As we neared the end of the session, Kevin mentioned that he was very happy with the feedback I was giving him and wanted to know if he could meet with me again. I was about to give him the normal line about how everyone is just as qualified – which they ab

Question for Everyone

So lately I've had a question on my mind and want to share it with all of you to see the responses I get. I know there have was a presentation or two on the subject during the IWCA-NCPTW conference,but here goes: What happens to the identity of a tutor when they are no longer a tutor? Many times, tutors have an identity that they have developed while tutoring. What happens when the tutor is no longer a tutor, but just a student? How do they adapt, per say? I find myself asking this question more since I tutored as an undergraduate, but do not have the time to tutor as a graduate student. Your responses who be helpful for an article I am writing.

What's in a name?

A few years back, the PeerCentered podcast took a video recorder to the Rocky Mountain Peer Tutoring Conference at Weber State University.  One of the projects was to ask attendees what their job was called (given that there seems to be a lot of contention about how writing center work and workers should be labeled.)

The Revenge of the Podcast

The server that the PeerCentered podcast was on crashed and is unlikely to return.  I'm looking into options for the podcast and whether or not to continue it at all.  If you are interested in developing podcast episodes for PeerCentered, let me know.