Tooling up the Multi: Paying Attention to Digital Writing Projects at the Writing Centre
With increasing regularity over the last decade, Canadian undergraduate students are being tasked with digital writing projects (DWPs), including wikis, blogs, video and audio essays, websites, and social media engagements. Currently, Canadian writing centres are silent about how DWPs are or might be supported within writing centre programming. To initiate the discussion, we asked our 2019 CWCA/ACCR conference workshop participants to consider ways of supporting a DWP in the writing centre. Our goal in the workshop, as well as in this paper, is to reflect on the ways writing centres are and can be supporting students working on digital writing projects. Workshop participants’ questions reveal several areas of attention beyond additional technology, including resources, pedagogical approaches, and writing centre programming and spatial design. Using this paper as an extension of our workshop, we examine the literature on digital and multimodal writing (which is largely American). It is in this literature that we find implications for building writing centre supports, involving both programs and spaces that foster student efforts to recognize media/modal affordances, develop and engage in design thinking, and build self-efficacious beliefs.
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