Writing Centers & Digital Studios
In-Progress Digital Studio Study
My latest endeavor in writing center and digital studio scholarship is an in-progress, cross-institutional survey of digital studio consultants. In this study, myself, Dr. Rory Lee of Ball State University, and Dr. Elisabeth Buck of University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth are surveying and interviewing digital studio consultants, attempting to understand their experiences as consultants, the infrastructures that are working for them as consultants, and the infrastructures that may be failing them or are not yet in place for them. It is our hope this study—which responds to the question, "What are the experiences of digital studio consultants, and do they feel prepared for the work they are asked to do?"—illuminates what is working in digital studio mentorship and training, as well as what is lacking.
This project was proposed for and accepted to the 2017 International Writing Centers Association Conference in Chicago, IL. The abstract can be read below, as can selected slides from our presentation:
Often, writing centers are places where students’ vulnerabilities as writers arise during sessions. Tutors, then, become sympathy sleuths, gauging the support our clients need. These responses, however, can be difficult to find; typically, little training is given to consultants concerning emotional support. Therefore, in order to better serve writers and tutors, this discussion hopes to open a dialogue regarding writing center emotional labor. In exploring our secret mission as tutors, this roundtable will open with a series of vignettes of emotional labor moments, followed by small and large group discussion on how to prepare tutors for this kind of work.
Honors Thesis/SWCA 2019
The adjacent PDF includes my undergraduate honors thesis, encouraging undergraduate or otherwise beginner tutors to explore qualitative methodologies in their research. This thesis project also exists as a survey of the field, cataloguing various research trends and topics. These findings are grounded through interviews with writing center professionals and extensive an extensive literature review. This paper was being adapted for an accepted conference proposal at SWCA 2019 focusing specifically on research methodologies that map onto writing center scholarship. Tailored for the same audience, this presentation introduced participants to the process of developing research questions/selecting methodologies.