MU Writing Center Annual Report 2017-18

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The MU writing center 2017-18 Annual Report


table of contents Letters from Our Team.......................................................................................................3 Our Mission Statement......................................................................................................6 Writing Center Year at a Glance.........................................................................................7 Usage Over the Year..................................................................................................8 Usage by Semester....................................................................................................9 Usage by Students..................................................................................................10 Reasons for Coming to the Writing Center.............................................................11 Graduate Writing Support Program........................................................................12 Tutoring Locations..................................................................................................13 TONY: The Online Writery.......................................................................................14 Tutor Workshops....................................................................................................15 Writing Center Presentations.................................................................................16 Writing Center Travels.............................................................................................17 Writing Center Recognition..............................................................................................18 Writing Center Spotlight.........................................................................................19 Bonnie Zelenak Excellence in Tutoring Awards.......................................................20 #ChanginLives: Writing Center Feedback........................................................................22 Overall Tutoring Feedback......................................................................................23 Selected Tutoring Feedback...................................................................................25 Selected Course Feedback, Fall 2017.....................................................................27 Selected Course Feedback, Spring 2018................................................................28 How to Exit the Writing Center...............................................................................29 Appendix...........................................................................................................................31 2015H Course Syllabus............................................................................................32 Course Evaluation Scores, Fall 2017.......................................................................36 Course Evaluation Scores, Spring 2018..................................................................39 Tutor Lists...............................................................................................................42 Organizational Chart...............................................................................................45 Contact Information...............................................................................................46

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letter from our director Welcome to the Writing Center’s Annual Report! We hope you like what we’ve done with the place. During the last 12 months, the Writing Center has gone through more changes than we’re used to…in order of their happening: • #1: AN ECLIPSE. I confess, I struggled with the picture choice below, but it really sums up how life was on that day. • #2: This past January, Dr. Rachel Harper, Director since 2006, accepted a new position as the Associate Director of the Honors College. • #3: That same month, our long-time Administrative Assistant, Megan Wilson, accepted a new fulltime position as Hadley Wilson’s mom. • #4: While TONY (the Online Writery) is great, he’s not much for conversation and/or supervising the tutors when I’m out of the office. Thankfully, in February, Dr. Stephanie Kimmey (long-time graduate Fellow tutor) was hired to our newly-created Assistant Director position. • #5: And speaking of TONY, during my final moments as “Online Writery Director,” I was also able to post the following update in January, right before classes started: Since 1994, the Writing Center at the University of Missouri has been tutoring online submissions. As we celebrate our 41st year as the Writing Center, we’d like to welcome you to version 5. Inside, you’ll find (among other things) A brand new student-facing scheduling interface. When classes are in session, you can schedule a tutoring appointment from the internet-connected device of your choice. Looking back, I’d be remiss not to say that Rachel still found time to co-teach our Honors tutoring preparatory course with me, smoothly transitioning us into our next Writing Center phase. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic-ness that is Kate Harlin, our graduate admin-in-training-forwhich-we-still-need-a-decent-title. Between the many administrative folks and our current staff of fantastic tutors, this new Director’s “first semester” was far better than most new Directors’ first semesters. In the spirit of valuing personnel and the work that they do (and as I’m reading Stephanie and Kate’s letters which occur next and thinking that they might have said it all) I want to give you a quick TL;DR so you know what’s coming in the pages ahead: Long-time readers may notice that we’re now reporting on a new fall-spring-summer schedule. With that in mind, you’ll see that we had 14,540 hourly contacts over the past academic year. You’ll also see that we worked with 4,459 individuals, 2,446 of whom met with a tutor more than once. As we look ahead toward once-again rising enrollments, I’m cautiously excited to get to write larger numbers in next year’s annual report. But first, have a look at what we did this past year. And may you never write alone,

Aaron 3


letter from our assistant director Hello! This year has been one of great personal change for me. In the fall, I was pushing forward with one goal, defend my dissertation and file for graduation. I wasn’t really looking beyond that. Having worked at the Writing Center since 2011 as both a WI and Ellis Library tutor, I was also getting ready to say goodbye to the place that had provided me a second home at Mizzou. Then one day in December, everything changed. With Rachel moving to the Honor’s College, Aaron asked if I would be interested in a position to help out at the Writing Center in the spring. I jumped at the offer. Not only would it give me something to do with my free time, but also was interested in seeing how the other side of the Writing Center functioned. And, honestly, I loved working with everyone there during my time as a tutor so much that I wasn’t quite ready to give it all up yet. I had come to Mizzou in 2010 to start my PhD in Art History and Archaeology with an emphasis in Greek religion and sanctuaries. My past experiences teaching had been in courses that satisfied university writing requirements. So when I found the Writing Center granted graduate fellowships for tutoring, I was eager to join the team. Little did I know at the time that my new co-workers also appreciated a wellplaced meme in an email or a Psych reference. My time as a writing tutor has been one of my most rewarding experiences at Mizzou. Working with students one-on-one to help them build and realize their writing skills was a learning experience for them as much as for me. I honed my communication skills, adapting to each tutoring session. I interacted with the diverse population at Mizzou, establishing working relationships with students from across the campus and a range of disciplines. It also helped me realized my long term goals within education and writing. I officially began the new position in February and jumped right into things. I met the new and improved Online Writery. Redesigned as a more student facing application, it also helped to streamline the administration of the Writing Center. No longer are we using two different systems for appointments and reporting, but everything is now in one magical place. By the end of the semester, I was totally hooked and I happily accepted a full-time position as Assistant Director. I look forward to the year to come, working more closely with Aaron and the tutors and continuing to help Mizzou students grow as writers.

