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Getting it Write! The Scalable Online Writing Center

Page history last edited by Tera Meschko 9 years, 3 months ago

Getting it Write! The Scalable Online Writing Center

 

Primary Presenter: Linda Hiemer

Organization: University of the Rockies

Role: VP of Academic Affairs

Track: Discussion

Level: For Mere Mortals

 

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the management, efficiency, and scalability of a virtual Writing Center and Writing Coaches for diverse online and campus learners. Using a virtual coaching model and writing center within the existing learning management system (LMS) promotes improved student outcomes and supports date-driven decision making. The model focuses on building a student’s self-editing and critical proofreading skills and aligns with the University’s mission and institutional-level outcomes.

 

Bio: Linda J. Hiemer is the Vice President of Academic Affairs for the University of the Rockies (UoR). UoR is a graduate school offering master’s and doctoral degrees in the social and behavioral sciences both in on campus and online modalities. Prior to joining UoR, Linda served as the first Dean of Curriculum and Director of Legal Writing for Concord Law School, a fully-online law school. She has over ten (10) years experience in online higher education. Linda received her undergraduate degree in History from Lafayette College and her Juris Doctorate from Penn State University The Dickinson School of Law.

 

Description: The University of the Rockies Writing Center (RWC) provides a live Writing Coach service for online and campus based students. Under the management of the University’s Academic Affairs Online Department, data was collected and analyzed that demonstrated an improvement in student outcomes for users of the RWC and helped drive improvements to the Writing Center site. The current RWC is designed within the LMS, allowing for a user-friendly and familiar platform for students. In the presentation, we will examine the RWC experience, and, specifically, the live Writing Coach service and its current usage. Distinct student users, turnaround time, common student errors, and management of the Writing Center and its remote coaches will be discussed. Coaches focus their feedback to promote self-editing and critical proofreading skills while also using this information to develop guided resources (including open source materials) for students. The benefits of a virtual Writing Coach and/or user-friendly online Writing Center are of pivotal importance to any institution looking to improve student outcomes. The use of technology to maintain scalability and efficiency of these services also will be discussed. By attending this presentation, administrators, faculty and staff will gain knowledge of how to build, manage or improve an online Writing Center to positively affect student performance and retention while avoiding common pitfalls.

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