Synchronous, Access, Technology, Tutoring platforms, Pedagogy, Nondirective feedback
Like many other writing centers, our writing center is struggling with space needs. At the same time, we feel we are not reaching certain populations, like those registered for distance education courses, physically challenged students, and those who could benefit from our collaboration, but for one reason or another do not take advantage of our services. These are the reasons we decided to go online. In spring semester of 2006, our writing center began a trial of online consulting for one online composition class on a Desire2Learn (D2L) platform. D2L offers a drop box for paper submission online and a chat room for synchronous communication, a feature. Synchronicity was not an option we wanted to sacrifice as we expanded online. Although tutors liked this program, each experienced a tendency toward directiveness, as they inserted corrective marks and comments within the texts. Students rejected our invitations to contact us synchronously via the chat room, so immediate conversation about such issues as intent, meaning, and assignment criteria was absent from consultations. In other words, the early part of our trial was entirely asynchronous. Students and tutors expressed satisfaction with the service, but tutors complained about the inability to question students as they read the paper.
Type of Publication: Newsletter Article
Author: Carol Mohrbacher
Year of Publication: 2007
Publication: Writing Lab Newsletter, Volume 31, Issue 8
Page Range: 10-13