February 2010 Archives

Classroom Visits

This week I did two classroom visits to promote the PRC program. One group was a FYW class and the other was the first course in the Leadership minor. The instructors for both course were VERY enthusiastic about promoting the program to their students. The instructors for the leadership course are going to require their students to come in and work with us and the FYW instructor is considering making it an extra-credit option for his class.

In the presentation I included an overview of what the program is, our hours and locations, what I think we can help students with and time for questions. Both were done in in 10min or less.

U of M Center for Writing

Today I met with Molly, a graduate student who works as a consultant for the Center for Writing. The consultants there do a professional development project each year and she chose to focus on research skills and specifically our PRC program. Having taught FYW classes in the past, she is a big fan of the PRC program!

The problem that led her to study our program was a struggle about whether to/ how to tell students that their research is not as good as it should (and could) be. The Center for Writing staff has a lot of students come in requesting help with grammar, but on top of that the sources they have based their paper on are not solid. Molly said that many students cite Wikipedia in their papers without knowing that it isn't a credible resource.

Through Molly's project, the Center for Writing staff will get a glimpse at what PRCs are and how we can complement their program.  Also through her visit I was able to learn more about the Center for Writing and what the expectations are for incoming students.

This was a great review session for me about the service we offer as peer consultants. Molly forced to consider the process I follow as a consultant and the strategies I use with students.

Target Audience

The first part of the semester has not been going so well for getting our target audience of First Year Writing Program students in. To my knowledge we haven't done any class visits for them yet, but I've been making announcements in the Unravel Workshops that I rove for. Hopefully the information will stick, even without flyers.

Even though we haven't been getting many (any?) freshman students in, I've had consultations with two seniors and a graduate student. I've heard from Franscisco that he's also met with at least one graduate student this semester. I see why our program is geared toward first year students- they are completely new to doing research and our service complements the program well. However, I've come to see that there is absolutely a demand for our service at a higher level of student research as well.

It seems more likely for an advanced student to seek out help from a librarian (and also more likely that they'll need aid from a subject librarian rather than a PRC), but I've also seen in my classes and through my consultations that students outside the 1201 and 1301 classes are also lacking the basic research skills that we are seeking to build.

Spring semester- week 4

PRC's have started Spring Semester!

This semester we've added on evening hours. Three days a week we'll be available until 9pm. It's early in the semester so it's hard to say how popular those hours will be. We haven't really had any business so far. My one visitor was a friend of mine who happened to be in the SMART Commons at Wilson when I came in for walk-in hours and also happened to need some help looking for newspaper articles about a US invasion of Panama.


Outside of meeting with students (or not meeting with students as the case may be) I've been connecting with the SMART Commons tutors who are in Wilson at the same time as me. It isn't as easy to do this in Walter (because we are physically farther away), but I'll be making an effort next time I'm there as well. Our program is also making connections with the Writing Center. A consultant there will be coming to shadow my hours sometime soon, to see how our program works and what kind of advice we are giving to students. It will also be great to get more information about the process and expectations of the Writing Center while she's there.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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