I want to focus on two things that resonate with me. First, I was struck by a series of questions that Warnock asks the reader in chapter four: ” Teachers have to consider the use of stylistic approaches such as rhetorical questions, idioms, and metaphorical/figurative language. Will they work? In many cases, Hewett thinks they will not (2010, 2015b), advocating linguistically direct (not necessarily directive) response instead. Is it better to be as direct as possible? How much does a teacher balance prescriptive advice with Socratic teaching the OWI Course
questions?” (159). In terms of revision and that part of the writing process, I think what spurs students to revise is when we are clear in our comments and feedback. If they can see that you are advocating they do X in a revision, students will revise. Writing Centers have always advocated non-directive feedback, and yet, asynchronous online feedback is by nature more direct and directive, and I think it should be. I would advocate to be both linguistically direct and at times even directive, because I think that is what students need. In my discipline there is a new-ish conversation happening over the question of if non-directive is the best approach for students. If I take the position that my job is to help students de-mystify writing and the writing process, perhaps directiveness is needed at times. It makes me wonder in the revision process if we all should be more directive about how to go about revisions and what choices to make in revising. Part of me thinks students would really appreciate a heaping dose of directiveness.But then I go to how do we balance it with the non-directive needed to help them explore and make big decisions as writers and learners?
The second idea that resonates with me is from the blogpost by Christopher Syrnyk. He writes,
“I asked the staff to consider how we treat the writer as a person during this encounter where we engage in Online Writing Instruction (OWI) in cyberspace.
Cyberspace—Like City Lights, Receding
Or, The Online Writing Center Experience
Allow me to clarify what I mean by treating the writer-as-a-person in cyberspace and how this relates to OWI. In this blog post, I’m thinking mainly about the live “chat” work we do with student writers. It’s worth noting that some students come to the UW Writing Center for their first appointment via Synchronous instruction. Presumably, their first encounter with a writing center is via an electronic interface.”
It made me think how the Writing Center or WC treats the writer as person in a cyber space environment, and also how some of WC work could impact feedback and giving revision feedback to the whole person/ student writer. In so much of composition, the WC pulls and adapts from f2f and online writing classes, but I think online writing classes can also pull from pedagogy of online WCs. So it made me wonder how explicit engagement of writing process in an online writing class can be born out of asynchronous feedback we do in the Writing Center. I think that building relationships with students in online feedback is something we do so well here at MiraCosta. It seems like students feel a connection and feel heard by the coaches responding to their writing online. What if several times a semester the feedback writing instructors give was a video? What would happen if in that video you narrated what you see them doing in their process? or we could narrate what seems to be working in their writing process. How would that help to both use technology, connect with the whole person as a writer, and also help develop building those linguistically direct feedback skills that help propel student writers into thorough and quality revision during that phase of the process?