Occidental’s Writing Center Mission Statement emphasizes the importance of inclusive services, which includes ensuring that our services are accommodating of all learning needs. Our group will develop a literature review that explores the intersection between contemporary disability studies and writing center scholarship in order to gain greater insight and generate actionable plans for improving tutoring practices and underlying Writing Center philosophies. We will present our findings by employing guiding questions and themes in an asynchronous presentation, all of which leads to our primary objective: stimulating discourse within Writing Centers across Southern California as to how we can all work to make our centers more accessible for disabled students and advisors.
Our project is a podcast in which we will interview other advisors about their experiences regarding gendered patterns of behavior in the writing center. Through our podcast we hope to give writing center directors and advisors the tools to recognise, address, and deconstruct gendered behavior in their center and in their sessions leading to a more effective writing center.
In the two years of isolation due to COVID-19, racially charged crimes, including robbery, assault, and murder, rose exponentially; additionally, when returning to in-person work at the Writing Center, we noticed handling racially linguistic microaggressions – definable as spoken and written offenses targeting racial identities – were primarily at the expense of the tutor. Given these observations of our nation’s inadequacy in responding to racial injustices, reimagining the ways in which we solve such conflicts is essential to reclaiming the Writing Center as a safe and welcoming space for all individuals. In order to do so, we will develop ideas to protect tutors’ well-being when faced with racially oppressive language in the form of linguistic microaggressions, which will be done through a series of interviews of our own Writing Center staff. Following our discussions, we will present methods for identifying and preventing the emergence of this type of racism in our workspace through a virtual poster.
The Creative Writing Module will allow writing centers to offer a new service that is focused on students’ creative goals. This new type of session will encourage tutors and tutees to collaborate and brainstorm on any creative project the student desires.
Many writing center professionals vibe with spirituality, mysticism, and, believe it or not, the tarot. Expanding on these interests: we recognize there is a need to re-imagine ways to engage, connect, and educate writing centers professionals. With the growing number of millennial and Gen Z tutors rising to power in our writing centers, we can explore the major arcana of the 22 tarot troupes as a tool for tutors to identify student needs. This project will equip writing center employees including but not limited to student tutors, writing professionals, and directors to explore and reckon with expanding the role of the tutor through the lenses of the trickster, fool, tower, hanged-man, magician, and sun troupes.
In this session, attendees will: 1.) gain an understanding of how these arcana troupes can be used to meet students where they’re at 2.) participate in a creative activity that explores the connection between their writing center and the arcana 3.) discuss ways to adapt and implement these ideas in a way that fits their writing center. 4.) receive supplemental multimodal engagement via a video essay and original digital tarot designs.
The presentation will also share findings from the recent practicum at the CSUDH Writing Center. Re-imagining our writing center’s methods of training in this way was successful and engaging. What fate do the cards hold for your writing center?
Liminal tutoring practices and spaces have led to an increase in emotional strain for Writing Center tutors. Finding productive ways to manage and cope with this strain has become an important part of a tutor’s repertoire. In this presentation, we will engage in a collaborative workshop to develop tools for navigating the emotional labor attributed to Zoom and compassion fatigue.
What? No writing? As we reimagine the writing center, Concordia University Irvine’s Writing Studio is designing speaking sessions to complement our writing consultations. These speaking sessions will improve students’ class participation, professor interaction, presentation skills, and academic vocabulary. This presentation will share our process, questions, and goals as we develop sessions that build the communication skills necessary for students to succeed in academic and professional life.
Our project focuses on the role of in-class tutoring in re-establishing essential student skills that may have been lost during the pandemic. We emphasize the importance of in-class tutoring in establishing learning equity in the classroom and the connection with the Writing Center which reaches students from all learning and education backgrounds. Finally, participants will learn ways that the reimagined Writing Center can be a space of open collaboration through group problem solving.
This presentation aims to address writing anxieties induced and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a 2017 survey conducted by the American College Health Association, 52.6% of students reported experiencing anxiety and felt that it had impacted their learning and academic performance (Driscoll & Wells, 2020). Drawing from their research on the importance of emotional regulation in writing development, Driscoll and Wells (2020) proposed key suggestions for ‘tutoring the whole person’ that can help mitigate students’ writing anxiety. Building on their work, we will explain how humor and playful strategies can be applied to Writing Center sessions to help students establish rapport with tutors and gain confidence in their own writing (Sherwood, 1993; Hall, 2020). Through a synchronous presentation and discussion with peer writing advisers, we will work towards a collaborative and innovative approach to destigmatizing and lessening COVID-19 induced writing anxiety.