With the rapidly increasing application of educational technologies in many aspects of college curricula, this seasoned writing center director, with more than sixteen years in the front lines of one-to-one instruction, can only blush when remembering the heated, serious, debates over whether to buy a new 512k computer (even with dual disk drives and the latest version of MS-DOS) over staying the course with a CPM-run Kaypro metal box.
Donald Schön (1983) describes “reflective practitioners” as those who are able to do all of the following: read and write and think and theorize about their own practice. They take what they’ve learned, assimilate it, and then they are able to apply it in different situations, altering content and application as context demands.
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.