Stephanie 4


letter from the wc assistant I began working as a writing tutor at the University of Missouri when I started my MA degree in 2013 and have continued tutoring mostly graduate students since finishing my first year. When the opportunity to take on the Writing Center graduate assistantship arose, I was excited to gain a new perspective on the daily operations of a service I felt I already knew quite well. My assistantship began last August, when I assisted with the 3-day orientation for new Writing Intensive and other graduate student tutors. I had attended the same training myself four years prior, but while I remembered the big take-aways of the orientation, which have been reinforced throughout my tutoring tenure, seeing the logic and organization behind how Aaron and Rachel condense a semester of training into less than a week illuminated for me what their priorities are. It was fun to see the tutors-in-training improve fundamental skills such as assignment analysis and offering Higher-Order feedback over just a few days. In fact, while at lunch on our final day of training, several of the tutors told me they were skeptical when they first saw their packed training schedules, but by the end could see the purpose behind each day’s activities. Seeing their confidence in their tutoring abilities grow throughout training and over the academic year has been truly gratifying! In fact, I was a little surprised at how gratifying administrating turned out to be overall. My responsibilities included observing new and returning tutors to offer feedback, organizing outreach presentations to classes, giving a few outreach presentations on my own including long-form academic integrity presentations, and generally serving as a resource for tutors. It has been very exciting to work with tutors to improve their skills and tutoring styles, and of course this has improved my own tutoring and confidence immensely. Rachel and Aaron also led me through a crash-course in Writing Center administration, breaking down everything from budgets to training for me. As I get closer to the academic job market, I am so grateful to have these kinds of skills in my quiver, allowing me to consider a broader range of jobs in higher education. Serving as the teaching assistant for the undergraduate Theory and Practice of Writing Tutoring course has illuminated for me how many different skills successful writing tutors need to be mindful of and develop. The students in both the fall and spring sections were thoughtful, motivated, smart, and great fun to work with. I particularly enjoyed meeting with many of them one-on-one to discuss their own writing as well as their ideas about tutoring. Watching graduates of the fall class on the floor of the Student Success Center in the spring, tutoring with confidence, was honestly pretty thrilling. I look forward to seeing the spring class on the floor this fall when I return to my regular writing tutor role. Outside of the Writing Center assistantship, this year I worked on my personal scholarship and taught my own classes, including a section of English 1000 specifically for international students in the fall. Teaching this course was a privilege and a lot of fun, and I could not have been as successful in teaching it without my work in the Writing Center. While a teacher and a tutor are two very different roles, through my job as a tutor I have worked with many international students. Thus, I have seen some of the ways students learning English can struggle with assignments and also the various experiences and expertise they bring to Mizzou’s classrooms. I have worked hard to give my international students the help and support they need, while also acknowledging and celebrating their knowledge and contributions in the classroom. I credit my training at the Writing Center with shaping my approach to working with all of my students but especially in international composition. My interest in international students inspired my final project for my assistantship, which was to use some of the Writing Center’s data to gain some more insight into how international students use our services. While as a graduate tutor I know anecdotally that many international graduate students use our services frequently, I was especially interested in seeing when undergraduate international students use the Writing Center. It was great to see that we work with international undergraduates from a variety of disciplines, and that (for the most part) we see a steady increase in international undergraduate contacts as they progress through their academic careers. In all, this year has been challenging, gratifying, and truly fun. I look forward to continuing to work for the Writing Center as a tutor throughout my final two years of graduate school!

Kate 5


our mission statement As writing tutors, we should have not only an expert command of the craft of writing, but also an ability to use both the compass and the razor. That may sound like a strange metaphor to use in tutoring writing, but it means that effective tutors must be able to see a paper from both the writer’s and the reader’s perspective. Our job is not to “fix” student essays according to our own sense of what constitutes good writing, but to help the writers determine what they want to say and recognize the array of writing choices available to them. The critical razor is the editor’s tool, but the best tutors know how to survey others’ writing with the compass oriented toward the student’s own north and south. And so, we approach each student draft as if it was a foreign country or town we have never visited. What sort of place is this? Who lives here? Which ways are their north and south, their mountains and rivers, their post office and town commons? What are their languages? Their customs? Their values? We explore, and orient ourselves like mapmakers—applying the compass. Only then, when we feel we know something about the place from the inside, do we consider sitting down to discuss ideas for further landscaping. Translated into practical terms, in a writing tutorial, this comes down to a humble and genuine respect on the tutor’s part for even the least accomplished draft. Every piece of writing has its own topography, its own values, which the tutor needs to understand before undertaking to help the writer fix it. No draft is ever intended as a prototype of the finished piece the tutor could imagine. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we advocate for completely abandoning the razor. But we use it alongside the compass. Indeed, none of us can hope to be really useful to the writers we work with if we limit ourselves to one or the other. The razor is forged from our practical skill in the craft—a crucial part of our credentials; we need its mental sharpness when we think about another writer’s work. But every good tutor values the compass just as highly, knowing that successful tutorials demand a good deal more than technical expertise. At the MU Writing Center, the razor and the compass are part of what we mean when we insist that all of the people we work with are writers as truly as we are ourselves: like us, they are worthy of both. Adapted from former Online Writery Director Dr. Greg Foster’s “The Razor & The Compass”

