This presentation was give by Center of Writing and Speaking tutors Sofia Barrera, Anna Cabe, Kathryn Dean, Chelsey Jenkins, and DeAnna Tipton.
Opening up with a fun trivia game (I won a cookie!), the CWS tutors showed their typical command of a room talking about their research about the transformation between the Writing and Speaker Centers to the Center for Writing and Speaking. The team previously presented this conference Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference in Fort Lauderdale. They began with the differences in nomenclature of space of the CWS. They surveyed new and old tutors about anxieties and benefits of the combination, including an internet survey and an tutor on tutor interview process. They were concerned mostly with how tutors saw themselves and how tutors understood and reacted to the combination.
One unique method which reflects how the Center focuses on peer tutors, they had tutors interview other tutors, to avoid the authoritarian system and feel of the research team interviewing an individual. The overriding question of the research was what was the connection between writing and speaking as seen by tutors.
The team included audio clips of the interviews of tutors and allowed this to structure their presentation. Most tutors saw speaking and writing as similar processes, but differing products. One tutor talked about how she had a student who just put paragraphs on her Powerpoint, so she was not adapting the process to two different products. The presentation would be different.
Tutors felt that tutoring outside of their comfort zone which let them grow as tutors, making the Center itself more dynamic. Also even with the assignments were clearly in one category or other, methods of tutors overlapped, so it better serves the students. The overlap continues with the communication between tutors.
The merger and communication began at CWS’ summer orientation which put all the tutors together to look at the theoretical and practical applications of tutoring. The Center plans to use this research to further this process at next year’s orientation. Their research will continue with expanding to tutee perceptions of the Center by surveying the classes of 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.