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Expanding Community Through University Writing Center Collaborations. Lisa Bernstein University of Maryland University College 11 th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks November 2005. Writing Centers & Community. Diverse roles within the institution

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expanding community through university writing center collaborations

Expanding Community Through University Writing CenterCollaborations

Lisa Bernstein

University of Maryland University College

11th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks

November 2005

writing centers community
Writing Centers & Community
  • Diverse roles within the institution
  • Multiple constituencies
  • Cross-institutional collaboration
  • Model for institutional transformation
role of writing center i support to institution
Role of Writing CenterI: Support to Institution
  • Serve diverse populations
  • Manage a set of services & resources
  • Support student writing in all classes
  • Assist faculty and administrators
role of writing center ii support to community
Role of Writing CenterII: Support to Community
  • Stewards to a community of writers
  • Alliances and collaboration
  • Ever-shifting boundaries
  • Shared resources, knowledge, & strategies
role of writing center iii inter institutional collaboration
Role of Writing CenterIII: Inter-Institutional Collaboration
  • Cross-disciplinary space
  • Intersections of departments
  • Academic affairs & student services
  • Interdisciplinary, multi-institutional knowledge communities
writing center challenges
Writing Center Challenges
  • Isolation of WC administrators on their campuses
  • Lack of collaboration across institutions
  • Need for exchange of strategies, ideas, & resources
diverse institutions
Diverse Institutions
  • UMCP - research I: well-established WC
  • UMUC - open-access online: online WC
  • MC - community college: under-staffed WC transitioning from a learning center/study skills model
diverse student populations
Diverse Student Populations
  • UMCP: traditional, diverse students; high-achieving ESL students
  • UMUC: geographically dispersed, non-traditional returning, working, and military students
  • MC: predominantly ESL and EFL students with lack of English proficiency
diverse tutor pools
Diverse Tutor Pools
  • UMCP: undergraduate & graduate students; retired volunteers
  • UMUC: undergraduate & graduate students; professional
  • MC: faculty, professional
shared writing center philosophy
Shared Writing Center Philosophy
  • To engage students with their writing processes so that, through ongoing reflection and revision, they can improve writing and critical thinking skills and practices.
collaborative ventures
Collaborative Ventures
  • Historical: informal connections have grown organically
  • Present: formal practices being institutionalized
  • Future: collaborative practices will become part of the institution, self-perpetuating & self-reproducing
collaborative activities
Collaborative Activities
  • Recruiting & hiring advisors
  • Training new advisors
  • Students transferring from MC to UMCP & UMUC
  • Regional WC Administrators’ Meeting
umuc writing center
UMUC Writing Center
  • Open access – uneven preparation
  • All academic disciplines & levels
  • Culturally and geographically diverse
  • United States, Europe, and Asia Divisions
  • Non-traditional: U.S. military, returning, working, primarily transfer
  • Online, asynchronous tutoring
  • Volume of student requests
future collaborations
Future Collaborations
  • Personal, professional, & pedagogical alliances
  • Connections to other institutional units
  • Coordination of services & resources
  • Student access & retention
  • New ideas for expanding community