For the 2020-2021 academic year, Write-Togethers moved online. To protect the privacy and data of students, sessions were hosted in a Google doc. Each week, a new writing strategy and its source were summarized and cited and students were invited to post pre- and post-writing session goals and reflections. Students could sign up for a 10-minute Zoom appointment with a faculty consultant to ask questions about a current project.
Weekly participants ranged from 1-10, though participants were usually regulars. For instance, I met with one participant weekly as she worked on her dissertation and job application materials. This student invited me to her dissertation defense (I attended!) and she accepted a postdoc fellowship at UC Berkeley. It was a pleasure to witness the student’s hard work and its payoff.
Winter 2021 Write-Together participants were surveyed and they expressed continued interest in remote sessions, so this remains the current iteration of the Write-Togethers.
From these pandemic-led initiatives, we discovered that students appreciate flexibility and continued support in multiple modes and from a variety of people. Moving forward, we can create more opportunities for graduate students to support each other, perhaps as writing consultants, and continue to provide in-person, remote, and hybrid modes of collaboration. As faculty, we continue to revisit what data we want to collect to make these programs benefit students.
Lecturer, Sweetland Center for Writing