Monthly Archives: April 2015

MAWCA 2015: STEM & Writing: The Writing Fellows Program

  • Engineering students were not revising or valuing that process
  • writing and design were about equal component of senior courses
  • Fellows participation didn’t change the course content, but small design challenges were able to scaffold the improvements for existing writing
  • literature reviews, technical writing are emphases in the Junior capstone
  • for tutors, extended relationship benefit = seeing growth over time
  • faculty looking for quantifiable change (pre/post)
  • creating video modules for Freshmen after learning about the needs of Juniors
  • separate tech experts and writing experts makes it seem easier and more credible to students
  • JMU Writing Rubric used = statistically significant results for improved learning
  • peer is not “the” expert but an expert
    • reduces burden of copyeditor/dependence
    • lacks intimidation factor
  • learning curve on the front end to norm tutor to styles, needs, and having some shared expectations
  • seniors think they know it all –> need to review value of an outside voice
  • tutor benefits
    • better know APA
    • greater exposure to projects on campus
    • teaching technical writing –> led to more and better technical writing comprehension
    • immediate feedback helps reduce anxiety
  • reading recommendation: Technical Communication in the 21st Century
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MAWCA 2015: Sharing of Academic Disciplines in the Writing Center

  • need more objective evaluations in this field
  • self-selection bias of who is and isn’t choosing to participate
    • embedding tutors in course can be one approach to gather a more diverse participate pool
    • embedded tutors can also see the larger values of the faculty member, as expressed in course content, grades, etc
  • other variables to consider
    • instructor, time of class, writing training in high school, interest in writing
  • pre/post methodology important to measure baseline and impact effect
  • used in a study of cortisol levels (as measured in spit) of tutors
    • found that the cortisol levels went down after completing┬átutoring sessions in comparison to before