Presentation/Proposal Title

Handouts in a Digital Age: How the Resources We Use Impact Student Agency

Type of Presentation/Proposal

Individual Presentation or Paper

Start Date

5-4-2019 3:15 PM

End Date

5-4-2019 4:15 PM

Keywords

Resources, Digital Resources, Handouts, Student Agency

Description

As writing center consultants, we promote our writers’ sense of agency over their work not through one singular action, but through consistent awareness of how every area of our consulting impacts the way writers view their role in a session. I have found that the resources we present to writers and way we present those resources can either reinforce or dismantle the stereotype of writing centers as “fix-it shops.” Resources can mean anything from websites like Purdue OWL to a handout created by a consultant.

When I started working at the writing center, we had an entire drawer full of handouts about various topics. Many of these handouts were outdated and redundant. I witnessed consultants giving students handouts to cover their own knowledge gaps or avoid uncomfortable conversations. Because handouts were so often presented as a solution rather than as a tool to further understanding, I initially wanted to completely eliminate them as a resource our center uses. However, in light of Nancy Grimm’s writing about dismantling notions of “independence” in writing center sessions, I began to re-envision all of our resources, handouts included, as a collaborative space.

This presentation seeks to interrogate the ways in which the resources we use affect the larger picture of our pedagogy. By discussing my writing center’s journey and scholarship pertaining to student agency and the dynamics of peer consulting, I hope to start a conversation about the resources we use in writing center sessions and the impact they can have.

Comments

I plan to provide examples of my writing center's handouts, both pre and post revision.

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Apr 5th, 3:15 PM Apr 5th, 4:15 PM

Handouts in a Digital Age: How the Resources We Use Impact Student Agency

Deeds Boardroom

As writing center consultants, we promote our writers’ sense of agency over their work not through one singular action, but through consistent awareness of how every area of our consulting impacts the way writers view their role in a session. I have found that the resources we present to writers and way we present those resources can either reinforce or dismantle the stereotype of writing centers as “fix-it shops.” Resources can mean anything from websites like Purdue OWL to a handout created by a consultant.

When I started working at the writing center, we had an entire drawer full of handouts about various topics. Many of these handouts were outdated and redundant. I witnessed consultants giving students handouts to cover their own knowledge gaps or avoid uncomfortable conversations. Because handouts were so often presented as a solution rather than as a tool to further understanding, I initially wanted to completely eliminate them as a resource our center uses. However, in light of Nancy Grimm’s writing about dismantling notions of “independence” in writing center sessions, I began to re-envision all of our resources, handouts included, as a collaborative space.

This presentation seeks to interrogate the ways in which the resources we use affect the larger picture of our pedagogy. By discussing my writing center’s journey and scholarship pertaining to student agency and the dynamics of peer consulting, I hope to start a conversation about the resources we use in writing center sessions and the impact they can have.