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the writing center year at a glance


usage over the year Academic year total contacts:

14,540 Individual students:

4,459 Students with multiple sessions:

2,446 Average number of appointments per student:

3.3

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usage by semester Fall 2017 | 7,016 total

Spring 2018 | 6,460 total

Summer 2018 | 1,064 total

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usage by students Tutoring sessions by ethnic group

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reasons for coming to the writing center This past year, the Writing Center had 2,136 contacts from students who were working on application materials. Those materials included personal statements, cover letters, essays, and the occasional resume. All told, those contacts made up about 15% of the overall usage, and the most common reason for someone to visit us. Courses offered by the departments below made up 2% or greater (at least 200 contacts) of our total for the year. Department: English Management Human Development & Family Studies Journalism Health Sciences Nursing History Textile & Apparel Management Sociology Communications German General Honors Classical Humanities

Percentage of contacts: 12 8 6 5 4 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

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GRADUATE WRITING support program Our GWS Program continues to be partially funded by agreements with the Sinclair School of Nursing, the College of Education, and the Master’s in Public Health program. Tutoring usage over the years

Types of tutoring used across programs (‘17-’18)

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TUTORING locations This year, we provided tutoring in several locations, including the Student Success Center (our main site), Ellis Library for walk-in hours, evening hours at two residence halls (Bingham Commons and Center) and the MU Athletics Training Center. As usual, the Online Writery never closed, so our online tutors spent time responding throughout weekends and breaks as well.

The “cozy� Student Success Center

Fall 2017 - Summer 2018

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TONY: the online writery Thanks in part to a 2017 Writing Intensive Project Award, the Writing Center was able to post this announcement on the (new) home page of the Online Writery in January 2018: Welcome to TONY, the Online Writery! Since 1994, the Writing Center at the University of Missouri has been tutoring online submissions. As we celebrate our 41st year, we’d like to welcome you to version 5. Inside, you’ll find: • A new tab for all users: MyWritery is your one-stop shop for all things Writing Center-related. You can submit drafts, schedule and cancel appointments (!), and review all of your prior tutoring interactions with the Writing Center on a single page. • A brand new student-facing scheduling interface. When classes are in session, you can schedule a tutoring appointment from the internet-connected device of your choice. • The same fantastic Online Writery that you’ve come to expect, with some visual updates and some extra submission options. You may need to clear your browser’s cache in order to enjoy all the features. You’re about to log on to the only application of its like in the SEC. Welcome (back) to TONY, the Online Writery!

This update for TONY has been a long time coming, and the Writing Center is very appreciative of the Campus Writing Program’s investment in further connecting Writing Intensive students to our WI tutoring support services. Now, after a six-year hiatus from online scheduling, our students are once again able to schedule appointments with a tutor from nearly anywhere, receive automated reminders and evaluations about their appointments, and manage their connection to the Writing Center quickly and easily. Administratively, the new update also provides robust scheduling, data collection, and record-keeping capabilities for our staff. The Writing Center thanks our ongoing collaborators, the Application Development Network at the Division of IT for their stellar programming and design work, as well as the Campus Writing Program for their support during the redevelopment of the Online Scheduling Platform. This final update wouldn’t have been possible without the Campus Writing Program’s Writing Intensive Project Award. The Writing Center and TONY look forward to this next phase in supporting students’ writing at MU. 14


TUTOR WORKSHOPs In addition to the Online Writery refresher workshops given to tutors through the year, we also offered several subject-specific tutoring workshops. In the last week of October, Dr. Jill Kanaley presented two workshops to our tutors, focusing on her Nutrition & Exercise Physiology writing intensive course, and the lab style writing her students are expected to do in it. In the second week of February, Dr. Darcy Holtgrave, an Honors advisor in the MedOpp office, made her triumphant return to the Writing Center. She presented two sessions on tutoring Medical School personal statements for our tutors. In the last week of February, Dr. Shannon Breske visited our tutors to present a workshop on her newly-revamped Management 4140 writing intensive course.

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WRITING CENTER PRESENTATIONS Throughout the year, the staff, outreach team, and writing intensive tutors present Writing Center information in courses, at fairs, and for requested groups and departments. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Summer Transition Program Presentation Nursing Online Writery Summer Presentation Residential Life Student Staff Resource Fair New Faculty Resource Fair Social Work Graduate Students Outreach Presentation College of Education Graduate Resource Fair CWP ESL Presentation Masters in Public Health Graduate Writing Support Presentation Personal Statement Workshop: MCAC BA 1500 Plagiarism Presentation Honors College Geek Week Online Writery Presentation College of Education Graduate Education Week Presentation Honors Spring Enrollment Fair Consultation visit from Stephens College Writing Center CWP Faculty Workshop: Writing Center and WI Management 4140 TA Training Workshop ISLT 9450 Online Writery Presentation BA3500 Plagiarism Presentations (2) Library Writer’s Room Series International Center Spring Resource Fair Residence Life Hatch Hall Advisor’s Forum Summer Welcome Meeting

