Exciting things are happening for the Research Team, not the least of which is our upcoming presentation at this year’s Midwest Writing Centers Association conference. This year the conference is being held in Madison, Wisconsin, and later this week members of the research team will be traveling to the dairy state to present findings from our ongoing research project, PWTARP.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, PWTARP stands for the “Peer Writing Tutor Alumni Research Project.” Through PWTARP, the Research Team is “exploring the effects of peer tutoring practices beyond the writing center.” Specifically, this project tracks the development of five skill sets as they relate to the experience of peer-writing tutoring after employment at the UCWbL. These skill sets include: written communication skills, collaborative skills, listening skills, oral communication skills, and interpersonal skills. We hope to gain a better understanding of the ways in which tutoring and fellowing experience translate into our lives after we leave the world of peer-to-peer writing collaboration.
Beyond this, though, what makes our project unique is that we hope for other writing centers and academic institutions to make use of not only our findings but also our methodology, so that others may conduct their own research, similar to PWTARP. Further, the Research Team hopes that our presentation and accompanying workshop generate good critique and criticism of the PWTARP methodology so that we may enhance its effectiveness going forward.
In our view, peer-writing tutors “aren’t just tutoring; they are participating in a scholarly field, developing as critical thinkers, and learning through dialogue.” We feel that the scholarship, the research, and overall work conducted by both tutors and fellows are just as important and enlightening as that conducted in a recognized major or minor. We hope that our project will further strengthen the theory and the pedagogy of the peer-tutoring community as a whole.
– The Research Team