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  1. 1. Record-Keeping in the UWC Assessing and Demonstrating Our Work
  2. 2. Recordkeeping helps us . . . • assess our effectiveness • demonstrate our effectiveness • improve our services • understand our clients • justify requests for support • gain an accurate view of our work
  3. 3. Records provide continuity of service to an individual. We can only do this if consultants (1) provide useful information in records, and (2) check records of previous visits when a client returns.
  4. 4. • Mostly consultants or UWC administrators compiling information or looking at quality of service • Sometimes an instructor with the student’s permission • Sometimes the student • On rare occasion, an outside researcher or administrator Who reads our comments?
  5. 5. • Be tactful, but honest and objective. • Students accept honest criticism or helpful suggestions. • Be fair: base your opinions on fact or qualify them. The art of the comment
  6. 6. The art of the comment . . . What happened? Tell the story of the session.
  7. 7. Tell what happened objectively and descriptively, in a way you would not mind the client reading. A good narrative will help us understand what the client thought he needed and what you thought he needed, and how you managed to address these needs.
  8. 8. The art of the comment . . . How did the client react? Be descriptive, not judgmental. Be tactful, but honest.
  9. 9. The client’s attitude is important to understand if you want to tailor your tutoring style to him/her. Likewise, the client’s state of knowledge and ability to understand help you adjust your consultation style.
  10. 10. What follow-up did you suggest? What can the student do independently to improve? The art of the comment
  11. 11. Suggesting follow-up is our way of letting the client know that the work is theirs, not ours. The consultation is one step on a long journey. Because good writing takes time and effort, it is important that we give clients a realistic direction to follow after the consultation.
  12. 12. Brandon brought a basically well written essay that gave many facts but also raised many questions. We discussed ways to fill in the blanks without getting too wordy, and ways to make the good points of his story come forward while making the less desirable qualities recede. We also discussed different ways to begin the essay without becoming trite. Brandon is going to rewrite and come in for a follow-up tomorrow morning. He was eager to return and was engaged in our conversation. A sample comment
  13. 13. Alison was working on her first college essay and seemed nervous when she read the paper aloud (quietly). My impression was that it was too short, not fully developed, so I suggested we look over the assignment. She realized it was missing some 800 words. I suggested we brainstorm add detail, but she said any additional details would drag down the story. We discussed the thesis, and I asked her to show me how the story supported it. This demonstrated to her that she had left much unsaid, so I showed her a few places where details, such as description, could strengthen the impressions she was trying to convey and further support her argument. It seemed to make sense to her. I asked if she’d like to write here for a while, but she preferred not. I suggested a return visit to check the next draft. She didn’t reply. I got the impression she had grasped how to add the needed words without padding. I also mentioned that once she had developed the paper fully she might want to consider the length of her (very short) paragraphs. Finally, I suggested she check with her teacher on length. Another sample . . .
  14. 14. Tiffany was working on a newsletter, something new to her, so she wanted responses to both the layout and the writing. She had particular concerns about the grammar and punctuation, and we went go over almost all of the short text in detail. We paid particular attention to avoiding passive voice, but discussed its strategic use for corporate executives trying to send certain messages to their employee audience. We talked about word choice and the tone her selections would establish, and discussed how she could develop this approach through her word choice and the implications of those words. We reviewed punctuating independent and dependent clauses and dealing with implied subjects in imperatives. I also gave her a couple of pointers on headline style and graphic principles for newsletter design. I recommended a book on design I used to use in my PR days. And finally . . .