December 12, 2005
Appointments vs. Walk-ins
I would like to discuss the issue of scheduled appointment sessions vs. walk in sessions. This isn't really a topic that we have discussed in class, however, I think it is an important one to think about. As you may know the General College writing center where I work is exclusively walk in based. As I understand it, the writing center in Lind Hall is pretty much appointment based, although some students are allowed to walk in if there is a cancellation or an open time slot.
The thing that I get hung up on concerning the scheduled appointments is mostly the forty five minute time slots that the schedule is based off of. I don't see anything wrong with the time itself, except for the lack of flexibility that this system affords. Personally, most of my consulting sessions do not last forty five minutes. I think my average is somewhere around twenty five minutes per session. I have talked to a couple people in class about the forty five minute time period, and it appears that most of the time the whole time period is not usually utilized.
This is not to say that a walk in system is completely better than the appointment based approach, it has its downside also. One of the main drawbacks to this system is overload of people and feeling rushed. The GC writing center is in one big room wth various tables scattered about and is completely open. There are times when the center becomes very crowded with people, and at these times it get a little nerve wracking. I often get anxious when working with someone because I can see all of the people waiting to work with a consultant and I can't focus on the person I am tutoring.
This being said, I think it would be nice to see a writing center combining both of these approaches. Something like 5 or so consultants doing scheduled appointments, while 2 or 3 work on a walk in basis.
Posted by at December 12, 2005 8:26 PM