Committees and such: • • • • • •

Student Success Focus Group: Starfish PAR Composition Committee Mahan Award Committee CWP Hiring Committee Honors College Scholarship Awards Committee ESL Academic Writing Advisory Group 16


WRITING CENTER TRAVELS Visiting and being visited: Expanding our Writing Center network On a Thursday in March, we were treated to a visit from Rob Patterson, the Director of the Washington University Writing Center in St. Louis. He came to visit on what we hope was the best stop of his “midwest writing centers tour.” After some general information gathering about the similarities and differences between our services and an Online Writery demo, he and Aaron took a short tour of the campus and visted Shakespeare’s Pizza. Many things were learned; a collegial friendship was born; plans were made (see below). Aaron capped the day off by saying the now-famous parting phrase: “Thanks to me*,” instead of either “Thanks for coming” or “Me too.” It was a long day and we looked forward to the next one. An equally sunny April Thursday found us driving to St. Louis to return the visit. Rob gave us the full tour of Washington University’s campus, pointing out all the new facilities and visions for the future. We saw the original Writing Center, where the signs are still posted on the exterior of the building. Then we settled into their new Writing Center space, a large corner on the first floor of the library. With large floor to ceiling windows and ample natural light, we sat down and discussed the way that writing tutoring works at Wash U. Rob shared that they struggle with a higher demand than they can accommodate, mostly due to a lack of tutor availability. We also chatted about future collaborations, specifically sharing our views to help them develop an asynchronous online tutoring platform. After a lengthy discussion of different administrative approaches, we enjoyed an Italian lunch and saw more of campus. And in another serendipitous WC-related happening, we also found one of our ex-tutors, now doing graduate work in English at Washington University, demonstrating that Aaron is, indeed, a “tumbleweed of interactions**.” *A real-life thing that Aaron said **A real-life thing that Rob said

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writing CENTER recognition


WRITING CENTER SPOTLIGHT It’s common for folks who talk about writing to say, “writing is hard.” But that’s not quite right, is it? What they mean when they utter those three words is that “writing something of quality and meaning, something that makes the reader engage, something that both gets the job done and is a joy to read, is devilishly hard.” That said, writing this page is hard. Let me get a few historical moments out of the way as I remember them: •

In 2002, when I came to the English department as a graduate student, Rachel Harper was teaching Composition and had a desk among one of the many cubicles in the basement of Tate Hall. I saw her on occasion; I heard her conferencing with students. She seemed smart.

Much later, circa-2008, I was working as a Retention Coordinator with Academic Retention Services, and Rachel was the Director of the Writing Center. We saw each other from time to time, being in the same building. She always seemed busy.

In early 2011, she may or may not have mentioned something about a job at the Writing Center that she thought I might be interested in. She seemed serious.

In August of 2011, she called me from home on my first day as Director of the Online Writery, at my new desk, in my new office, and asked how my training was going. She seemed funny.

From 2011 to the end of 2017, we co-directed the Writing Center and the Online Writery together. We were both always and never each other’s bosses, but there were times when…She seemed bossy.

On a December afternoon in 2017, I made my way to Rachel’s office for one of our many check-ins. I made a flippant comment about her quitting. She seemed tense, pensive, and maybe even…sad.

To say that being a Writing Program Administrator or more particularly a Writing Center Director is hard is to fundamentally misunderstand the assignment. A WPA has to be smart, serious, thoughtful, (unfortunately) tense, (sometimes hellishly) busy, and in order to be a good WPA, both bossy and funny in fairly equal terms. To say that Rachel was all of those things and more when she needed to be is to simply state facts. To say that we miss Dr. Rachel Harper at the Writing Center though, is to sell short the lives that changed while she was here. So, for clarity’s sake: Over the course of her 11 years as a Director, she hired and trained over 600 undergraduate, graduate, and professional tutors, as well as at least one Online Writery Director. Under her direction, in the past 7 years alone, those tutors conducted over 70,000 hours of tutoring. Those tutors have been and are, literally, all over the world carrying with them what we hope continues to be the mantra they learned at the Writing Center: Go out there and start #ChanginLives. And thank you Rachel, for changing ours.

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2017-18 BONNIE ZELENAK EXCELLENCE IN TUTORING At the Tutor Appreciation Lunch on May 4th, we recognized all the tutors who worked at the Writing Center this past year and said goodbye to the ones who are graduating or moving on. We also recognized three graduating tutors by awarding them the Bonnie Zelenak Excellence in Tutoring Award. Bonnie Zelenak, as Director of the Learning Center, established the Writing Center in 1977. This award recognizes tutors with innovative thinking, enthusiasm for teaching, and dedication to helping students succeed at MU. Maddie Neimann: Our first writing tutoring award went to a graduating senior. She has been tutoring for the Writing Center since January 2016. In that relatively short amount of time, she changed just shy of 400 lives. Here’s what a couple of those folks said about their experience with her: • “She had a good grasp on what I was implying (without meaning to) so that I could either make sure it received enough attention or eliminate it.” • “She asked thought-provoking questions and made revisions without directly changing or writing for me.” • “She’s handled some of the toughest sessions in the past two years, caring enough during each of them to see folks get what they needed. In addition to the impact she made on those students, she personally made this job easier for her bosses, who knew that even the hard sessions were covered. With folks like her working for us, it’s absolutely a job that we are excited to come to each day.” To be fair, that last one was written by her bosses, but that doesn’t make it less true.

