Selected Workshop/Course: University Writing Center Staff Development Meetings
Organization Mission: Provide one-on-one consultations on writing for any discipline, any level and any point in the writing process.
Description: In order to continue staff training, beyond the initial semester orientation, the WIU Writing Center Director and Tutor Coordinator continue to conduct face-to-face staff development meetings. These meetings are once a week throughout the fall semesters and once a month throughout the spring semesters. Topics discussed in these meetings vary from best practice techniques to help students with development, organization and brainstorming to discussing strategies to help students conduct research. Meetings usually begin with announcements and reminders and then move into a lesson or discussion of that meetings topic. Sometimes guest speakers come and other times face-to face mock-tutoring sessions are used to facilitate staff learning and development.
Approach Proposal: I propose every other meeting be converted into an e-learning development module that staff members use to continue their development. This will help solve the problem of finding a time every week when everyone can attend a face-to face meeting. It will also give added benefit to the staff because they can do the development module on there own time and access it as many times as they wish. Depending on the topic chosen for the learning module(s) they can also be recycled and used each semester reducing the amount of preparation time that the Director and Tutor Coordinator have to put into every meeting. This will let them focus more on the reduced number of face-to face meetings and help them become more comprehensive.
In addition, this type of meeting will allow for all writing center consultants to share their ideas and views. In regular face-to-face meetings, conversation is usually dominated by the more extrovert consultants while more introverted consultants keep quite. If each consultant is “required” to make at least one post then their ideas have an outlet and audience. It would also allow for the knowledge, ideas and strategies discussed within each module to be gathered, reviewed multiple times, saved and implemented into further staff development meetings rather than ideas (that are not being written down) being lost in the natural organic progression of face-to-face conversations.
Standards that would apply to the design of this online format would be: all four main groups and the eighteen different aspects of design quality standards (Horton p. 404-405), the Web accessibility standards/World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (Horton p. 405) and U.S. section 508. Since this online training would be designed for a very small and specific group of people, it is likely that to comply with U.S. section 508 standards an alternative approach would be used. The alternative approach could be using alternative content or claiming an exemption.
Example Lesson/Development Module
Lesson Title:Tutor Dependency
Length: 2 hours to complete
Target Learning Objectives:
1. Primary Objective: Decide (Horton p. 16)
Writing Consultants will decide a strategy for dealing with a situation of tutor dependency.
2. Secondary Objective: Know (Horton p. 17)
Writing Consultants will know how to identify a situation of tutor dependency and will be able to implement strategies to help correct the situation.
3. Complete Objective: (Horton p. 19)
Learners: Writing Center Consultants
Situation: When faced with a situation of tutor dependency
Action: Identify a situation of tutor dependency/Implement strategies for correcting the situation
Criteria: Reduce the rate of tutor dependency by 50%
Absorb: Writing Center consultants will be presented with the absorb activity of viewing an online slide presentation (Horton p. 49) to introduce the topic of tutor dependency.
Do: Writing consultants will engage in a discovery activity (Horton p. 105) by reading a case study containing an example or situation of tutor dependency.
Connect: Consultants will engage in a ponder activity (Horton p. 168) in which they will brainstorm ideas for solutions to the case study and post those ideas on the workshop discussion board available inside the Writing Center module on Western Online.
Consultants will also be able to review others postings, reply and discuss to further promote understanding of new ideas and discussions.
Description Design Development Plan:
As an instructional designer my focus is the design and development of effective online instruction, interactive learning objects, instructional alignment and the visual aspects of instructional materials. Specifically, how the inclusion of visuals within instruction can help facilitate learning.