Ideally, students visit the Writing & Speaking Center of their own volition. This personal investment helps ensure the productivity of writing tutorials. We are happy to accommodate professors who wish to require Writing & Speaking Center visits for an entire class, but we ask that you consider the following suggestions when framing your requirement in order to help students retain some level of personal investment in this process.
If you are considering required tutorials for a particular assignment:
Notify and Prepare Us
If you are planning to require a class (5 or more students) to visit the Center, please fill out and submit the Required Tutorials Request Form.
Prepare Your Students
- Discuss your expectations with your students in detail. Let them know how to prepare for the tutorial and what you expect them to get out of it. Do they need to bring a whole draft or just an outline? Can they come just to brainstorm ideas? Do they need to formulate questions for the tutors in advance?
- Stress to students the necessity of making tutorials in advance of the due date. Our usage varies, and the schedule sometimes fills suddenly and unexpectedly. This is especially true when an entire class is trying to visit the Center at the last minute. Additionally, students who make last minute appointments are often less able to adequately incorporate suggestions.
Structure the Requirement
Consider having students complete some assignment based on the tutorial itself. This could be a reflection activity, suggestions for how to improve the requirement in the future, notes they take during the tutorial, etc. These kinds of assignments help students engage with the tutorial process as a learning experience.
Allow Plenty of Time
Give students as much time as possible to arrange visits, and keep in mind that time is relative. For example, if you allow students two calendar weeks to complete tutorials, the Writing Center will only be open 10 out of those 14 days. Some of those 10 days may already be full at the time you announce your requirement, and some of the scheduled hours may conflict with your class time. Our usage varies, so please feel free to e-mail Mandy Taylor to get an idea of current availability.
Alternatives to Required Visits for a Whole Class:
Consider a Flexible Requirement
As an alternative to having a whole class visit for a single assignment, consider requiring that they visit the Writing & Speaking Center at least once during the semester. This helps students to schedule a tutorial based more on their own needs.
Allow a Tutorial for a Revision Instead
As another alternative to having a whole class visit, consider allowing students to revise and resubmit an assignment after they receive it back graded. Students are often more invested when they already have feedback on an assignment and clear goals for improvement.
If you’d like to discuss in greater detail how to arrange required class visits, please contact Mandy Taylor