EWC End of the Semester Report, Spring 2010Presentation Transcript
EWC End of the Semester Report Spring 2010
As the spring 2010 semester draws to a close, we would like to update you on the state of the English Writing Center: Since both spring and fall 2009, we have seen a huge increase in student attendance as instructors are emphasizing the importance of the lab much more than in past semesters, and instructors are now counting lab work as a greater portion of a student’s overall grade.
Since spring 2009, enrollment has nearly doubled. To give you an idea of what that means practically, last spring an average of 54 students attended the lab each day; this semester, an average of 91 students work in the lab each day.
Lab Attendance and Progress We were able to accommodate this huge increase in enrollment with no added funds at all. The retention rate has also been higher this semester.
We anticipate that even more students will attend the lab regularly in fall 2010 as instructors are emphasizing the importance of lab attendance more and more and are having lab attendance and assignments count as larger portions of a student’s grade.
EWC Survey We have been posting a survey for students to complete over the last month of the semester, and this survey has provided invaluable feedback.
Lab Survey Results According to lab survey results, compared to spring 2009 and fall 2009, more student expressed feeling that:
The staff and tutors were helpful.
They felt their writing skills have improved since attending the lab.
They felt their computer skills have improved since attending the
The assignments are easy to understand.
We also want to share some specific positive feedback about the EWC: One of the questions on our survey was: To better serve you, the English Writing Lab staff and faculty would like to know what suggestions you have that would make this required lab a more pleasant and productive experience. Type your thoughts in the space below. Rather than making suggestions, many students instead expressed their satisfaction with their lab experience: Everything has been great from day one. Thank you. everything is great In my opinion, everything is going well the way it is. It's helpful for myself and sure helpful for many other students. I have no suggestions you guys are all helpful couldn’t thank you guys more always help when we need help :) great work Lab was a lo[t] more useful than i thought. Every time i came it was a productive way of using my time. I THINK THE LAB IS A GOOD PROGRAM THE COLLEGE OFFERS THE WRITING LAB STAFF ARE ALWAYS HELPFUL
We also think it’s important that you are aware of the feedback we received regarding lab hours of operation: One question on the survey was: To better serve you, the English Writing Lab staff and faculty would like to know what suggestions you have that would make this required lab a more pleasant and productive experience. The vast majority of the students responded that the lab hours need to be extended.
These responses give you an idea of the need for extended hours in the lab in order to serve the needs of the students. To make this required lab a more pleasant and productive experience would be to have the lab open longer. The lab hours should be changed in order for some people to be able to do the assignments. The hours of the lab can be more reasonable to accompany everyone. lab hours are not convenient enough I am a full time student lab should time be more flexible . . . I would like to strongly suggest that the lab be open for longer hours. They should run parallel to the library hours.
The Need for Expanded Hours This comment was written by a student who wrote the Dean about her conviction that the hours of the English Writing Lab must be extended: I think is not fair to have these regulations if there is not enough availability hours in lab. it is very inconvenient for students because it can affect our grade but then this lab has close hours frequently thru the entire week. The math lab is best scheduled hour but what is the point if doesn’t required as much as the English lab
The Need for Extended Hours As far as I could tell in the research that I did, we are the only school in the district with a lab requirement like this. LA City College has a co-requisite for English 28 that is a writing laboratory, but students receive an additional 0.5 units for that and only have to attend one hour per week. L.A. Valley and West L.A. colleges have similar optional classes that involve students attending lab hours in the writing center for 0.5 units or 1 unit of credit.
The Need for Extended Hours Other colleges that do not even require students to attend the Writing Center have much more accommodating hours, while we are requiring students to attend the lab as part of their grade and are only open 27 hours per week, the lowest number in the district.
The Need for Extended Hours Our Writing Center has the most limited hours of all schools in the district: East LA College: Monday – Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Thursday 8:00a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Friday 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (for a total of 57 hours per week) LA City College: Monday through Thursday, 9am to 2pm, 3:30pm to 7pm Friday and Saturday 9 am to 1pm (for a total of 42 hours per week) Los Angeles Harbor College’s Learning Assistance Center, which hosts the Writing Center: Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Friday 8:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.
