Writing Centers, Collaboration, & Cross-Pollination

I am excited to announce a collaborative research project between Wallace Community College and Auburn University at Montgomery. WCC Writing Center Coordinator Dr. Randall Sessler and AUM Learning Center Coordinator Matthew Kemp will each spend a day shadowing one another at their respective campuses.

Cross-pollination

While acknowledging that writing centers at four-year universities, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and K-12 schools face distinct challenges is in many ways necessary, our project will ask if separating writing center discourse along these institutional lines risks overlooking larger commonalities. Separated by just over 90 miles, WCC and AUM serve similar student populations and are directly linked by transfer students and even tutors.

Furthermore, although conferences and new media allow members of the writing center community to interact, exchange ideas, and share resources, they do not let us to see one another in our own spaces.

We believe our collaborative project raises several interesting questions, including:

  1. What can direct observation teach writing center practitioners that other mediated forms of interaction cannot?
  1. What types of cross-pollination occur between community colleges and four-year institutions in the same region?
  1. How can observing both sides of the transfer student experience help writing centers better serve this – and other – student populations?

Stay tuned for updates as our project progresses.

4 thoughts on “Writing Centers, Collaboration, & Cross-Pollination

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  1. I am fascinated by the idea of cross-pollination with regards to both the learning and teaching the centers are engaged in. I would expect that the range of variables that can have an affect on a writing center practitioner’s methodology are as simple as bouncing ideas off another mind in the room to as obscure as how much light is let in by the windows, or some other equally inane environmental difference. Would love to hear about the progress of this project!

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    1. Some of the best ideas really are thought up by bouncing ideas off of one another! I know from working with Randie that he is really great about asking the right questions and guiding the conversation so that “the light bulb moment” happens.

      I also think that being in a different space with more / less lighting, a different layout, or that is inhabited by differing staff make-ups should provide unique perspectives and points!

      I look forward to reading all about this project’s progress!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I look forward to hearing all about the results of this intriguing project! Randie and I work together at Wallace, and we did a coordinator swap (he came to my campus and I came to his) last spring. It was so interesting to see how our days both differed and were similar in both challenges and benefits. Entering someone else’s space really helps you to imagine what it is like to fill that role, interact with those co-workers, help those students… you get the idea! Any who, great work Randie on thinking up a brilliant idea!

    Liked by 1 person

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