Which strategies/techniques do you use in your sessions that are effective and help students learn? I ask this because I am currently enrolled in a Writing Center Studies class where I have been assigned to complete a research project. My topic is to focus on effective strategies and techniques tutors use in their sessions that they find effective. While I have tailored this project to my University I am curious to know and learn new techniques, strategies, and activities that other tutors are using.
No matter the name—peer tutors, collaborators, fellows, writing assistants— our main goal is to assist student writers in order to enhance their academic and personal success. The ways in which we help our students vary depending on the writing center and the tutors themselves. For instance, at my University we are embedded fellows; we work specifically with first year composition courses. I work with 15 students enrolled in a basic writing course. During my time in their class I get to know the students and the projects they are working on in advance. Although the assignments are the same for each student, each session I have is slightly different from one another. I tailor my session to the needs of the students, which means in one session I could have the student, who is in the brainstorming stage, fast write, while I could have another student who needs to break down each paragraph in their draft to focus on transitions and organization. Being able to work with different students gives tutors the ability to try new techniques and strategies; sometimes they are successful and sometimes they are not. It is imperative that we become aware of the strategies and techniques we use since they affect the dynamic of our sessions and the students learning.
So once again I am curious: which strategies/techniques do you use in your session that are effective and help students learn? Why do you believe such strategies are effective, and how do you tailor these techniques to each session?