This email is being sent to all faculty and their supervisors on behalf of LeAnna Crawford, Chemeketa Online Writing Center Coordinator
I hope this message finds you well in these interesting times. I’m writing to make sure you know that the Chemeketa Online Writing Center is still here for you and your students and we’ve increased our abilities to be able to serve our community.
The Chemeketa Online Writing Center (COWC) is a free, in-house, service offered to help our students at any stage of the writing process. With our campuses moving to remote instruction, the COWC has also increased our capacity to serve our students. The online writing center remains a free service, staffed by trained Chemeketa English instructors, to help all of our students get the help they need with any writing assignment.
To use the COWC, students need to register for the course through My Chemeketa using CRN 73914 (this term). The course is a Blackboard course and will appear in the student’s list of courses within 24 hours. It’s important that students register before the day they hope to use the service, so we would recommend suggesting this to students at the start of term. If you’d like to use this blurb in your syllabus or course page, please feel free:
Register for the Chemeketa Online Writing Center early! It’s a free service offered through the Chemeketa English Department to help you with any writing assignment. Register through My Chemeketa using CRN 73914 this term. Once the course appears in your list of courses in Blackboard, just follow the instructions linked in “How It Works” on the Homepage. Remember, it takes between 24 and 48 hours to get feedback on your work, so plan accordingly!
As an instructor, you can also help us help your students immensely. Here’s how:
- Encourage your students to use the COWC early! Students see the biggest results in their growth as a writer if they use the center multiple times. Repetition is key. We don’t fix or edit papers; we help your students learn to edit and fix their own work. This takes some time.
- Do not require that all students use the COWC for every assignment. One, early writing assignment being required can be useful for students but we find that students who are required to use the COWC are not as likely to use the feedback we provide—they are just checking a box. (Asking them to reflect on the feedback can be a useful way to make sure they get the most out of the COWC.)
- Remind students to read the instructions! For text-based documents, we accept .doc/.docx files as well as .rtf files. If the student is using a different file type, there’s a place to copy and paste their work. If they submit the assignment in a file we can’t open, they can’t get feedback. The instructions are simple, and can be found in “How It Works” on the homepage of the COWC Blackboard course.
- Make sure students have assignment instructions that they can share with us, and encourage them to do so! Making sure your instructions are easily downloadable (a .pdf, for example) can help. This helps your students do the assignment you asked for!
- Remember that we are not peer tutors. Peer review workshops are really valuable for students, and there are ways to do that in remote instruction. Our service is really not designed to stand-in for peer review workshops.
Finally, if you do want to require that some or all of your students use the COWC, know that we do offer a verification service (where we will send notification to you directly letting you know that students used the COWC). Your students simply need to request verification by following the instructions (again, under “How It Works” on the homepage). Please let me know if you have questions about the Writing Center or need help utilizing this free service.
Best of luck as we embark in this strange new world.
Faculty & Program Chair, English Department
Chemeketa Online Writing Center Coordinator