The Research Team: Where Transparency Meets Tutoring

By March 6, 2017R is for Research

The UCWbL maintains core values: Collaboration, Diversity, Reflection, Respect, Revision, and Transparency. The Research Team utilizes all these things but focuses on upholding one in particular: transparency.

We strive to collect information about the UCWbL, its tutors, writers, and staff and to then share our findings. This can serve all kinds of purposes. It might be simply to inform the public about who we are or to make a case for funding from the university. It could also be to share ideas with other tutors or to build community.

It seems to be a common misconception that being on the research team means doing lots of number crunching. While it’s true there is an amount of Excel proficiency involved in compiling appointment totals and the like, we do a lot more! You may have seen some of our contributions on social media—we love infographics here on the research team. Like these! 

We also post regular Research Roundup articles, which reflect on articles that inform our work here at the UCWbL.

To achieve these goals, the research team gathers a lot of data. We’re often the ones sending you surveys via Slack or email (please share your opinions with us!). Sometimes they’re fun and silly; other times they may require critical thinking or consideration. This is all done with purpose and intention. The UCWbL is an amazing place where not everything is guaranteed uniform and predictable—we all work in different capacities with a diverse group of people. This is a wonderful thing, and it is important to find ways to share experiences and information with each other.

This is the Research Team’s goal. Whether through quizzes, infographics, or blog posts, we hope to promote transparency.


In conclusion, we leave you with these thoughts from our members, describing their favorite aspects of the research team:

“This is my first quarter on the Research Team. I wanted to get involved with the team in order to explore different Writing Center communities and sharpen my data skills. I’m excited to see how the rest of the quarter goes!” –Emma K.

“I joined the research team because I am a philosophy student so being in a quiet corner, doing research and thinking about research topics seemed fun to me!” -Sam C.

“I enjoy working on the research team because it provides an opportunity to examine the UCWbL from a different perspective. I find it very interesting to look more in-depth at the impact the UCWbL is able to make on the DePaul community. My favorite project has been the HDL Coding Project. I have enjoyed working as a writing fellow in the past, so analyzing the effectiveness of the program from a different perspective has been interesting and informative.” -Tyler H.

“This is my sixth quarter on the research team. I enjoy the camaraderie of the team and creating infographics. During my time on the team, I’ve enjoyed taking part in and talking about our findings from the Writing Fellows Assessment Project. This helped to reaffirm that the work we do here matters in our community.” -Rachel H.

“This is my fourth quarter on the research team and I really enjoy it! I feel like it ties in directly to my major and the work I do outside of the UCWbL, so I feel like it was a no brainer to join 🙂 I really enjoy both the things we put out on social media and the ‘behind-the-scenes’ research we do for the workplace. I feel like we do a great job of not only maintaining transparency with our projects, but we also make research accessible and understandable for everyone!” -Maggie J.


Join the discussion One Comment

  • Matthew says:

    How lovely to get a glimpse into what the Research Team is doing these days! Thanks for sharing this, Laura. I’m glad that the infographics are still going strong, and the Research Roundup sounds like a great way to pointedly metabolize research publications for the wider UCWbL community.
    To add my own (unsolicited) thoughts regarding my favorite aspects of the research team.
    “I enjoyed working on the Research Team from 2010 to 2014 because it got me engaged with the foundational ideas, questions, and data that undergird and enable the UCWbL. The Research Team allowed me to see how a writing program can draw from qualitative and quantitative methodologies to inform, justify, and further its practice. The Research Team afforded me the opportunity to work closely with a set of amazing tutors, and it showed me that I could find a place for myself in the wider world of composition studies. I’m enduringly grateful for the experiences and exposures facilitated through the UCWbL’s Research Team.” -Matthew F.