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Improving Online Writing Consulting

The Center for Writing plans to advance and expand SWS.online, a Student Writing Support Online writing consulting interface. This project incorporates a timely response and a live conversation about writing with a trained writing consultant.

The center’s primary project goals were to improve the efficiency and efficacy of SWS.online and expand access to a broader and more diverse student population. The educational objectives include enhanced student access and learning as well as enhanced pedagogy, both within the Center for Writing and across the College of Liberal Arts.

Since the inception, the staff has been testing the usability among their own consultants and collecting feedback from student users. SWS.online has been praised for its efficiency and thoroughness, however students have suggested improvements to the interface, including accessibility features with visual impairments and a set of help menus.

SWS.online has a significant impact on both learning and teaching. The tools provided for students will allow them to grow and succeed as writers. Faculty and instructors will use this consulting approach to broaden the way they teach in the classroom.

This project responds to the College and University’s strategic planning priorities for student writing and learning. The baccalaureate writing initiative makes clear the need to provide more support to students throughout their University careers, particularly as they encounter more demands for critical writing and thinking.

Project Lead: Kirsten Jamsen, Center for Writing