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Luke Dietterle: Our second writing tutoring award went to a graduate tutor. He was the only face-to-face tutor that had worked here longer than his bosses. He had been tutoring for the Writing Center since August of 2010, first as an undergraduate, then as a part-time online tutor, then as a graduate student. After his first graduation, he said in his exit interview (we still have the footage) that he was going to go work on a farm. To our knowledge, he did that, as well as flipping pizzas, making donuts, and applying for graduate school, and still found time to work online for us. He came back to Mizzou for his graduate degree in Public Affairs, and rejoined our face-to-face staff, changing almost 1000 lives over the past 8 years. We are currently in talks to continue hiring him, simply because we’ve never lived in a world where Luke isn’t on the payroll. He’s so far not taking the bait…but…we did give him this award, so….. James Bohnett: Technically, James got a tutoring award for Math tutoring. But, he’s also a writing tutor so we claim a small portion of his success.

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#changinlives Writing Center Feedback


overall tutoring FEEDBACK Based on 238 total responses by students over Spring 2018: I am satisfied with my Writing Center experience.

The feedback I received was helpful.

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My tutor had a helpful and supportive attitude.

I will use the Writing Center’s services again.

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SELECTED TUTORING FEEDBACK • Andrew: Thank you for helping me on so many papers, I especially have a lot of feelings of gratitude for you. Thank you for being so supportive! You are really an effective person that sometimes I really amazed by how fast you could response!! • Elena: Thank you for your help, I really enjoy reading your response. It felt like having a conversation with you directly :) • Aleksandra: Thank you for being so considerate with my paper! I really got a lot of help from your response!! • I came into the writing center because I needed help with my personal statement to apply for a trip abroad, and I got in! I want to say thanks to Anna because she really helped me make my personal statement great and I know it helped with me getting accepted. • Thank you for taking time out of your day to help students. • Thank you, Erin! You made the process so much easier, and this appointment helped give my brain a break. It was nice to have another set of eyes to check out my paper • Elizabeth is a great tutor with a positive attitude. She helped get my paper going in the right direction. • Natalie was the one who helped me and she was great. I would definitely come back to her for my future papers. • Alex was extremely helpful and did an amazing job of showing me where I was lacking in my paper, while also being an encourager and telling me what areas my paper really sounded good. • Sarah was very kind and had many nice things to say as well as constructive feedback. I appreciate all of her help and hope to work with her again next time. It was a great first experience with this resource. • I want to thank Kate for the tremendous help on my essays. She is encouraging and I was able to learn a lot from her. • Annalee is awesome! Super helpful and made sure to hit on what I was concerned with before anything else!

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• Luke is great! Super helpful and very agreeable, it felt like a casual conversation instead of a directive session! • Thank you for looking over such a long technical paper that was over a subject that’s not very interesting for most people. • Thanks to Taylor! She was really cool and easy to work with and explained her reasoning for changes she thought I should make really well. • Thank you so much to Elena! She was so warm and friendly in her response to me, and her feedback exceeded all my expectations for my first time using the Online Writery. • I scheduled the appointment last minute and Jessica took into account that my paper was time sensitive because it was actually due at 3pm (when our session ended). She did such an amazing job going through my paper quickly and efficiently, I am so happy I chose to stop by the student success center to meet with her because her input and perspective definitely enhanced the quality of my assignment!! • One big thing my tutor helped me with was topic sentences. I never gave much thought to topic sentences before. He told me to think of topic sentences as presenting what the paragraph is going to be about, so someone knows exactly what information is going to be presented in that specific paragraph. I had not thought of a topic sentence like that before, and it really improved my paper! • My tutor’s genuine interest in the topic of my paper and the thoughts I was trying to pull together in order to achieve my papers intended purpose. • My tutor, Luke, did a great job explaining why he was concerned with a certain sentence or the wording of a sentence so that I could properly synthesize an edited version of the sentence to get the same point across in a clearer way. • She had many positive things to say about my paper, she didn’t just focus on the negatives. This was encouraging! • I learned how to facilitate the flow between sentences and make the centering point stand out. • My tutor helped me get thinking about how I wanted to start my paper by asking me certain questions and I ended up figuring out what I wanted to do for my paper. • Being able to talk through my ideas and plan out what my paper would look like was extremely helpful. Usually I only reach out for help when my paper is finished and needs revising, but getting help in the beginning was amazing.

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Selected COURSE feedback, fall 2017 What aspects of the teaching or content of this course were especially good? • I liked how it was a good mix of fun and serious so it made the work a little less painful. • I thought it was thought provoking and kept me on my feet! • Everything! I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot. • Big fan! I feel like I became a better writer but also liked coming to class. • Loved the class. Very approachable. Although we did learn a lot, it was also a lot of fun! • I really learned a lot during this class, and I really enjoyed it. To be honest, I didn’t expect to learn that much during this class because I wasn’t sure how we would learn in a writing tutoring class, but I was thankfully wrong. I’ve learned so much over the course of the semester. Thank you so much for being so accomodating and understanding. And I so appreciated your enthusiasm and care towards your students, it means a lot.

