Combining online tutorial services with the traditional one-on-one tutorial raises a variety of issues for both training tutors and reimagining the writing center's tutoring philosophy and function on campus. The unique problematic online tutoring can present becomes immediately apparent during training as the non-directive tutoring strategies applicable to one-on-one tutoring come into conflict with the more directive styles required when face-to-face contact is lost. Similarly, the ability to e-mail a paper and receive feedback leads many tutees to expect the type of "fix-it" center that directly contradicts typical writing center philosophies. Relying on transcripts of tutor training, interviews with tutors, and copies of e-mail tutoring exchanges, this presentation will highlight how such issues manifest themselves in the day-to-day activities of the writing center, and the steps we have instituted to mediate the tensions online tutoring brings about. In particular, I will discuss how the philosophy informing our campus writing center has changed as a result of the development of the Online Writing Center and the effects of these changes on tutors and students.
Presenter: Donna LeCourt
- Internet/network development
- Software development and scripting
- Classroom practice
Target Audience: Not Applicable
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