Welcome to another issue of Praxis. We received an astonishing number of excellent submissions for this issue, an indication that more centers are conducting research and generating data about writing-center work. Below is a brief summary of the fine articles Praxis is fortunate to publish this fall.
In our Focus section Matthew Shultz argues that online writing labs should spend less time trying to mimic face-to-face consultations. His article, which comes to us in the form of a Prezi, explores how OWLs can exploit certain online tools to conduct asynchronous consultations. Madeleine Picciotto, director of the Warren College Writing Center at the University of California, San Diego explains the difficulties and sucesses of her center's decision to start offering test-preparation support to “Basic Writing” students. Next, Pam Bromley, Kara Northway, and Eliana Schonberg compare student-response data at three different institutions to ask how centers might improve their local practices while better defining their broadest objectives. In another collaborative piece, Christopher Hoyt and Maryann Peterson explain how they integrated quantitative and qualitative data to assess the effectiveness of a Writing Fellows program in philosophy classes at Western Carolina University. Next, writing center director Jane Hirschhorn integrates quantitative and qualitative data to explain how centers can generate general policies that are informed by the insights and practices of everyday writing-center work. Finally, Andrea Saathof and Colette Chapman-Hillard, consultants at the University of Texas at Austin's Undergraduate Writing Center, discuss a pilot program designed to understand how writing centers benefit diverse populations of students in different ways.
Our Consulting section begins with an article by Jenny Poon, an undergraduate consultant at Virginia Tech University who reflects on the similarites between her work as a writing-center consultant and a crisis counselor. Our featured center this issue is the Universidad del Turabo's Writing Center in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Texas State University's Nancy Effinger Wilson interviews the center's director Silvia M. Casillas-Olivieri. We publish the interview along with Effinger's commentary in both English and Spanish. The subject of our Consultant Spotlight, Anna Jones, is a first-year graduate student and writing consultant at Marshall University.
Our Training section includes three articles by writing center directors. In "Researching Micromoments in the Writing Center" University of Texas at Tyler Writing-Center Director, Jennifer Pooler examines post-modernist consulting, bucking the status quo, and how the "micromoment" affects the university at large. In "Mapping the Meaning of 'Help': Tutor Training and the Sense of Self-Efficacy" Janet Gebhart Auten, Writing-Center Director at American University explains how the concept of "self-efficacy" helps define successful strategies and objectives for both writing consultants and student writers. Finally, in "Watch and Learn: Peer Evaluation and Tutoring Pedagogy" Jane Van Slembrouck, Director of Rose Hill Writing Center at Fordham University explains that by observing fellow tutors’ consultations, writing-center tutors can better evaluate their own work with students.