The University of Toledo:An eWriting Center: Development as a Collaborative Enterprise11th Sloan-C International Conference on ALN November 18, 2005
Our Collaboration Karen I. Rhoda, Ph.D., Director Division of Distance and eLearningAdministrative Viewpoint Carol Nelson Burns, Ph.D., Interim Director The Writing Center Pedagogical Viewpoint Daniel Solarek, M.E.E.E., Chair Engineering Technology Faculty Viewpoint
Distance and eLearning • centralized division • facilities and coordinates all distance learning & web-assisted courses
UT Distance Learning – Number of Courses by Year • Number of courses as of 10/7/2005
UT Distance Learning – Course Enrollment by Year *Enrollment as of 10/7/2005
Undergraduate & Graduate Programs Online Programs and Degrees • Associate degrees in Accounting Technology, Business Management Technology, Computer Software Specialist Technology, FastTrack BGMT Program, Information Services and Support, Interdisciplinary Technical Studies, Marketing & Sales Technology, and Programming and Software Development • CSET Program (Computer Science and Engineering Technology degree completion) • B.S. in Health Information Management (degree completion program) • B.A. in Liberal Studies • B.A. in Liberal Studies – CSCC Partnership • Masters in Liberal Studies • M.S. in Engineering • Certificate Programs
Distribution of Faculty and Instructors Teaching Distance Learning CoursesAcademic Year 2005-2006; n = 157 faculty
eWriting Center Provides support for distance & eLearning faculty and students
Principles of Providing an Online Writing Center • Writing is fundamental to academic performance throughout collegial study and beyond. • Writing skills must be re-enforced, as recognized by WAC initiatives to promote writing instruction and support across colleges and programs of study.
Principles of Providing an Online Writing Center (Continued) • “Writing centers” are recognized and respected academic supports. • Students in online classes should have access to the kinds of academic support made available for on- campus courses.
Conceptualizing an Online Writing Center • “Visibility” to students • “location, location, location” • Viability to faculty • Trust, respect for parameters of assistance
Implementation Experiences:From a Writing Program Administrator’s View • To what extent should faculty be involved in or informed about their students’ participation? • What kind of help, and how much, is legitimate? • How do students submit a their writing for assistance? • How do tutors read and respond to a writing selection?
Implementation Experiences: From a Distance & eLearning Administrator’s View • Outsourced vs. in-house? • Costs • Faculty “buy-in” • Effectiveness • Equivalent to on-campus Writing Center • support for both faculty and students • Assessment • NCA accreditation
Implementation Summer 2005 • refinements targeted-- debriefing by tutors, faculty, and staff • student writing submission procedures simplified • hours of tutor availability extended and adjusted • additional tutors trained • 13 faculty, 23 classes, and 247 students had access to eWriting Spring 2005 • Identified potential undergraduate and graduate online courses in which writing was likely to be required • 23 faculty in 25 classes responded to an invitation to incorporate an eWriting Center link into their courses • Two experienced tutors initiated service and emailed students
Fall 2005 36 courses in a wider array of disciplines Open house Add real-time chat feature between students and tutors Solicit more extensive feedback from faculty Design a student feedback instrument Spring 2006 Faculty-wide Luncheon – Sponsored by Center for Teaching Excellence Train additional tutors Mid-course correction Begin longitudinal study of students who use the eWriting Center Implementation
Faculty Voices I was…able to see their improved assignment following their communication with the online writing center team. Most of all, I was extremely pleased to see that the writing center provided them assistance and helped them identify writing issues that needed addressed. They did not do their work for them, but they certainly knew how to motivate and elicit the type of work a junior or senior level student can produce. Thank you for allowing the…students to participate in this wonderful first-time opportunity. We hope to do it again.
Tutors’ Voices • Just a reminder that the tutors of the eWriting Center are here to serve DL students; we have the desire to help writers develop their skills. • We have a new tutor at the eWriting Center, … [who] has many years of experience as a college English instructor and tutor, and he has more letters after his name (BA, MA, PhD) than are in his name (almost). • Hope to hear from you soon, whether a quick question or a review of an entire paper.
Students’ Voices • Assignment is due: asap (tonight or tomorrow morning). Please help us with our paper, we have no clue what we need to improve in order to get a good grade. Thank you. • Thank you so much for you comments and ideas!!!!!!!! • WOW - thanks! I'll look this over and compare - I like what I briefed over. Thanks a lot! Blue skies • I am submitting a term paper for review. Please understand, I have NOT written anything in over 30 years! This is my first crack at it. I appreciate any recommendations or comments you may have.
Benefits • Support students’ in the achievement of academic success • Create more positive faculty experiences with online teaching • Attract more faculty to online teaching • Strengthen instructional delivery in online classrooms • Allow faculty to refer a student to the eWriting Center – focus on teaching
Q & A Contact Information Karen Rhoda firstname.lastname@example.org 419.321.5130 Carol Nelson-Burns email@example.com 419.530.4939 Daniel Solarek firstname.lastname@example.org 419.530.3377