The Writing Center Journal announces WCJ Live, our new online professional development series:Sep 10th, 2013 | By IWCA Web Editor | Category: Publications
The new editors of The Writing Center Journal—Michele Eodice, Steve Price, and Kerri Jordan—are excited to announce a new online professional development series: WCJ Live. Each month, we’ll offer an interactive session highlighting a recent WCJ article and its author(s).
Our first WCJ Live—this Friday, September 13th—will feature Dana Driscoll and Sherry Wynn Perdue. They are co-authors of “Theory, Lore, and More: An Analysis of RAD Research in The Writing Center Journal, 1980-2009,” the IWCA Outstanding Scholarship Award recipient for 2012. The abstract for their session appears below.
For a link to the article and author bios, check out The Writing Center Journal’s new website at www.writingcenterjounal.org. (Click “Learn More” on the WCJ Live scrolling banner on the homepage.)
WCJ Live will be hosted through Elluminate. The session will begin at 3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, and noon Pacific this Friday, September 13th. To join, follow this link:
NOTE: If this is the first time you will be using Elluminate, you may be prompted to download some software which may take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes depending upon your Internet connection speed. You can pre-configure your system with the required software by going to the support page located at: http://www.elluminate.com/support/ Please make sure your computer has a microphone and speakers to be able to talk and hear while you are in the Elluminate session.
WCJ Live Abstract
Dana Driscoll and Sherry Wynn Perdue
“Theory, Lore, and More: RAD Research in The Writing Center Journal, 1980-2009”
Writing center studies has expressed a renewed interest in data-supported practices and empirical research in the last decade (Paula Gillespie, 2002; Neal Lerner, 2009; and Isabelle Thompson et al., 2009). In our 2012 WCJarticle, the subject of today’s discussion, we sought to affirm this emphasis and to address Alice Gillam’s call for“more explicit talk about what we mean by research, what should count as research, and how to conduct research” (2002, xv). We began our study in response to three specific questions posed by Gillam: “What counts as ‘good’ or worthwhile research? By what criteria do we make such judgments? What role has research played in defining our professional identity?” (3).
To answer Gillam’s queries, our research—for which we were honored with the 2012 IWCA Outstanding Article—examined the role of the Writing Center Journal (WCJ) in publishing research articles. Our study consisted of a systematic analysis of all articles published in WCJ from the years 1980–2009. We examined WCJ research using Richard Haswell’s (2005) RAD research paradigm as an analytical lens to determine if research articles published within WCJ were replicable (systematic enough and descriptive enough to be replicated), aggregable (able to be built upon and extended), and data supported (provide clear evidence in support of claims).
Of the 270 articles we analyzed, we found that 91 contained some kind of data-driven research (overwhelmingly with human participants), but less than 16% of those 91 studies would be considered RAD research (of the total number of articles published, only 5.5% of them were RAD). We did, however, document promising trends toward more RAD-leaning research as time passed. While we felt that we answered the question “What is the status of research in the field, as it is reflected in the WCJ?” we were left with two important questions: “Why do we have so little RAD research?” and “How can we encourage more RAD research?”
In this online workshop, sponsored by the Writing Center Journal, we first seek to define and differentiate writing center research from other scholarly practices in the field. Second, we introduce the principles of replicable, aggregable, and data-supported research in a writing center context. Third, we describe our RAD research study of writing center research, and finally, we will share a heuristic for participants to pursue their own RAD research projects. Our goal is to generate interest and initiate explicit conversation about writing center research and the future of our field.