For a total of 61 hours per week
Monday-Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
For a total of 44 hours per week Writing Lab Hours of Operation: East L.A.: 57 hours per week L.A. City: 42 hours per week L.A. Harbor: 61 hours per week Pierce: 44 hours per week
The Need for Extended Hours Furthermore, the Math Lab here at LASC, which also requires students to complete 18 hours of lab time over the semester, has much more reasonable and accommodating hours than the Writing Lab. The Math Lab’s hours are: Monday-Thursday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm Friday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm For a total of 52 hours per week
The Need for Extended Hours At this point, it is not about extending our hours or expanding our services to be able to provide resources such as tutoring. We need to expand our hours to meet our current needs and allow our growing population of English 21 and 28 students to complete a required component of these classes.
How have we worked to improve the English Writing Center during this time of growth?
With limited resources, we have worked to provide the best experience possible for students.
This semester we have worked to make the lab assignments as beneficial as possible for the students, engaging, and to make these assignments align with and reinforce what students are learning in class. We see these assignments as ever-evolving and we will continue to seek out student feedback and modify these assignments to make them as effective as possible.
Feedback on Lab Assignments One of the most important changes this semester is that we have given every student individualized feedback on every assignment. This maximizes the benefits students receive from completing lab assignments. Students also know that their work is being read and the quality of their work matters. This also makes the lab experience more interactive and more meaningful.
Feedback on Lab Assignments Students have responded very positively to this feedback. Thank you for your prompt response. I truly appreciate you taking the extra time to reply to my questions thoroughly. I take all your feedback and apply it to my school work. You have really helped me understand how I can improve now. Thank you again! I have received useful feedback in terms of writing a good essay. Feedback is always good as long as we as students utilize it to improve. thank you
Feedback on Lab Assignments I like the feed back that I receive on each assignment. It let me know where my weakness and strengths stand and I am please with the constructive criticism Thank you for responding and I’m looking forward to hearing from you again. Thanks for the great feedback! All your input is helping my writing to get better.
We have streamlined the orientation and enrollment process and created an entire English Writing Center Handbook that includes information about student conduct, policies for student workers and student tutors, policies for instructors, a guide to classroom visits, frequently asked questions, and detailed information about the enrollment process.
This is only the third full semester the English Writing Center has been operating, and we already feel that we have grown to be a productive, organized, efficient, and supportive place for students to complete the lab component of their English 21 and English 28 courses.
The EWC as a Support System The last question on our survey was: In your own words, describe what your experience in the lab has been like. We think that these responses demonstrate how much of a support system the lab has already become for LASC students: very beneficial The lab has been very instrumental in helping me to acquire better study and learning habits. very helpful it has been a great experience i learned a lot of things, i learned something new everyday!!! It has been a uphill process that has led me to become a greater writer learning experience
Student Responses My experience in the English Lab has been very enriched in both reading and writing skills. It has a comfortable atmosphere and the staff is extremely helpful. my experience has been outstanding! I consider this a win win situation! I entered this semester not knowing as much as I know now! its a new way to study, an opportunity to help you pass your classes I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to learn more varieties of writing as well as use the techniques to improve my writing skills. I like the lab because it gives me a chance to practice writing. the lab has helped me with my writing tremendously Awesome.
Student Responses the lab experience has been great for me because I had actually learned something that can be a long term tool for me to use at the next level of English. it was great, interesting, somewhat fun with staff members willing to provide assistance. it has been very interesting. I have learned a couple of strategies to improve my writing skills. EVENTFUL, CHALLENGING,YET REWARDING. I'M GRATEFUL FOR THE EXPERIENCE, IT HAS HELPED ME IMMENSELY. My experience in the lab has been amazing, i learn something new each time.
The Future of the EWC We look forward to seeing the English Writing Center continue to grow and improve and become even more of a support system for students at LASC.