Dana Lynn Driscoll (professor of English and director of the Jones White Writing Center) and Andrew Yim (composition and applied linguistics doctoral student, tutor in the Writing Center) have published a new article in an edited collection, titled “The Loss of We: An Empirical Investigation of Synchronous and Asynchronous Tutoring Experiences before and During the Pandemic.” The article is published in the digital edited collection (open access) titled The Post-Pandemic Writing Center

The article explored two research questions: What are the differences between synchronous and asynchronous modalities, as presented through our pre- and during-pandemic session reports? And second, what do our tutors recognize as valuable and challenging in the shift in tutoring modalities? Through qualitative interviews with 10 tutors and a computational analysis of over 2,000 pre-pandemic and during-pandemic session reports, we examined how providing asynchronous tutorials fundamentally shifted our practices. 

Our mixed methods analysis revealed that despite training and attention to continuing collaborative approaches to tutoring, asynchronous tutoring practices were fundamentally more challenging and different for both students and tutors. While these tutorials still allowed us to provide feedback to a writer, much of the collaboration and interaction was lost—even among the same pairs of tutors and students pre and post-pandemic. This study offers insight into the nature of asynchronous tutorials and the challenges they present, as well as suggestions for writing centers that are considering implementing asynchronous tutorials.

The collection can be found at the Post-Pandemic Writing Center.