The Writing Fellows program has a very high success rate. Each semester we survey all the students who participate in the program.
For the 2010 – 2011 school year:
- 87% of students tell us working with Writing Fellows improved their papers.
- 95% of students tell us that they participated actively in the program.
- 73% of students tell us that as a result of working with a Fellow, they are more likely to use the Writing and Learning Commons.
The most common improvements students see in their writing include better organization, grammar, and process and revision strategies.
Based on our surveys and informal discussions with participants, we have learned that certain aspects of the Writing Fellows program make it a great experience for students:
- Our one-on-one peer approach
- Our knowledgeable, honest, and enthusiastic tutors
- Our focus on process and time managment
- Our convenient and straightforward appointment system
Here's what some of our faculty participants have to say about Writing Fellows
Dr. Tracy Zontek: The Writing Fellows program has made a tremendous positive impact on my teaching. First, working with Writing Fellows has improved my assignments. The input given from a student perspective on the assignment, as well as [the director's] pedagogical advice, has helped me to create assignments that engage students and create a successful environment for writing... Next, the Writing Fellows provide high quality peer feedback to students. It has been my experience that students accept this peer feedback in a very positive manner and implement the changes. It also helps students understand that writing is a process and peer feedback is valuable and an integral part of completing a high-quality product (modeling for future professional work and interactions). Last, the final product that I grade is substantially better than the student's first attempt. Concepts are more fully developed, and basic spelling and grammatical issues have been addressed. This is a substantial time-saver for me... The program is extremely valuable to the quality of my teaching and to improving student writing at WCU.
Dr. John Habel: All of my Writing Fellows have been very well trained, and all have made significant contributions to my students, both in strengthening my students’ writing skills and in improving the quality of their written work in my course. I value the Writing Fellows and look forward to having two assigned to my course again this coming fall semester. In terms of “bang for the buck,” the Writing Fellows program is one of the best-run and most effective support programs available to students at WCU.
Dr. Andrew Denson: [The Fellows’] presence helped me build revision into the structure of the course, and I believe that students became more mindful of their writing when they knew that peers would be examining their drafts. [The Fellows’] advice contributed to marked improvements between the initial and final drafts of many students’ papers, and I noted a general improvement in student writing over the course of the semester. I know that funds are tight in these days of furloughs and statewide budget cuts, but I hope that WCU will continue to support this valuable program.
Professor Paul Yanik: I have been very happy with the results of having the Writing Fellows review student lab reports in the Engineering and Technology courses for which I've used them. It is often difficult for my students to learn the proper voice and format to give their technical writing and appropriately professional look and feel. By having a Fellow review their work before submission, [the students] gain valuable input in an unitimidating forum that substantially raises the quality of writing. As a result, I am able to focus more on the technical content of their reports and how it reflects their understanding of the course material. I will continue to use the Writing Fellows as a valuable resource in my classes.