What changes could be made to improve the teaching or the content of this course? • I think that it would be helpful to understand the expectations of the papers more clearly because the first submissions I did poorly on. I did better on the revisions, but I was still a little confused about the grading scale. • I wouldn’t really change anything. Perhaps something, I wasn’t sure what exactly the rubric for the essays were beforehand, and I think knowing exactly what was expected and how difficult the essays would be beforehand would be helpful!

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Selected COURSE feedback, SPRING 2018 What aspects of the teaching or content of this course were especially good? • Rachel and Aaron made everything fun and interesting, to where I genuinely enjoyed coming to class. • I really liked everyone’s teaching style. I felt like I learned well and really gained valuable information from the class that is not only applicable as a writing tutor but in general life when you are helping others or working collaboratively. • I thought everything was great honestly. Every discussion we had and every activity we did I think helped us all tremendously into becoming better writers AND tutors. What changes could be made to improve the teaching or the content of this course? • Maybe make it a morning class, that was the only thing I wish was different about it. At this point in the afternoon, I just want to be done with class. • I really liked the meetings with Rachel/Aaron/Kate. I think more opportunities to meet and go over assignments with the instructor(s) would be beneficial. • I think everything was great (except more Walt Wednesdays are a must). What unit do you wish we spent more time on? • I wish we did a little more with international students. I feel like that could end up being a situation I have with most of my tutees and I’m not sure I’m as prepared as I could be. What did you enjoy most about this course? • Definitely the teachers. • I enjoyed the atmosphere of acceptance in the classroom and how the same atmosphere is fostered in the Writing Center; no one is “stupid,” and everything is a learning process for everyone.

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how to the writing center When tutors graduate and/or run out of time in their day to continue working for us, we ask them fairly serious questions about their experiences here. That question, and their responses, are below: How have you personally or professionally benefited from working in the Writing Center? How has this job #changedyourlife? • This job has really #changedmylife. Specifically, with regards to my own writing, I now take the time to make sure that when I write all my points flow through every paragraph, and that my arguments are solid overall. I really enjoyed tutoring people face to face, and it was refreshing for me most times to read content that was vastly different from my own research interests and educational field. I learned a lot from tutees on many subjects I had no previous knowledge of. One thing the Writing Center confirmed for me is my career interests in academia. I love the environment of academia where I am constantly interacting and learning from various people. That is briefly what the WC did for me. #onceatutoralwaysatutor • When I started as a writing tutor, I was in it for the words. I cared a lot - too much -about how things sounded on a page. After two years, the job has ultimately shifted my concerns away from words and towards thoughts. I do not know if the students I work with leave with better vocabularies or sentence structures. I do believe they leave more confident in their ability to think through the words they choose, or the conceptual impact of a certain thesis, or the point of a prompt overall. • Tutoring helped me develop a new type of empathy. I’ve had to become a better listener, a better questioner, a better interpreter of what I think others mean, as well as a better predictor of how others will respond to what I say. On a professional level, tutoring taught me how to work productively with people - ideas, rather - that are approaching the world very differently than I do, and also how to see the strengths and weaknesses in my own abilities as a writer/thinker. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that most anything can be made fun with enough memes and positive vibes. • The Writing Center helped me be more confident in approaching new people and new situations. Every session involves quickly getting to know someone well enough to help them find solutions to problems they might not even be aware of. • This will be helpful in my future career as a public servant as my work will involve engaging with diverse groups of stakeholders to come to consensus about policy options, as well as substantive debates about the best courses of action to alleviate social problems. • Knowing how to quickly assess relationship dynamics to determine effective ways of engaging others to achieve solutions that will be amenable to everyone is something that will be useful not just professionally, but personally as well. 29


• I’ve met more types of people than I ever would in any other area at Mizzou, and I have some of the best bosses and co-workers in the world. Being a tutor at MU has made me realize I’m capable of pursuing this type of work in the future, and I plan to. It’s also made me a better writer, which I didn’t even think about when I started. • Working at the Writing Center showed me that writing and language could be a central career skill and lead me to the field of education. I will be graduating with a BS in Secondary English Education and my experience with the writing center not only taught me how to teach, it also impressed interviewers and was a talking point in each of my interviews! • Before coming to grad school, I worked with students as a teacher, and also helped clients when they were looking for work. I missed the interactions I had with folks: finding all of the puzzle pieces and putting them together, helping people feel confident in themselves and their writing along the way. I’ve felt so blessed to work at the Writing Center, because I get to facilitate folks’ growth every time we meet. • Earlier this semester, a student left a note for me on my desk. We had worked together a few times on her graduate school application. She had first come in crying, worried she wasn’t good enough to get into the school she wanted. In her note, she told me how grateful she was for my encouragement and help. She said she felt confident heading into the next stage of her education. That made my day. So we’re not technically therapists, but writing is personal and about people, and I try to bring compassion and kindness into everything I do with students. Anyways, the Writing Center deserves all the funds and all the folks. It is making people better writers, yeah, but it’s also making them stronger, more confident people. That’s what higher education is all about, right? • It’s been amazing to get to impact students and truly feel like the work I’m doing is beneficial. One of the best things is having repeat students who come back again and again because they see the benefit of working with a tutor, whether it’s me or someone else. In my own education, I feel like being a writing tutor has completely shifted the way I approach my own writing and made me a lot more confident. Thank you for everything! I will miss the Writing Center. • I could not have wished for a better job to have while finishing graduate school. While we all love to read/write, working at the Writing Center challenges us to develop interpersonal and tutoring skills, which can translate to nearly any career. We are allowed great flexibility in choosing our work schedules, and the supervisors are both accommodating and understanding during any time that we may need off. Working at the Writing Center not only helped me during my time at Mizzou but has already aided in my job search, adding a unique, yet useful, set of skills that help set me apart as a candidate. I am very fortunate to have spent two semesters working as a WI Tutor and I know the WC will continue to provide a great service to all Mizzou students for many years to come! • Truth: Working at the Writing Center helped me avoid taking out student loans for most of my graduate education.

