Friday, August 14, 2009

LWS: Longitudinal Writing Study

One of our projects this summer is the Longitudinal Writing Study that Tara has been working on. Here is what she has to say about it:

"Work on the Longitudinal Writing Study (LWS) began steadily through the first part of the summer until the end of June hit. After a few bumps in the road (i.e. finding a few research flaws, backtracking to correct them, and the researcher’s inability to read), it is mid-August and progress is slow.

I am swimming in data and charts, trying to provide helpful analysis and commentary for Coe faculty. But the end is in sight.

For anyone wondering, the LWS is a long-term study looking at the writing program at Coe and more specifically, student perceptions of it. Year one has been completed with a database of collected surveys, interviews and writing samples/reflections from students. Plans for year two are currently underway and will begin to be implemented with the arrival of new and returning students.

Next stop: Presentation at the Midwest Writing Center Association Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer ESL Comes to a Close!

Summer is coming to an end, folks!

Today was the last round of conferences for our summer ESL students.

Every summer a large group of students from Waseda University and Nagoya-Gaukin University (both in Japan) come to Coe to get some preliminary ESL training, and to develop a stronger knowledge of American culture. I have been working as a mentor and conversation assistant for these students, which is always a challenge, but incredibly fun. Two of my students will be staying here at Coe for the year, so it will be nice to see their progress as they become more comfortable with our American way of life.

As summer WC consultants, it is our responsibility to make ourselves available for conferences with these students. This evening, Karin, Tara, Malyssa and I did 12 conferences, which although not a WC record, it was indeed a hefty number considering we haven't been opened all summer.

On of the most interesting and challenging things about ESL conferences has always been the varying levels of English proficiency that these students come in with. Some are nearly fluent while others are struggling to form complete sentences. And some are quite excellent writers while they remain completely hesitant to speak in English. So are the woes of a WCer! My favorite part about the summer ESL students is how eager they all are to learn. All of them make great efforts and show significant improvement during their week or two weeks at Coe. It is really quite remarkable.

Katie B.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer needed an update.

Hello, Hello, Hello WC folk!
Well it has been a fairly average and mundane summer in the Writing Center. It has been a long time since a post has been made, so I'll try and update you as best I can.

This summer we have Amber, Tara, Karin, Andy, Malyssa, Clarissa and myself (Katie) working in the Writing Center. We are doing the usual projects, and have added a few fun things this summer, so here is a bit of an update on that:

The summer newsletter went incredibly smoothly, only a few minor hitches including Dr. Bob trying to crop out his "pimping ain't easy" shirt, but we managed to keep that intact. Hopefully this will be posted on the website soon so people who are not current staff members can take a look at "The Albuquerque A-Bomb."

As for the Alumni Newsletter, it is a slower process. We are trying to compile a current list of alums and their locations and get plenty of info on those individuals who may have eluded us in the past. Andy and I are beginning to feel like stalkers, so hopefully those of you who have avoided being contacted for the last several years will suck it up and send us your info!

Andy and Karin have made some wonderful videos discussing Writing Center theory and execution. These will be used to introduce people to the Writing Center, help train new staff members, and hopefully at least one of them will be used at the MWCA conference in Rapid City, South Dakota this fall.

As some of you know, last year we started a project entitled "The WCWC" or Writing Center Water Closet. A few times a semester we put up newsletters in all of the bathroom stalls on campus with some Writing Center news, event info, and some fun stuff to read while you care of business. In an attempt to be more environmentally friendly, an accurate count of all of the bathroom stalls on campus is being taken. No longer will we over-print!

Amber would like everyone to know that the Colere website is finally up to date, one of her summer projects. She says: "The Colere website is now amazing and everyone should take a glance at it. For once, it's not three years out of date." Do it. You know you want to.

Other than that, it has been a lot of gardening and planning for the new incoming class. We seem to have a great group coming in this year, so get excited!

More to come!
- Katie B.