PeerCentered is a space for peer writing tutors/consultants or anyone interested in collaborative learning in writing centers to blog with their colleagues from around the world. Bloggers here will share their ideas, experiences, or insight. To contribute to the blog, please contact Clint.Gardner@slcc.edu.
Upon entering you could assume that you have entered into a
library. In the large classroom size room there are shelves with books along
one wall. There is one wall with many large windows and a long table with
computers are at the bottom of the windows. Comfy chairs occupy the corners and
in the middle of the floor are several tables. The Salt Lake Community College,
Student Writing Center is a very open and welcoming place. For my semester
project I have chosen to work in this writing center.
first day has come and gone and I admit, I was nervous but having observed
several sessions it wasn’t too overwhelming. In the hour that I was scheduled,
there was an abundance of staff and the writing center was slow. I didn’t get
to tutor that day but I need to do 15 hours and so I’m sure that I will get my
chance. I took the slowness to re- think about the observations I did and what
I wanted to do and how I wanted to do things differently.
of my observation sessions I was able to see two very opposite sessions happening at the same time. Two friends walked
into the SWC (student writing center) and the first one received a tutor that
was interested in them the moment they sat down. The second had to get their
tutor’s attention by another staff member. The tutor didn’t even close their own
shocked that the second tutor immediately, upon receiving the student’s paper,
wrote all over it and changed almost everything on the first page.
checked on the first student I noticed their session was very happy. They were
laughing and sharing the student’s paper. The tutor was very engaged in the
work they were there to do. The second tutor was very quiet and the student sat
across from them, wringing their hands. I realized then that no tutors are alike and that I want to be very
involved with the student’s work and with the student. They are coming in for
help and if I just take over, do it for them or make them feel uncomfortable--
they won’t want to come back again. When the two student's left one was smiling and very happy. Student number two looked like they would never return.
Overall, I am very excited for the work
that we do in helping the student’s and I am glad to have this opportunity.
I have posted a poll in the IWCA forums: IWCA Forum: Peer Tutor => What do we call ourselves: the poll! It is a part of an earlier discussion that kind of petered out about the titles used for writing center workers. Please take a moment and vote! If you don't have an account on the forum, you can register for one by clicking on the "Register" link (next to the rocket icon in the top-right of the page.) Don't forget to state your institutional affiliation when you request and account. (That's how the IWCA Forum keeps out spam accounts.)
Dear me… As a junior in college, you were just trying your best and going through the motions (like everyone else) . You wanted to fit in and emulate what you thought a typical college student should look like. Then, along came the opportunity to become a w riting c onsultant. That’s immediately when the fear started, I began questioning myself and my own personal writing. I was unsure how I, a typical college student, would have enough skills to help others. How would I manage being insecure with myself when I was supposed to be someone my peers looked to find their own confidence? When it came to your first day of work, you were sitting in the writing lab waiting for your learner to show up with anxiety pouring out of your body. It was probably the most anxious you ever got in your life - aside from applying to college in the first place. You were so excited to meet your colleagues, yet so nervous that you were going to disappoint them. Thoughts streamed through your head
Testing Online Tutoring Online tutoring may be a constant of the tutoring landscape, but the question of effectiveness remains. Which organizations are best prepared to meet the needs of students: writing centers affiliated with universities or “professional” tutoring agencies, such as Pearson-Smarthinking? It is this question I intend to address in conducting a proposed experiment. Important Background Information The concept most central to this proposed experiment is that of knowledge claims. In his book Reformers, Teachers, Writers: Curricular and Pedagogical Inquiries , Neal Lerner identifies the three primary types of knowledge claims that appear in a writing center: “writerly knowledge,” “emotional knowledge,” and “role knowledge” (Lerner 115). “Role knowledge” is arguably the most important knowledge claim (Lerner 115). While analyzing transcripts of student sessions, Lerner noticed there was a correlation between the presence of “role knowledge” claims and the “success”