The Online Tutor as
Cross-Curricular Double Agent

Preliminary Conclusions

Our preliminary conclusions included several which were very disappointing to us. We concluded that our most "successful" online tutor, rather than engaging in the kind of "best practice" which we felt we had trained her to employ, had actually become an expert practitioner of Current Traditional Rhetoric. We also questioned (based upon the repeated claim of our "best" tutor) whether the OWL was appropriate for one particular set of clients, i.e., Basic Compoisiton students.

There seemed to be a collision when the email tutoring medium met the basic writer, and "best practice" as defined by traditional writing center pedagogy appeared to be the victim. Basic writers did not appear motivated to get more information about their writing beyond the initial contact.

Furthermore, we decided that (if we were going to continue with the OWL, and at first we had grave doubts) we needed to reconsider the electronic medium, analyze our tutor training practices, and carefully investigate the philosophy and goals of the Basic Composition course for which we were doing most of our tutoring.