Reading about writing center consultations and in-progress drafts this week led me to to think about how different relationships in the classroom–student-teacher, peer-peer–could tap into the benefits of writing center practice. My initial thought for my “artifact” would be something like one-on-one draft conferences with students based explicitly on the student-led writing center model. I think it could potentially help the student feel like their teacher is a resource, not an authority–but I also think that it could feel false, as though I’m trying to pretend that I don’t have the authority over their paper that I will later claim when grading. And besides, we have a writing center for that kind of conversation. So I threw that out. Instead, I’m thinking about how peer interactions could benefit from the common writing center practice of modeling resource gathering. Very often, in appointments, the tutor and student will navigate writing resources together in order to come up with a suggestion for revision or editing. I’ve always thought this was really helpful–it shows that the tutor doesn’t simply hold all the knowledge, and that rather they’ve learned how to navigate a set of tools that are available to all students. So, my plan now is to have part of peer-response workshops revolve around directing peers to resources. For instance, if a student marks a sentence fragment/bad citation/non-argumentative thesis/so on, they could link to an OWL at Purdue writing page, or the page number of a style guide, or some other resource. I think this could A) help students feel confident in their recommendations to peers, B) give students the actual tools to revise or to compose differently in the future, rather than a simple “correction,” and C) help all students learn to navigate the resources that they’ll need throughout their writing lives.
One Reply to “Praxis Blog 10.20.14”
Great idea. I think you’ll need to provide some of these resources to students initially, perhaps via your course’s web page or selected texts. You might have students do some kind of regular social bookmarking project (like our Diigo bookmarks) so that the class can gradually build up a number of resources. Eventually, you might even have students curate the collection, voting resources up or down based on how helpful they seem to be.