In 1984, when my supervisor invited me into his office to “talk about” purchasing computers for the Johnson County Community College (JCCC) Writing Center (the Center), my only prior knowledge about computer technology came from a month’s stint of working for Lee’s Temporaries one summer between teaching terms. That computer was the size of a small closet and ate data cards that I fed it for two long weeks.
Jeff works the night shift at the local cheese plant to cover tuition costs, housing, and family living expenses. When he gets off work at 7:30, he’s off to a series of classes and then a few hours of sleep.
The Online Writing and Learning (OWL) at the University of Michigan grew out of our face-to-face (f2f) peer tutoring program in many ways. Although our OWL website includes links to other OWLs that offer electronic handouts, our primary purpose is to respond to writers’ needs, online, person-to-person.
Keywords synchronous, MOOs, MUDs, ZooMOO, identity, dialogue, intellectual energy, writing about writing, communities, power, educational hierarchy, democracy Citation Information Type of Publication: Book Article Author: Eric Crump Year of Publication: 1998 Title: “At Home in the MUD: Writing Centers Learn to Wallow” Publication: High Wired: On the Design, Use, and Theory of Educational MOOs (edited …
Tutors occupy a complex pedagogical space in which they are often asked to serve two masters: teacher and student. When the tutoring goes online, a new level of complexity is added to the web of power relationships.
Freed from the tedium of recopying by hand, students now write papers that go through many levels of feedback and revision. Sometimes that feedback is provided by peers or teachers, sometimes by electronic writing aids such as spell checkers and grammar assistants.
“Why OWLs” is a timely question, but it’s one that as yet eludes definitive answers. What I’d like to do, therefore, is give you the chance to visit several OWLs for yourself and to browse through issues surrounding their creation and use.
The Online Writing Lab should be considered a tool designed to assist students, especially non-traditional, commuting students. This was our Writing Lab’s argument for creating an OWL for Texas Woman’s University, which has a large number of these types of students as well as three campuses (Denton, Dallas, and Houston) and only one Writing Lab to support them.
Discusses the use of synchronous conferences via electronic mail in training new writing tutors, highlighting the benefits of such an approach.