The work of furthering diversity, inclusivity, and social justice is an ongoing process that requires a deep commitment to learning from our best resource– our students, faculty, staff, and the broader Madison community. In the spirit of constant improvement, the Writing Center is pursuing the following extensions of our current programming, additions to our internal staff education, and new projects.
Broadening our Workshop Offerings
The increasing cultural and linguistic diversity on campus and the variety of avenues for communication necessitates a broad view of writing and writing pedagogy. In an effort to actualize this understanding, the Writing Center will pilot new workshops aimed at addressing these new modes of communication, specifically designed to celebrate and support the work of our multicultural student body. In the short term, we are developing a workshop that teaches students to mix and master audio projects.
Providing New Ongoing Education Opportunities
Every semester, we seek to actively improve our pedagogical approaches to writing by training Writing Center instructors through a series of ongoing education classes. These classes serve to challenge instructors’ understanding of writing and expand this understanding to better address the needs and concerns of our student body. We will continue to improve on these offerings to ensure that our practices are directly informed by the needs and desires of our students who do and do not currently make use of the Writing Center. In the future, we will be offering an ongoing educational class that teaches instructors about community-based research in order to help them think about the role of the broader Madison community in Writing Center research, pedagogy, and practice.
Building Campus Partnerships
To ensure that we’re meeting students in the places where they feel the most comfortable, it is important that the Writing Center offers instruction in satellite locations throughout campus. We are currently exploring partnerships with additional student-support organizations to broaden our reach.
Creating Multiliteracy Stations
Students are no longer simply communicating with words. They are vlogging on YouTube, putting up memes on Imgur, and uploading tracks to Soundcloud. Writing has changed, and in an effort to address those changes, the Writing Center is working to put together multiliteracy stations that help students with their 21st-century writing practices. One of those multiliteracy stations may include a recording studio, which will allow students to record their own music, spoken-word, and rap.
Establishing the Madison Journal
The Writing Center recognizes itself as not simply a space dedicated to assisting our immediate student body hone their writing skills but to foster the larger Madison community’s desire to write and be heard. In an effort to give a platform to and magnify those voices, we are working towards developing a peer-reviewed community journal developed in partnership with on-campus staff and community partners. We believe that this initiative can help us rethink not only what writing looks like both inside and outside the Writing Center.