Mapping Tutorial Interactions: A Report on Results and Implications
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At the University of Rhode Island (URI), we believe that assessment of writing center interactions can be useful beyond conventional efforts to measure the effects and effectiveness of tutoring strategies in sessions with student writers. In fact, we believe that assessment may be useful for developing knowledge about tutoring interactions in ways far more general but no less applicable to our field. Elsewhere, we have argued that engaging groups of tutors in assessment of tutoring strategies can yield multiple benefits for writing centers as organizations, such as establishing a writing center as a center for research in the University and fostering the disciplinary knowledge of tutors (Siegel Finer, White-Farnham, and Dyehouse). As a second step in reporting on a multi-year writing center research project, this article shares some results using a new instrument for assessment: tutorial interaction maps. We offer our model of assessment as one that shows promise for facilitating tutors’ understanding and discovery of the work that happens in writing centers, and we suggest that such a model might form a basis for new kinds of tools for use in writing center assessment.