Presentation Title

Research about research: Empowering undergraduate writing fellows toward institutional change through inquiry

Location

PARB 239

Type of Presentation

Panel (1 hour and 15 minutes presentation total for two or more presenters)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

Lehigh University’s Technology, Research, and Communication (TRAC) Writing Fellows Program is unique among college writing tutoring programs in that the program combines an expanded vision of the academic writing process—one inclusive of library research and new technologies of communication, teaching, and learning—with a radical fellows-driven model of leadership, innovation, program development, and a proactive approach to institutional change. A semester-long seminar course not only introduces new fellows to the theory and practice of working with student writers, but also emphasizes, through reading, discussion, and course activities and projects, the interpersonal and affective aspects of working with students, as well as the role of writing and research in the higher education environment.

This panel presentation will detail how, through an experimental “research-about-research” group inquiry project, new fellows in the semester-long seminar training course combined technology, research, and communication to explore a wide range of subjects, from the impact of faculty research on undergraduate learning; to Google’s effect on student behavior; to research assignment design, centering their inquiry with the question of: How can fellows incorporate what they learned into the future of the TRAC program and teaching and learning at Lehigh? The panelists, which include a student fellow, librarian, and program director, will discuss how, through these projects and practical follow-up activities, fellows not only learned valuable research skills but also gained critical insight into their own learning experiences, empowering them to be advocates and agents of change and inspiring what have become numerous long-term projects and initiatives aimed toward institutional change through enriching the undergraduate experience at Lehigh.

Presentation Description

This panel presentation will describe the collaborative relationship developed between a student-centered Writing Fellows program and the library, and the results of an experimental term project in which, with a focus toward application, new writing fellows researched various topics related to their own research experiences. The project yielded rich and reflective explorations that have since provided a foundation for the development of numerous projects and initiatives aimed toward institutional change through enriching the undergraduate experience at Lehigh.

Session Goals

Participants will learn how a writing fellow program collaborated with librarians to develop a “research about research” project designed to inspire reflection and forward-thinking program and institutional change.

Participants will learn how writing fellow research projects have been supported beyond a semester-long course such that they have developed into long-term projects and new initiatives.

Session Objectives

Participants will be able to incorporate student-centered pedagogy into their own instructional contexts.

Participants will be able to construct a framework for collaboration between librarians, writing support professional staff and faculty, and student writing fellows.

Participants will be able to develop guidelines for revising writing and research assignments to include meaningful reflection and impactful application opportunities.

Keywords

student leadership, peer learning, writing center, writing tutor, collaboration

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Feb 22nd, 11:45 AM Feb 22nd, 1:00 PM

Research about research: Empowering undergraduate writing fellows toward institutional change through inquiry

PARB 239

Lehigh University’s Technology, Research, and Communication (TRAC) Writing Fellows Program is unique among college writing tutoring programs in that the program combines an expanded vision of the academic writing process—one inclusive of library research and new technologies of communication, teaching, and learning—with a radical fellows-driven model of leadership, innovation, program development, and a proactive approach to institutional change. A semester-long seminar course not only introduces new fellows to the theory and practice of working with student writers, but also emphasizes, through reading, discussion, and course activities and projects, the interpersonal and affective aspects of working with students, as well as the role of writing and research in the higher education environment.

This panel presentation will detail how, through an experimental “research-about-research” group inquiry project, new fellows in the semester-long seminar training course combined technology, research, and communication to explore a wide range of subjects, from the impact of faculty research on undergraduate learning; to Google’s effect on student behavior; to research assignment design, centering their inquiry with the question of: How can fellows incorporate what they learned into the future of the TRAC program and teaching and learning at Lehigh? The panelists, which include a student fellow, librarian, and program director, will discuss how, through these projects and practical follow-up activities, fellows not only learned valuable research skills but also gained critical insight into their own learning experiences, empowering them to be advocates and agents of change and inspiring what have become numerous long-term projects and initiatives aimed toward institutional change through enriching the undergraduate experience at Lehigh.