Meet Abigail Kremer, Author of “Coding the Whiteboard Space: How a Pandemic Prompted a Project in Online Writing Center Research”
Abigail Kremer is a graduate student currently attending the University of Southern California. She submitted her article “Coding the Whiteboard Space: How a Pandemic Prompted a Project in Online Writing Center Research” back when she was a senior at USC. Her article discusses how scholars have begun advocating for RAD (replicable, aggregable, and data-supported) research to inform peer tutoring practices in university writing centers. The majority of these instances have been done in person, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new door had opened for online opportunities in peer tutoring. She states in her abstract, “The resultant study presented here, focused on creating a coding method for tutor feedback using the whiteboard space in WCOnline, aims to provide a starting point for research on online synchronous sessions, as well as some considerations for transitioning back into in-person tutoring” (Kremer 92).
When asked about what inspired her to do the research and ultimately make her project, Abigail explained that she had been granted a position as a research assistant through an award program. Due to the pandemic, however, the funding for the program had to be cut and eventually canceled. Despite this, Abigail remained passionate about the topic that she had been studying, so she spoke to her advisor from the research project about that area of study. From this talk, she managed to make her own separate research project from the one they were studying, turning it into an independent study that lasted the rest of that year.
Abigail then discussed her connection to her research point, speaking about her experience becoming a tutor. She explained how she signed up for tutoring “as soon as [she] could” due to a need for money, but she “fell in love with it” and is now very passionate about peer tutoring. When expanding upon this, Abigail said that “especially during the pandemic, it was a way to like, have that intimate personal connection, because sharing your writing is like such an intimate thing to do with someone and helping create a space digitally.” Further, she explains that the “safe and effective” nature of this form of tutoring when involving such personal pieces of writing is what excited her.
When asked about how she came to publish with Young Scholars in Writing, Abigail explained how her advisor had sent her a link to the YSW website on a whim, telling her to “give [herself] something to write for.” Abigail explains that because she and her advisor had already gotten all the research and data collected, all that was left was to figure out how to present it in an understandable and organized format. With that in mind, Abigail decided to submit her methodology for the methodology review portion of the journal. She admits that she had forgotten about her submission until she had gotten an email back from YSW asking her to revise and resubmit her paper, motivating her to continue writing about her research.
Abigail also described the challenges that she faced while writing and revising the paper, explaining how her way of writing tended to get in the way of adequately organizing her thoughts. She explains that she tends to write “everything in reverse,” so, during the process, she had to “totally invert the order” and “rewrite everything.” She also explains how “figuring out how to explain [her research] to her audience” was something else with which she struggled. This struggle was due to how her research focuses on writing centers, and “not everyone reading the journal does writing center research.” However, she comments that Young Scholars in Writing was “a good place to publish.”
When asked if she would recommend Young Scholars in Writing to any other undergraduate researchers, Abigail explained that she would recommend it for undergraduate students looking for an outlet to get their hard-earned research out there and into the world. “It's a really accessible journal. And it's, it's something that you can [submit to] and it's reputable. And like, you can say, I did this, and you can show people, and it's something that lasts.” She also expresses her appreciation to the faculty advisory editor YSW assigned to help her, stating that she was “absolutely wonderful” and that the process that YSW follows was “so wonderfully supportive.”
In the future, Abigail hopes to continue volunteer tutoring and has plans to begin teaching.
Kremer, A. “Coding the Whiteboard Space: How a Pandemic Prompted a Project in Online Writing Center Research”. Young Scholars in Writing, Vol. 19, Jan. 2022, pp. 92-102, https://youngscholarsinwriting.org/index.php/ysiw/article/view/356.
Written by: Kaden Meredith, Professional Writing major at York College of Pennsylvania
Edited by: Lexi Stewart, Professional Writing major at York College of Pennsylvania