Writing Center consultants present at national writing conference

The presentation with counterparts at the Wittenberg University Writing Center focused on the challenges of giving and receiving feedback on writing.

Jamie Angle and Sawyer Parker, consultants in the Elon Writing Center, along with Writing Center Director Julia Bleakney, presented at the National Conference for Peer Tutors in Writing, held over Oct. 12-14, 2017, at Hofstra University in New York. 

L-R: From Wittenberg University: Mike Mattison, Jennifer Ryan, Shane Harris, Ryan Probst. From Elon University: Sawyer Parker, Julia Bleakney, and Jamie Angle.
Presenting alongside three writing center advisors from Wittenberg University Writing Center, Angle and Parker discussed their experiences participating in an assignment exchange between both writing centers in the spring of 2017. During the exchange, writing center consultants from Elon read and prepared written feedback on essays written by writing center advisors at Wittenberg, and at the same time received written feedback on their writing from Wittenberg advisors.

At Elon’s Writing Center, because almost all Writing Center sessions are in-person, the purpose of the assignment exchange was to think through how the skill of preparing written feedback transfers to the skill of offering face-to-face feedback.

In their presentation, the consultants discussed the challenges of giving and receiving written feedback well, highlighting how factors like non-verbal language, wording or quantity of comments, and prior expectations or experiences receiving feedback make a difference to how written feedback will impact a student writer.

This article is one in a series of articles showcasing aspects of Elon’s Writing Excellence Initiative, the university’s five-year Quality Enhancement Plan to enhance the teaching and practice of writing in academic, professional, and co-curricular contexts. One of the goals of the WEI is to expand ongoing professional development opportunities for our Writing Center student consultants, which includes encouraging their attendance at regional and national conferences.