From Mary Tripp —
The University Writing Center is excited to announce a new space for tutoring students with multimodal and collaborative projects, the Writing Center Digital Workspace.
Becoming a Multiliteracy Center
At the UWC, we think of this Digital Workspace as a multiliteracy space, not just a multimodal space. The name “multimodal” indicates composition using multiple modes of communication, often using new technologies. Our new Digital Workspace is designed to accommodate the diversity of semiotic operations we see in a 21st century writing center (Sheridan Multiliteracy Centers). Based on theories of the New London Group, the concept of “multiliteracies” suggests a broader framework of understanding literacy and literacy practices, including a recognition of students as active participants in the construction of knowledge, who speak many different Englishes, and who possess many kinds of literacies.
Our Writing Center Digital Workspace offers students a space to work with tutors collaboratively or individually on digital and multimodal compositions, as well as conventional academic papers.
Affordances of a Multiliteracy Center
The Digital Workspace accommodates tutoring consultations about works-in-progress such as ePortfolios, websites, PowerPoint or Prezi presentations, blogs, or other social media projects that students may be assigned in our classes. For example, students working on group projects in Writing for Digital Environments might want to use this collaborative space to design and develop websites or mobile apps. Or, students in ENC 1102 may want to re-mediate their research papers into PowerPoint presentations for their final exams. Students taking Writing for Civic Engagement may want to use this space for designing their ePortfolios. This space is also well suited for small-group peer response activities for both multimodal and conventional writing assignments. This workspace is not just for Writing and Rhetoric students. We welcome collaborative digital projects across the disciplines.
Using the Writing Center Digital Workspace
The collaborative digital workspace accommodates up to five students and their devices, including laptops and tablets. Students can bring their own devices, or they can use a UWC laptop to project their works-in-progress on a 32-inch display. We currently have Microsoft Office and Read/Write Gold installed on our laptops and internet access for this space. In the future, we plan to install a dedicated computer with additional publishing and authoring software such as Adobe Creative Cloud.
To use this space, students should schedule a regular session through TutorTrac and add a note that they’d like to use the Digital Workspace. Please encourage your students to think about the UWC as a space for multimodal, collaborative, as well as traditional writing projects.