Friday, April 01, 2005

ECWCA Conference

I’m at the East Central Writing Center Association conference at Siena Heights University in Adrian Michigan. I’ve already seen two interesting presentations, and I’m in a third now (don’t tell the presenter).

The first was on research agendas for writing centers, presented by Kurt Kearcher from California University of Pennsylvania. He talked about his center’s project, Writing Center Artifact Research Project (WCARP) and how centers can develop their own research agendas to help professionalize the work done in the center.

The second was on an online writing center module developed at Michigan State U., presented by David Sheridan and Michael McLeod. It was interesting to see how MSU is pushing the envelope of what writing centers can do with technology, moving beyond a simple electronic, presentational resource or a place for online consultancy. The module hinted at rudimentary computer modules that have been condemned philosophically because they are simply glitzy version of worksheets, but the module is clearly far more sophisticated. And, far more importantly, it enables students to work through their own ideas, working on their own writing – it isn’t disconnected from the student’s own work.

Right now I’m in a session on blogging. There is some kind of irony here. The presenter has spent a lot of time explaining blogs, and now she is interested in our ideas and opinions to help her shape her research.

I better pay attention. More to come.

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