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APPENDIX


2015H COURSE SYLLABUS

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COURSE EVALUATION SCORES, FALL 2017 The following average numbers show how students enrolled in 2015H during the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters evaluated their experience taking the course, with 5 (strongly agree) being the highest possible score and 1 (strongly disagree) being the lowest. Course content and structure The syllabus clearly explained the course objectives, requirements, and grading system. Course content was relevant and useful (e.g., readings, online media, classwork, assignments). Resources (e.g., articles, literature, textbooks, class notes, online resources) were easy to access. This course challenged me. Teaching delivery This instructor was consistently well-prepared. This instructor was audible and clear. This instructor was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the topic. This instructor fostered questions and/or class participation. This instructor clearly explained important information/ideas/ concepts. This instructor effectively used teaching methods appropriate to this class (eg., critiques, discussion, demonstrations, group work). Learning environment This instructor responded appropriately to questions and comments. This instructor stimulated student thinking and learning. This instructor promoted an atmosphere of mutual respect regarding diversity in student demographics and viewpoints, such as race, gender, or politics. This instructor was approachable and available for extra help. This instructor used class time effectively. This instructor helped students to be independent learners, responsible for their own learning.

Mean score: 4.90 4.90 4.80 4.70

5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00

5.00 5.00 4.90 5.00 5.00 5.00 36


Assessment I was well-informed about my performance during this course. Assignments/projects/exams were graded fairly based on clearly communicated criteria. This instructor provided feedback that helped me improve my skills in this subject area. Teaching effectiveness This instructor taught effectively considering both the possibilities and limitations of the subject matter and the course (including class size and facilities). Technology The instructor adequately prepared the class to use the required technologies. The required technologies were well integrated into the course. The online part of this course was well-organized and easy to navigate. The online part of the class added to classroom learning in a positive way. Writing/media Directions for writing/media assignments were clear and specific. Writing/media assignments were interesting and stimulating. Writing/media assignments contributed to understanding the course content. Instructor/peer feedback helped me improve my writing/ media skills. Editing and revising helped me improve my writing/media skills. Seminar/discussion The instructor effectively facilitated class discussions. Class discussions were useful in helping me understand course content. Class discussions helped me discover new ways of thinking. The instructor encouraged me to develop and express my own ideas. The instructor held students to a high standard of performance. The course helped me develop intellectual skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving).

4.70 4.80 5.00

4.90

4.89 4.89 5.00 4.89

5.00 4.90 5.00 5.00 5.00

5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00

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Creative/applied practice The instructor adequately demonstrated the skills I was expected to learn. The instructor gave me the opportunity to practice key skills. The instructor encouraged me to develop and improve my skills. The instructor encouraged me to develop and use my creativity.

5.00 4.90 4.90 4.90

Labs/focused practice This lab class enhanced my understanding of the key concepts from the course. The instructor encouraged group collaboration/ peer-to-peer learning. The instructor adequately taught the skills necessary to complete the assignments/projects. The instructor effectively managed unexpected problems. The instructor explained and enforced lab/safety procedures.

5.00 5.00 4.83 5.00 5.00

Multiple instructor Multiple instructors enhanced the course because of the variety of approaches and expertise. The use of team teaching improved my learning. The teaching assistant (TA) or peer-learning assistant was helpful.

5.00 5.00 4.90

Instructor questions This course met my expectations of an honors course. The Honors College should offer this course again. The instructor should be encouraged to teach this honors course again. This course improved my ability to think critically. This course improved my ability to communicate. This course improved my ability to collaborate. This course improved my ability to be creative. Feedback for other students Would you recommend this class to other students regarding...? • Class content • Class structure (e.g., organization, pacing) • Positive learning environment • Instructor’s teaching skill/style • Fairness of grading

5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 % YES

% NO

% IDK

100 100 100 100 100

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 38


COURSE EVALUATION SCORES, SPRING 2018 Course content and structure The syllabus clearly explained the course objectives, requirements, and grading system. Course content was relevant and useful (e.g., readings, online media, classwork, assignments). Resources (e.g., articles, literature, textbooks, class notes, online resources) were easy to access. This course challenged me. Teaching delivery This instructor was consistently well-prepared. This instructor was audible and clear. This instructor was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the topic. This instructor fostered questions and/or class participation. This instructor clearly explained important information/ideas/ concepts. This instructor effectively used teaching methods appropriate to this class (eg., critiques, discussion, demonstrations, group work). Learning environment This instructor responded appropriately to questions and comments. This instructor stimulated student thinking and learning. This instructor promoted an atmosphere of mutual respect regarding diversity in student demographics and viewpoints, such as race, gender, or politics. This instructor was approachable and available for extra help. This instructor used class time effectively. This instructor helped students to be independent learners, responsible for their own learning.

