Dr. Genie Giaimo, Carmen Meza, and Cynthia Lin, "Cultivating a Culture of Wellness at the Writing Center"
From a multi-disciplinary perspective, Wong and Hinchliffe (2010) research how libraries can transform from information centered spaces to holistic centers. The library is often thought of as a place to receive specific tools, such as providing study space, checking out books, and consulting with a subject librarian. Wong and Hinchliffe show that libraries could serve as a platform for integrated student learning. Both of these studies raise questions about writing centers. What is the work of writing centers in relation to wellness? What is the role of a consultant in relation to student needs beyond writing? What is the role of staff in preparing consultants for stressful situations? Our presentation focused on unpacking these questions and sharing our action plan for IRB research on assessing the current consultant wellness training and its effectiveness in helping consultants cope with occupational stress.
Sam Turner, "Session Notes: Navigating the Overlooked and Under-Researched"
I presented my research on Client Report Forms via interactive workshop at the 2017 ECWCA conference. The term “Client Report Form” refers to the after-session notes that writing consultants complete at the end of a session, which provides a consultant space to reflect on their work. In considering CRF training and standardization options for Writing Centers who use such forms, it has been found that there are severe discrepancies between suggestions of the existing literature on the topic and the everyday uses of these tools. My workshop presented my findings through the lens of consultant training, and addressed the issue of inconsistent use of client report forms with special attention to why and how the forms are completed. In addition, I provided materials and suggestions for other institutions looking to implement a similar CRF training. Ultimately, the project aims to shed more light on an often-overlooked aspect of writing center functionality and provides suggestions of research and training focused on these forms.
Janice Jung, "Scaffolding in Synchronous Online Writing Center Consultations"
At the 2017 ECWCA conference, I delivered a 1-hour workshop on consulting strategies in synchronous online writing center consultations. I presented my research on consulting strategies using Thompson’s (2009) scaffolding framework. My workshop also engaged the audience in a data analysis session where they applied the scaffolding framework to a transcript of an actual session. In addition to coding results, we shared experiences with scaffolding in online and/or face-to-face consultations and discussed how the scaffolding lens can be utilized for identifying effective consulting strategies. This was my first time at ECWCA, and I had a great time interacting with the audience from different writing centers at my workshop. I was also able to attend some other sessions on writing center assessment and ESL writers in the writing center on which I will be sharing the materials soon. I advise consultants to take their ideas for writing center research to Dr. Giaimo who has been a supportive and resourceful mentor to me and writing center colleagues. I hope more consultants get a chance to share their research at conferences and interact with the broader writing center community.