On October 2, 2020, Zandra L. Jordan presented on “Racial Justice and Online Writing Center Practice.” Over 145 professionals attended. Zandra introduced the theoretical frame of Womanist Ethics and facilitated attendee reflection on racial justice in their online writing centers.
On September 8, 2020, Lisa Eastmond Bell presented on “Shaping Online Tutoring Practice: Research and Reflection over Replication.” As Lisa explained, online tutoring at its best is shaped by learners and learning and not simply an attempt to replicate in-person tutoring practices.
On February 21, 2020, Bethany presented “Branching Out for Better Marketing” for the OWC Community, sharing strategies for marketing to students, faculty, and within/for institutional partners.
On November 15, 2019, Anne Shiell guest hosted a Virtual Conversation Hour on assessment and reporting in OWC tutoring. As one of the managers for instructional services at the Walden University Writing Center, Anne discussed metrics collected at her center, as well as the benefits, barriers, and difficulties of collecting this data.
On September 13, 2019, we hosted a reflection and discussion about how to identify institutional context and how that institutional context can impact decisions we make for our OWCs.
During this August 20, 2019, conversation hour, attendees focused our discussion on OWC-related readings that we and our tutors have found most helpful. This was a timely discussion since this question had just come up on the WCenter listserv.
During the hour, we discussed the following questions: What unique training, if any, do you offer staff engaging in online writing tutoring? How do you structure your training (is it integrated with your face-to-face training or is it an additional “level” of training?) What training materials or activities have you found especially effective? What barriers are you facing in terms of training staff engaged in online writing tutoring?
During the hour, we discussed the platforms attendees use for their synchronous and why they chose their platforms, exploring: What are the successes or benefits to each of these platforms? What are the weaknesses or failures? What other questions do you have regarding technology platforms?
We had great turnout with over 40 attendees engaged in our discussion questions for the hour: What strategies do you use for providing students feedback asynchronously? What technologies or tools do you find helpful or effective? What kind of training have you done? What kind of training do you need to do?
IWCA’s national conference this year felt different. The numerous presentations offered on topics around diversity, equity, and inclusion that engaged with the conference’s theme of the Citizen Center contributed to this shift, of course. The other reason I felt a shift, however, centered around how OWCs and OWT were discussed and incorporated into the conference.