2009 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., April 21, 2009
HUB Ballroom

Session Description



Collaboration in the Writing Center: Using Questioning and Dialogue to Enrich Learning

Pamela Saunders, Kaye Kovacs, Kiley Dhatt, Jens Lloyd, Brian Hutchinson, Aaron Willis, and Emily Clark (Odegaard Writing & Research Center)

Writing center philosophy generally rests on helping students acquire long-term and sustainable writing skills and practices that they will be able to use in a variety of settings. However, this philosophy is put under pressure by the short-term constraints (such as due dates) in which most of our visits occur.

We have found that the key to balancing these goals and constraints is a focus on questioning and dialogue in tutorial sessions. Knowing the kinds of questions to ask, and when to ask them, ensures that the writing center remains an important space for collaborative learning among peers. Research has also shown that students ask many more questions in tutoring sessions than in classrooms. The writing center extends and enhances campus classrooms by providing this opportunity for active learning, and for peer tutors to model effective questioning strategies in a supportive environment.


Index of Symposium Presenters