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I have been observing many sessions in the writing center with different consultants. In general, they all have similar strategies for running the session; however, there is one thing that I noticed differs from to tutor. Who writes the session report? Should the tutor write it? Should the tutee write it? Should there be collaboration in constructing it?
If a student is required to go to the writing center by a teacher, a session report will have to be written and emailed to the professor and a copy of it to the student. It serves a couple of purposes. It informs the professor how the session went and also serves as a record and reminder to the student when they work on their assignment later.
After each session, I ask the tutor why they chose what they did with making a session report. Here are some answers that I received:
“I always write the session report myself because usually the student won’t be able to tell me what we did in the session.”
“I like having the student write it because I want them to tell their teacher what they got out of the session. I could tell the teacher what we did, but that doesn’t mean that the student absorbed everything that we talked about.”
“I tend to write it with the student because we can both discuss it and it will help them remember it better when they work on it at home.”
None of these strategies are wrong and each has their pros and cons. Any strategy may be used and will most likely yield desired results; however, personally, I believe that collaboration is the route I will take. I think that it is important to let the teacher know what has been done from both the tutor’s perspective and the student’s perspective. Sometimes the student will not know what to put and sometimes the tutor will not be sure what the student got out of it, so talking it out is a way to meet in the middle.
Although writing the session report isn’t as important as the actual session itself, it still serves purposes and should be thought about in for the benefit of the student and to keep their teacher informed.