Course-Embedded Programming and the Need for Clear Expectations


Collaborative Learning, Higher Education, Peer Tutoring, Student Voices, Undergraduate Students, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Ava Hutt, Kailie Settles, and Caroline Shutt,Transylvania University Writing Center—University writing centers offer a myriad of benefits for students. But like many useful academic resources outside of actual courses, it can be difficult to sell Transylvania University students on the idea of peer tutoring, especially given conflicts with time: clubs, athletics, off-campus jobs, and more. In an effort to combat this reluctance, and as a way to help assist students transition into college writing, Transylvania University Writing Center began implementing a Course-Embedded Peer Consultant initiative in 2014. Course-embedded consultants (known as “CECs”), like Writing Fellows or Writing Associates at other colleges, work […]

April 26, 2022

Learning Together Through Ongoing Education


Collaborative Learning, Graduate Students, Tutor Training

By Seth Umbaugh—In “The Tutoring Corona,” Brad Hughes provided an overview of our writing center’s practice of providing professional development opportunities for our graduate tutors through ongoing education. As the Writing Center’s TA Assistant Director this academic year, I worked with our administrative leadership team to coordinate an exciting series of ongoing education seminars (OGEs) that offered graduate tutors a range of professionalization opportunities and aided the development of our center’s values and pedagogical practices. […]

April 14, 2022

Hearing Accessibility in a Conversational Practice


Collaborative Learning, Disability and Writing Centers, Diversity and Inclusion, Tutor Training

By Natalie White, Western Michigan University—A good writing center aims to be accessible to all students, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability; however, many of the conventional methods passed down between centers are based on those without barriers to communication. This tutoring style leaves students who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing (HOH) in a complicated position. However, a great writing center not only sees where barriers lie, but actively works to deconstruct them, especially […]

April 5, 2022

Writing in Community: Writing Groups in a Hybrid Time


Collaborative Learning, Writing Groups

By Dorothy Mayne—Writing groups have many benefits and purposes, but the community they bring to the culture of writing on campus is one of their most praised features. In fact, it’s the first purpose that we mention on our writing group website: “At the Writing Center, we believe that community and accountability, along with setting achievable goals, play a significant role in completing major writing projects.” Meeting regularly with the same people to set goals, discuss weekly themes related to wellness, writing strategies, and more allows us to develop camaraderie with others across campus.

November 23, 2021

Blogs Can Create Community Among Students in Courses Across the Curriculum


Classes, Collaborative Learning, Higher Education, Technology, Writing Across the Curriculum

By Annette Vee—Like every other teacher in higher education right now, I’m navigating the new terrain of socially distanced, online, hybrid or hyflex teaching due to our global pandemic. I’m also a writing program administrator, which means that I share some responsibility to help other teachers navigate this terrain as well. Conscious of the labor issues of instructors preparing new classes in flex, hybrid or online contexts, I’m digging into my online toolbox to share strategies that might work for others in this context and for the future, after the pandemic. The best little tool I have for teaching online or in hybrid formats is a class blog. […]

December 29, 2020

Reflecting on a Virtual Semester


Collaborative Learning, Community Writing Assistance, Diversity and Inclusion, Events, Higher Education, Madison Writing Assistance, Outreach, Peer Tutoring, Social Justice, Writing Center Workshops, Writing Fellows, Writing Groups

From Chrissy Widmayer—Looking back on the Writing Center’s Fall 2020 semester, I am awed by all that we have been able to do. Alongside our students, we grappled every day with new challenges posed by the pandemic, adapting to an entirely online slate of services this semester, and sought to maintain the high level of professionalism we always offer. I am grateful for the patience our students have shown as we’ve adjusted to our new methods of teaching and so pleased with the reciprocal culture of care the Writing Center has fostered this semester. […]

December 15, 2020

What Makes a Writing Group? Undergraduate Writers Model Compassion and Acceptance


Collaborative Learning, Higher Education, Undergraduate Students, Writing Groups

By Mia Alafaireet—As an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri, one of the things I loved most about campus was that it seemed like there were endless places to write. There was the tried-and-true Bookmark Café, where you could count on the muted din of coffee cups to keep you focused. On a sunny day, you could find a spot under one of the many Bradford pear trees that studded campus. Or, if you were a little bit weird like me, you could sit on the edge of a flowerbed and write amongst the horticulture school’s newest arrangement of ornamental cabbages. […]

August 3, 2020

Undergraduate Research as Transformation: Writing Fellows Build and Share Knowledge


Big 10 Writing Centers, Collaborative Learning, Peer Tutoring, Undergraduate Students, Writing Fellows

By Brenna Swift—Hello from the UW-Madison Writing Center as the summer term begins! In this uncertain time, we have both continued to serve our students and considered the ways our work might fit into the big picture—of a transformed world, of education for social justice, and of new practices in teaching of writing. As one of the assistant directors of the undergraduate Writing Fellows program and an instructor for English 403, our peer tutor education class, I have found myself thinking […]

May 18, 2020

An Approach to Understanding and Designing an Inclusivity Statement


Collaborative Learning, Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Students, Social Justice Committee

By Chris Castillo—The inclusivity statement is an increasingly prevalent genre in academic and nonacademic spaces. Inclusivity statements have become staples in most academic institutions—and even within specific departments in those institutions. The individual departments that take the initiative to develop inclusivity statements make it a point to […]

April 6, 2020

Writing with Others: Renaissance Coteries, the Writing Center, and Community


Collaborative Learning, Writing Center Theory, Writing Groups

By Emily Loney—When Sir Philip Sidney sent the manuscript of his prose romance, the Arcadia, to his sister, Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, sometime in the 1580s, he sent a letter along as well. Apologizing for the imperfections of his tale, Sidney tells Pembroke in his letter that the Arcadia was written for her, and he reminds her […]

February 17, 2020