Why should my students visit The Bate Center?

Additional resources for students and you! Students who visit the studio will receive personalized attention to their writing in addition to what they already receive from you. We understand the time constraints full-time teaching places on us and believe The Bate Center is a place where your students can come for additional help outside of the classroom and office hours. Students gain additional perspectives and feedback which can have a significant positive impact on their writing. Additionally, with students' permission, you gain additional insight into your students through session reports created by the consultants each time one of your students comes in for a visit. This is a great way for you to possibly identify progress, issues, challenges are facing. Likewise it is an opportunity to further recognize and develop student's accomplishments.

Why are session reports not automatically sent?

The student reserves the right to keep his/her visit confidential. While most students like the idea of notifying you regarding their visit to The Bate Center, some are more comfortable working with a degree of anonymity and we certainly do what we can to respect and protect that. We suggest you talk openly about studio visits with your students and share the benefits of having their reports sent to you. This may elevate some of the pressure students may feel about "being reported on" – but ultimately, the student decides whether the report is sent or not. 

How do you assist students with sentence-level issues?

There are a variety of strategies and approaches to appropriately address this important question. Sentence level issues vary widely from student to student. Below are a few ways sentence-level errors are addressed:
--Rather than marking individual errors, consultants may make a list of the kinds of errors in the paper and discuss options with the student to resubmit with corrections.
--Consultants may ask students to create a list of errors common in the paper A short list of common errors, given high visibility for a student, often will reduce careless errors.
--Consultants can help students put errors in perspective. By over-emphasize grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage, we potentially reinforce the common notion that good writing is successfully avoiding errors – when good writing is more complicated. Good writing is communicating effectively and responsibly. Errors hinder communication because they detract from the overall message.
--Emphasizing correctness becomes important in the composition's final stage, just before it becomes public. In the earlier stages, the writer should be focused on generating ideas and organizing a message. Many of our students can learn to write effectively when they are freed from the premature fear of correctness. 

How do I schedule a time for consultants to come to my class to talk about The Bate Center?

Already done! Beginning January 2013, The Bate Center will contact every 1100 and 1200 instructor at the beginning of every semester to schedule classroom visits from our consultants. These are short (5 to 10 minutes) presentations that allow consultants to come to your class and briefly discuss the features and benefits of the studio. All visits are scheduled at the beginning of each semester (within the first two or three weeks, typically) and occur at the beginning or end of each class as to not disrupt your teaching. Of course, we are always flexible and can come later in the semester or in the middle of class if you’d like!

Can consultants come to my class and give a workshop?

Yes, with a small caveat because most consultants are first or second year Masters students they may not have the training or experience necessary to conduct a full writing workshop. In the past, with advance notice, they have given workshops on thesis statements, organization, peer review, documenting sources, and more.

I'm thinking about requiring my whole class to visit The Bate Center, would that be a good decision?

Typically we do not have enough staff to cover hundreds of students within a one week. However, if you contact The Bate Center Administrative Assistant we can work with you to create a schedule that accommodate most, if not all, of your students.

Should I give students extra credit if they visit The Bate Center?

This is entirely up to you. While many students assume an incentive based performance paradigm, assessment practices vary widely among instructors.

Can I send students to The Bate Center as a makeup peer review session?

No. The reason behind this answer lies in the notion that consultants are not expected to provide specific course instruction at any time. You can, however, send the student to The Bate Center to work a consultant on what peer review is, how and why it functions and learn strategies for conducting effective peer review.

I have a student who is struggling with writing. Can I require this student to visit The Bate Center?

This is a tough question because ultimately, we can't require our students "to do" anything. If you feel that The Bate Center will be able to effectively address the student's needs then you can suggest they schedule weekly appointments with The Bate Center in order to gain additional help with their writing practices.

Should I make grade decisions based on students' usage of The Bate Center?

This is your decision. We cannot make assessment recommendations for you. But, we do ask that you keep our writing philosophy in mind if and when you make an assessment decision.

Do consultants discuss grades with students?

While students may divulge information regarding their grades, consultants do not ask about student's grades or make judgments about what grades students should or shouldn’t receive.

Some of my students wait until they have written a draft before they visit The Bate Center; do they have to have a full draft to come work with consultants?

No. We are happy to help students every step of the way. Sometimes it is more productive to have a full draft but we realize writing is a highly complex and contextualized process so we are ready and willing to assist students through any part of the writing process they may be in. We have had extremely successful brainstorming sessions with no writing.