Erica Jones ACF Abstract FY13

"Writing Consultant Training: Is It Enough?"

National Conference of Peer Tutoring in Writing

Two consultants from Grand Valley State University conducted research about the different training techniques of writing centers around the nation. Many of the students that visit writing centers are from diverse backgrounds and majors. Often their expectations are based off of their past writing experiences, which are multifaceted, and many times, not in line with typical writing center pedagogy. To effectively combat this, tutor training should prepare staff members for working with different learning styles, preventing unsatisfying consultations. We have, through surveys and scholarly journals, researched the different learning styles, such as tactile, kinesthetic, visual/audio, etc. and the ways in which writing centers across the nation train their consultants.

In this presentation, we will begin with a detailed comparison of different training techniques, highlighting the most popular types of training, and the ensuing conversation will evaluate the inefficiencies and the gaps in said training. Not only will the presenters provide background information, they will also provide proposed solutions to gaps in this training based on nationwide tutor feedback. To explore the potential success of new training techniques, the Grand Valley Writing Center, at their annual training session for new consultants, had new consultants explore and discuss their feelings of preparedness in this area. This feedback was subsequently evaluated next to returning consultants perception of their trainings effectiveness, which occurred before the new programs were introduced. We will challenge center directors to look at new avenues of tutor training through audience discussion, leading to more successful consulting