Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

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Writing Center Best Practices and Student Learning Outcomes for Writing Tutoring Sessions



Best Practices

• Writing Center tutors and consultants facilitate student learning rather than editing or correcting and emphasize the writing process, not just the product.
• Tutors and consultants engage in dialogic, collaborative tutoring that approaches student writing as a form of communication.  This dialogue encourages cognitive development–challenges students to solve problems and think critically–as well as promoting understanding of the writing process.
• Learning is student-centered, based on teaching students writing and grammar concepts within the context of their own writing.
• Tutoring is tailored to individual students’ strengths, weaknesses, learning styles, affective needs and language proficiency.
• Tutors generally follow a progression in which they first discuss global issues such as thesis and organization, and then discuss local issues such as grammar and usage.
• Tutor training is based on writing center and composition/rhetoric pedagogy and frequent practice applying theory to student writing.
• The Writing Center engages in assessment linked with its mission and goals.
• The Center provides writing assistance for students across the disciplines, not just in writing courses.

Student Learning Outcomes for Writing Tutoring Sessions

In each Writing Center tutoring session, our goal is to achieve one or more of the following:

1. Students demonstrate increased understanding of concepts necessary for successful completion of their writing assignments.
2. Students improve specific skills necessary for their success with course writing assignments.
3. Students feel increased self-confidence.
4. The tutor facilitates student-centered or student-directed learning.