Post 1: Survey Building and Article Analysis

Hello all! I have been working on my first “week” of this project for quite some time as I worked on it intermittently, but finally here is my first post.

This first “week” of my research has taken several months as I have been waiting for responses to my survey, but I will write a summary of the things that I have discovered thus far in my research.  As I mentioned in my abstract post, there is not much information connecting the high school and university writing center experience, so I focused my research into the different levels to see if there were any researched and noticeable differences between the two experiences.  With further research, I was able to find one article that discussed the transition between the two levels, however, it was only two pages long so did not provide much information for my research. At the end of the paper, there was an email address to contact which I did, but did not receive a response.

One of the first steps that I took with my research was talking to my high school writing center teacher so as to gather a list of people to contact for my research. My teacher is the current president of a national writing center association which I participated in during my time in high school.  She provided me with a list of directors to contact as well as some potential directions to take my research in.  

Questions I picked: I ended up choosing 7 questions that would guide my response at the end of the research.  I asked each director “what level of academia do you work for? How long is the average session in the writing center for which you work?  Which age demographic (by academic year) is most frequently seen in the writing center?  What type of assignment is worked with most frequently? How many hours on average do tutors work a week? Rank the order of importance of the following materials for training (Training guides/books, articles about tutoring writing, and practice sessions), and What are the top three things that tutors focus on in sessions?” At this point, I have received over half of the responses I need and will continue to email directors for their responses. While I have performed no analysis yet, a couple trends that I noticed are that college tutoring sessions were in general longer and more frequent per week.

The work that I did in the first week was different than my original plan as I spent more time emailing professionals than I did reading articles as I needed to get the responses as soon as possible.

Plan for the next week: I will be continuing to search for articles on the training for writing centers at different levels as well as reread a couple of chapters from the two different books that I read for high school and for college.  I will also study some statistics to prepare for some of the data analysis of the third week.  Once I have all the responses, I will use Qualtrics to do some analysis as well as some by hand statistical analysis.