Mean score: 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00

5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00

5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00

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Assessment I was well-informed about my performance during this course. Assignments/projects/exams were graded fairly based on clearly communicated criteria. This instructor provided feedback that helped me improve my skills in this subject area. Teaching effectiveness This instructor taught effectively considering both the possibilities and limitations of the subject matter and the course (including class size and facilities). Technology The instructor adequately prepared the class to use the required technologies. The required technologies were well integrated into the course. The online part of this course was well-organized and easy to navigate. The online part of the class added to classroom learning in a positive way. Writing/media Directions for writing/media assignments were clear and specific. Writing/media assignments were interesting and stimulating. Writing/media assignments contributed to understanding the course content. Instructor/peer feedback helped me improve my writing/ media skills. Editing and revising helped me improve my writing/media skills. Seminar/discussion The instructor effectively facilitated class discussions. Class discussions were useful in helping me understand course content. Class discussions helped me discover new ways of thinking. The instructor encouraged me to develop and express my own ideas. The instructor held students to a high standard of performance. The course helped me develop intellectual skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving).

4.67 4.67 4.67

5.00

5.00 4.67 5.00 5.00

4.67 5.00 5.00 4.67 5.00

5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00

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Creative/applied practice The instructor adequately demonstrated the skills I was expected to learn. The instructor gave me the opportunity to practice key skills. The instructor encouraged me to develop and improve my skills. The instructor encouraged me to develop and use my creativity.

5.00 4.67 5.00 5.00

Instructor questions This course met my expectations of an honors course. The Honors College should offer this course again. The instructor should be encouraged to teach this honors course again. This course improved my ability to think critically. This course improved my ability to communicate. This course improved my ability to collaborate. This course improved my ability to be creative. Feedback for other students Would you recommend this class to other students regarding...? • Class content • Class structure (e.g., organization, pacing) • Positive learning environment • Instructor’s teaching skill/style • Fairness of grading

5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 N/A N/A % YES

% NO

% IDK

100 100 100 100 100

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0

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WRITING CENTER HOURLY TUTOR LIST Name: Alaina Strollo Aleksandra Kinlen Alexandra Cappetta Allie Greenspun Amanda Rhim Andrew Bennett Anna Jaoudi Anna Wright Annalee Roustio Avery Esquivel Bailey Sampson Bailey Sims Bonnie Watson Bryce Fuemmeler Connor Crouch Devin Day Emily Young Emma Worgul Eric Russell Erika Stark Erin Niederberger Erin Osborne Hal Robison Holly Northcutt Hope Johnson James Bohnett Jamie Seibert Jasmine-Kay Johnson Jenna Allen Jessica Dennis Jessica Heim-Brouwer John D’Arcy Joy Han

Major/Home Department: English History English Journalism Political Science/Psychology English/Disability Studies Journalism Psychology English Early Childhood Education Journalism/Art History Business/Journalism Russian/English Communications Journalism English Business Business English Journalism ISLT English Digital Storytelling/English Journalism Journalism Political Science English Journalism English/Journalism Journalism Journalism Business Journalism/Graphic Design 42


Kate Harlin Katherine Herrick Kathryn Cornwall Katie Ziegler Kelsey Mason Kerker Adam Laura Serwe Lucy Shanker Maddie Niemann Madi McVan Madison Czopek Madison Steely Maggie Dittmer Maren Rhynerson Marlee Baldridge Mary Salatino Megan Dollar Michaela Lamb Michele Marchiony Molly White Natalie Gilliam Norma Fisk Olivia DeSmit Rachel Brinkmann Rachel Johnson Rashi Shrivastava Ruth Knezevich Sabrina Brons Sadie Jess Sarah Marcum Sarah Pribe Sebastian Pope Siobhan Conners Sophie Nedelco Stephanie Kimmey

English Journalism Journalism History Biology English English Journalism International Studies/Political Science Journalism Political Science/Journalism Biochemistry English Health Sciences English/Journalism Journalism Journalism Education Communication and Science Disorders Psychology Business Nursing Animal Sciences Political Science English Journalism English Journalism Sociology Physics English English Journalism Engineering Art History

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fellowship tutors Adam Hirsch Alex Gnibus Bailey Boyd Edwin Bonney Elena Rivera Elizabeth Wolfson Kerker Adam Leif Nordstrom Luke Dietterle Natalia Alamdari Rachel Bauer Rona Bern Takaze Turner Taylor Paskoff

Atmospheric Sciences Journalism English ELPA/Spanish Journalism Art History English Natural Resources Public Affairs Journalism Theatre Public Health Law Anthropology

Key: Graduate Writing Support Program

English MA 44


organizational chart

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CONTACT US Email: writingcenter@missouri.edu Web: http://writingcenter.missouri.edu Address: 100 Student Success Center Columbia, MO 65211 Phone: (573) 882-2496