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unequaledhingelthoughts

1 year ago

Reflecting on Lerner's bean counting articles.

Neal Lerner's articles on quantitative writing center research serve as good foundational pieces for those of us who are new to writing center administration and who are trying to get a grasp on the types of research we should conduct for both our institutions and the larger community of writing centers. Though there were already data-collection measures in place before I began working at my current center, Lerner's articles are a reminder that our staff must question (and tweak, if necessary) what we are measuring and how that information is disseminated. My writing center, in particular, is organizationally situated alongside other student retention efforts, and it is crucial for us to explore ways to present data to our university that most accurately represent how we aide in student success. It is also beneficial for new administrators to see the progression Lerner made between his early research and his follow-up article on the flaws of his initial study, reminding us all of the processes of planning, conducting, and reporting research. Our reflections on these articles are timely, too, with a recent issue of the Writing Center Journal and the 2015IWCA Collaborative @ CCCC focused on quantitative research, particularly that which is replicable, aggregable, and data-supported (RAD). This push for RAD research in writing center studies only adds to the depth of the individual writing center narratives that make up our community, and I think we need to continue looking for ways to share our research with those inside (and outside) our spaces.

Lauren Gregory

Florida A&M University

Tallahassee, FL

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