Janice and others --
An Inkshed piece on Writing Centres would be valuable to all readers, and would
signal that CASLL is interested in them. Even putting together a database of
current information about writing centres would help get a discussion started --
defining a community and all that! Henry Hubert's report of a couple of years
ago (it's somewhere in my pile of old Inksheds, and probably in Russ's Web
archives) would provide a foundation. I'd like to know more about the ways W.C.
people mix in with other methods of writing instruction. The changes between then
and now would also provide a sense of where we stand within universities'
structures (and budgets!).
Somebody (plural, meaning from the CASLL list) want to help draw up a set of
questions to circulate? I think I could provide mailing addresses by mining
Henry's report, my old report on post-admission testing, and the Inkshed mailing
list. Or should we try to do it all by e-mail, at least to start? (But I suspect
that one reason we don't see a lot of W.C. discussion on the CASLL list is that
some writing centres aren't funded or positioned securely enough to have full
access to the Internet.)
To start, I'd like to know something about who actually does the instruction in
each writing centre: professionals, grad students, peer tutors (grad or
undergrad). Then I'd want to know how they're trained/prepared/developed in their
work. Interesting to see if the nature of professionals' appointments has changed
since Henry's survey too. And is the instruction all individual tutoring, or what
else (or otherwise) is used? Etc. ....
Janice Freeman wrote:
> I have been wondering over the past few years why there had not been
> much discussion about Writing Centres on this list. But I agree with
> you, it seems that many of us are involved in WC/WAC issues, so this
> would be the appropriate forum to discuss them.
> What I had planned on proposing during my short tenure as Inkshed
> co-editor was a Writing Centres issue. I'd still be willing to edit a
> piece on Canadian Writing Centres, somewhat like the WAC/WID article we
> did last year. Let me know if there's enough interest. We could contact
> Writing Centre people and ask for a few paragraphs from each, include a
> list of URLs, and come up with a valuable resource.
> I have just asked my work/study student to do a web search for Canadian
> Writing Centres and writing resources on Canadian university web sites.
> I don't know how far she'll get on this, but it would be something I
> could draw on for this project.
> Is there enough interest out there for a WC issue or article? Let me
> know if you'd be willing to contribute a few paragraphs about your own
> Writing Centres.
> Janice Freeman
> Centre for Academic Writing
> University of Winnipeg
> Margaret Procter wrote:
> > Roberta, Ginny, Janice and others --
> > I'd also be glad to see more discussion online and at conferences
> > about writing centre issues. But since so many of us in that field
> > also work on courses and WAC projects, I'm not so sure that our
> > discussions need to or should be segregated.
> > Would it bore the non-W.C. people to hear us discussing stuff like
> > how to deter people from now showing up for appointments? (One of my
> > concerns just now, looking at figures from the past year: an example
> > of the admin details of W.C. work.) We've also got lots of concerns
> > in common,such as the ways students keep thinking about writing instruction
> > in terms of language correctness rather then rhetorical effectiveness
> > [("Will you proofread this for me?" [W.C.] "Why did you give me a C --
> > I hardly made any errors?" [course]). Or is it only writing centre
> > people who have to keep facing these things directly, since we must
> > keep teaching students in whatever circumstances or state of
> > (mis)understanding: we can't hide behind course structures or marking
> > schemes....
> > Cheers,
> > Margaret.
> > --
> > (Dr.) Margaret Procter Room 216, 15 King's College Circle
> > Coordinator, Writing Support Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H7
> > University of Toronto (416) 978-8109; FAX (416) 971-2027
> > www.library.utoronto.ca/www/writing/ [log in to unmask]