March 16, 2009

Hybrid Tutoring

On Friday I gave a presentation called "The Hybrid Tutoring Experience: The Path to Better Writers" at the Faculty Best Practices Showcase.

The presentation was about the advantages of combining online tutoring and face-to-face consulting for a single assignment.

PCCC uses to provide online writing (and other) tutoring to our students. Through the Title V grant, Writing Intensive students are required to use eTutoring for help with their writing at least twice during the semester. In addition, WI students are strongly encouraged to bring writing assignments to the Writing Center for assistance.

We have found that a good way to tackle difficult assignments is for students to go to eTutoring for a first draft of their essay and then bring those comments into the Writing Center and go over them with a face-to-face writing consultant. The student can go through the paper and make changes with a consultant present to answer questions, offer opinions, and make additional suggestions.

This approach has several benefits. First, it expands the number of times students can work on a draft of a paper. (eTutoring limits it to three drafts.) Additionally, it gives students the opportunity of knowing what problems they may be having before coming into a live session with a tutor. They can give the tutor information about their problems when making the appointment, and by bringing the eTutor's comments, they give the writing consultant a starting place. This saves time, as consultants usually start a session cold (not receiving the paper in advance). Finally, it removes some of the limitations of both face-to-face and online sessions by allowing students to ask questions about the eTutor's response and providing writing consultants with an immediate second opinion on the essay being discussed.

The PCCC Writing Center will continue to encourage hybrid writing tutorials with students to provide a well-rounded writing experience.

You can view my PowerPoint presentation below. More information about the PCCC Writing Center can be found at

March 1, 2009

Mark Hillringhouse Donates Photo to the Writing Center

Mark Hillringhouse with his photo in the Writing Center

Professor Mark Hillringhouse is an instructor in the PCCC English department. He will be developing a WI course section for CT 101 Introduction to Critical Thinking this year.

Mark is also a talented poet whose work has been published in The American Poetry Review, The Literary Review, The New York Times, The New Jersey Monthly, The Paris Review, and in many other journals, books, anthologies and magazines. He was the founding editor of the American Book Review, and a contributing editor for The New York Arts Journal. He has won three fellowships for poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

This multi-talented professor is also known for his photography. Mark has been kind enough to donate a large print to the new PCCC Writing Center. The photography is of poet Gerald Stern's writing desk which he felt was an appropriate addition to the Center.

He recently published a series of his black and white portraits of the New York School poets along with an accompanying essay, and he has recently published a photographic essay on the Passaic River. His recent photography exhibitions include shows at the Paterson Museum, the Main Street Gallery’s "Juried Competition" and the Salmagundi Art Club's Juried Graphics and Photography Competition, and a one-man show titled “Parts of a World” at the Hamilton Club Art Gallery, and at the Ben Shahn Gallery at William Paterson University.

View of the Paterson Great Falls by Mark Hillringhouse

View some Hillringhouse photos at