The Regional Writing Centre, UL, employed and trained 14 peer tutors in the AY2020/21, accommodating 428 hours of peer tutoring in writing for academic assessment and publication. 161 students completed feedback surveys, 98.76% reporting positively, saying that they would recommend the resource to other students; 91% report leaving their sessions with greater confidence. The tutoring hours offered were significantly increased in the wake of the pandemic, 830 hours over the period, all tutors engaging online from February 26th, 2020 onwards. The uptake, however, fell steadily throughout the year, 428 hours, down from 518 hours the previous non-Covid year. The uptake of Quick Queries, online asynchronous queries requiring 15 minutes or less to answer, on the other hand, increased significantly, 279 quick queries answered, 122 more than in the previous year, the combined statistics suggesting a preference for asynchronous online interaction.
The RWCUL continues to employ and manage two undergraduate Coop Student Administrative Assistants each year, our current AA, Emily Duffy Sheahan, 2nd year English and Sociology, preparing to train our next hire, Roisin Fahy, BSc in Psychology, to operate online for, potentially, the entire autumn 2022 semester.
The RWCUL delivered over 18 workshops in the 2020/1 AY to over 300 students. The RWC also worked to develop well over 600 academic writers in collaboration with the Faculty of S&E, the Graduate and Professional Studies and the Flexible Learning Centre through AW 4006, Peer Tutoring in Academic Writing, ME4001, Introduction to Engineering, ME6051, Advanced Technical Communication for Engineers, and the FortWRITE PhD Writing Festival with the University of Ulster, as well as through other activities.
The RWCUL delivered a workshop on writing in professional contexts for the Kerry Teaching and Training Board and on writing knowledge for the Limerick Learning Festival.
Three secondary school winners of the RWCUL’s 10th annual National Secondary School Essay-writing Competition were congratulated in an informal online ceremony with UL President, Professor Kerstin Mey and CTL Head, Dr. Mary Fitzpatrick. Link to the video recording of the ceremony here. Eleven student volunteers were recruited from StudentVolunteer.ie and trained to serve as readers and judges of the competition.
RWCUL Director, Lawrence Cleary, participated in 5 CPD events this academic year. He remains on the board of the European Writing Center Association (EWCA) and is a member of the European Association for Teachers of Academic Writing (EATAW), the International Writing Center Association (IWCA) and the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC).
Lawrence was invited this year to speak at a George Washington University organised Writing Research Across Borders (WRAB) event that focused on Writing and STEM, Lawrence speaking about how he has integrated writing into STEM subjects here at UL. He was also invited by Will Gibson, Reader in Social Research, Director of the UCL, IOE Academic Writing Centre to join in a University College London roundtable discussion: Academic Writing Support - sharing institutional practice and experience. He is currently leading the Irish Network for the Enhancement of Writing (INEW) on a National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (NL), Network and Disciplines Project, titled: Testing a framework for teaching writing knowledge that transfers across contexts of writing.