As writing labs continue to branch out into cyberspace, questions abound as to the potential changing role of the writing lab, especially in its capacity online. Should the OWL (Online Writing Lab) act as a resource medium, providing users with a variety of writer-related tools (including handouts, interactive workshops, exercises, and additional links to more resources)? Or can it be a medium in which one conducts tutorials as well?
Even Hobson’s book, the most up-to-date on the subject of technology in the writing center, provides no detailed account of how synchronous tutorials have actually worked. An account of this type is sorely needed to open the discussion of its capabilities and limitations and to facilitate the progress of others interested in experimenting with this type of “virtual” tutorial.
Now that we have both read the book, however, our impression is that most OWLs are no more successful than ours; nor have we learned anything that makes us want to do anything differently.
This book describes the emerging practice of e-mail tutoring; one-to-one correspondence between college students and writing tutors conducted over electronic mail.
This dissertation analyzes the suggestions for revision sent by on-line writing center consultants in the United States to advanced EFL students in Argentina and examines the students’ reactions to this type of feedback.
In recent years historical inquiry has found a niche in writing center scholarship. Most of this history has addressed macro issues—such as the professionalization of writing centers (Riley 1994), global notions of center theory or practice (several in Landmark Essays 1995), the development of writing center organizations (Kinkead 1995), the nature of early centers (Carino 1995 “Early”), and models for historicizing the center (Healy “Temple,” Carino 1996).
Although the physical writing center at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) has allowed us to reach many students and instructors, we still believe that a writing center is a “place without walls”; it is an idea; it is a place for discussion, for seeking, for sharing, and should not depend on particular physical locations. We like the idea of being “wall-less” because it posits that what we do in a writing center represents a better way to write, and should occur anywhere writing occurs.
As someone who began teaching writing in Silicon Valley, CA, it seemed inevitable that instructional technology would interweave with my career, whether in the writing center or the classroom. My experiences, however, have made me skeptical about the relationship between writing centers and instructional technology, and this skepticism stems from what I have seen as several persistent and misguided ideas
Many writing centers have established complex web sites with elaborate “pages” requiring the support of special computer systems and technically skilled staff. Creation of such online labs may appear too costly and involved for smaller writing centers on tight budgets, an apprehension not fully justified.
In this essay, I present an email “tutorial”between myself and a graduate student enrolled in our master’s program in Technical Communication and Information Design (TCID).