PNWCA Conference Presentation Abstract

I wanted to post my proposal for the PNWCA conference so that people could take a look at my topic. This is the actual submitted abstract, and the presentation will be very close to this. I’ll probably write later about creating this presentation (and likely about the conference itself).

Session Title:

Philosophical Approaches to Writing Center Web Sites


Presenter:

Peter Ellis, The Evergreen State College
Writing Center Web Site Manager/Writing Tutor


Abstract:

How do Writing Centers make web sites part of their core operational philosophy? This session will strive to answer this question through an examination of the current practices of The Evergreen State College’s Writing Center and how its web site philosophy has shifted over time. After giving a brief background about how tutors have been involved in creating our web site, the discussion will open to participants so that they can share ideas and information about the advantages and disadvantages of allowing web sites to influence the overall operational philosophy of a Center. Particularly welcome in this session are those interested in a discussion of the pros and cons of using web sites as a communication tool. Participants will have the chance to showcase their web sites as part of this ongoing discussion.

This is specifically focused towards a discussion of why Centers have or have not utilized the Web, though it is envisioned that this would break into larger topics, including (but not limited to):

  • How making web site management tutor-centric affects the character of the web site and the information made available;
  • How to effectively support collegiate faculty, staff, and students via the Web;
  • How to effectively support Center staff via the Web;
  • How creating web sites as an extension of Center operations affects promotional efforts;
  • What ethical issues exist surrounding web sites, such as providing scheduling or staff information online;
  • How Centers bridge the gap between online and in-person interactions;
  • What change has been brought about as a result of utilizing web sites, or, conversely, what changes have been made more complex because of web site use;
  • Why all members of the Writing Center staff must be invested in web site work.

The session will close with a 15-minute discussion of action plans for further work on providing web sites to constituents, including possible future collaborations between participants.