Session Notes as a Professionalization Tool for Writing Center Staff: Conducting Discourse Analysis to Determine Training Efficacy and Tutor Growth
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Abstract

Session Notes as a Professionalization Tool for Writing Center Staff:
Conducting Discourse Analysis to Determine Training Efficacy and Tutor Growth

Genie Nicole Giaimo & Samantha Jane Turner (2019)
Journal of Writing Research, 11(1), 131-162

A common practice in writing centers is to record the events of a tutoring session after it has occurred. Commonly written by tutors, “session notes” can be a useful resource for the day-to-day support work in which tutors engage. Currently, however, little research exists on how session notes can be used to measure tutor development and change over time. Instead, research focuses predominantly how particular audiences interact with session notes, rather than the linguistic content therein. This study addresses the gap in research between the conceptual and practical uses of session notes. The researchers implemented semesterly training modules for tutors, and then conducted a longitudinal discourse analysis of 1,261 session notes that were collected over six semesters. Session notes were coded for 12 variables to include behavioral, semantic, and affective reflections on writing center work. From this analysis, we were able to conceptualize how, in completing these forms, tutors describe their tutoring practice and demonstrate their tutoring knowledge. Findings show that, for many aspects of note taking, a semester of experience has an effect on tutors, such that they start to conform on note taking practices; however, specific trainings can change the behavior of experienced tutors.

PDF | doi: 10.17239/jowr-2019.11.01.05

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