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2019-2020 Webinar Series

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Listings of Past Webinar Series

The listings below document the efforts of past webinar leaders, as well as the evolving interests of online literacy educators. 

Members may watch recorded webinars by clicking on the  image accompanying each listing.  

Webinar Descriptions

Webinar Screen Capture: Slide title "Starting, Evaluating or Revamping Online Tutoring in Your Writing Center"; pictures of participant cam images appear on right.Starting, Evaluating or Revamping Online Tutoring in Your Writing Center

Webinar Leaders: Megan Boeshart Burelle & Kim Fahle Peck

Date of Webinar: Wednesday, February 12th, 2020


  • Scenario 1: In a meeting with a college administrator you, a writing center administrator, learn that your institution will now offer online classes and are told that you must implement online writing tutoring as soon as possible for your institution to be compliant with accreditation standards.
  • Scenario 2: You are a new writing center director who has inherited an online tutoring program but you’ve been tasked with evaluating and making any necessary changes to better support student needs.
  • Scenario 3: You are frustrated with the current technology your writing center has been using for online tutoring because you feel that is limiting access to your services.

The above scenarios represent examples of writing center administrators having to grapple with how to start, improve, or revamp the ways they implement online tutoring in their centers. Should centers offer asynchronous or synchronous tutoring? Should they use their LMS? WConline? Google Docs? Zoom?

​This webinar will assist writing center administrators in making decisions regarding modalities and platforms for online tutoring that consider access and inclusivity, institutional culture, and budget and resource constraints. The webinar will begin with a grounding in Tenet 6 of OLI Principle 1, Online literacy instruction should be universally accessible and inclusive: “Institutional support systems and programs (i.e., tutoring centers, student academic success centers, disabilities services) should be available minimally to all students in the same modality as their course and available maximally in additional, flexible ways.” We will engage in a discussion with participants about how we as administrators have worked to provide at least this minimal level of shared modality of tutoring and courses, but have also striven for increased flexibility by drawing on institutional resources and integrating tools to meet our needs.

Participants will:

  • Consider what modalities and platforms make the most sense for your center, considering factors of budget, software already available at the institution, what types of support students, desire, and necessary training.
  • Complete an Institution Inventory worksheet, which includes collecting information from your institution’s website about student demographics, the prevalence of online learning, course modalities, software licenses currently held by your institution, and tutor numbers, hours, training infrastructures, etc.
  • Discuss how you can use the Inventory Worksheet data to build or revise an online tutoring program and how you can use the information as leverage when negotiating for resources/budgets, etc.
  • Formulate a plan of how you want to use the data or for what additional research you need to conduct to build, evaluate, or improve you online tutoring programs.

Webinar Leader Bios

  • Megan Boeshart Burelle is the Writing Center Director at Old Dominion University. She is the liaison between the Global Society of Online Literacy Educators (GSOLE) and the International Writing Center Association (IWCA). Her research interests include writing centers, online tutoring, and multimodal feedback.
  • Kim Fahle Peck is the Writing Center Director at York College of Pennsylvania. She is the Membership/Communication Chair of the Global Society of Online Literacy Educators (GSOLE) and the Web Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association (MAWCA). Her research interests include writing centers, online writing instruction, and undergraduate research.

Webinar Screen Capture: image of slide with "Usability Testing As a Design and Implementation Strategy" and chart with survey responsesProgramming Artificial Intelligence for a Writing Center: Applications and Future Possibilities

Webinar Leaders: Sipai Klein & Justin Mays

Date of Webinar: November 11, 2020


This webinar will provide an overview of artificial intelligence (AI) in academia and education in general. Specifically, this webinar will draw from the field and relate it to our own effort to program an artificial intelligence software, known as LochBot to our students, that employs natural language learning skills to respond to writers through the writing center’s website with an audience of approximately 1000 students/year. This software, commonly known as chatbot technology, is becoming more widely integrated into consumer technologies and could become integral to our front facing technologies in both digital consumer and educational interfaces. This webinar, then, will discuss how our effort to craft the language of the chatbot and how we relied on feedback gained from the target audience through usability testing.

Participants will be given the opportunity to interact with the chatbot, enter questions, and explore the language of the AI. This interaction will follow with a group discussion on the participants’ experiences and a reflection on how chatbots and other AI might apply to to online literacy learning, such as:

  • integrating questions about assignments;
  • searching for content on writing handouts (OWL) and linking back to questions posed to AI;
  • providing around the clock writing resource for students;
  • integrating with specific, high contact classes in the learning management system;
  • quantifying questions students ask about the curriculum on the chatbot and integrating that into tutor training;
  • integrating Microsoft Teams, a web conferencing tool, into the AI so that students can meet consultants online;
  • possibilities for text-to-speech and speech-to-text adaptation for students with disabilities;
  • wrapping translation services around the bot to serve multilingual students;
  • possibilities for push notifications to users by the chatbot when embedded in course with reminders (such as due dates, for example) and the chatbot’s potential use to answer questions about faculty from syllabi.

Webinar Leader Bios

Sipai Klein (Clayton State University) is an Associate Professor of English and the Director of The Writers’ Studio at Clayton State University. He earned a doctorate from New Mexico State University in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. He teaches courses on writing center education, document design, technical communication, and introduction to writing and rhetoric. He has published work in Computers, Composition, and Communication Online, the Writing Lab Newsletter, and the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship. His research interests include new media, community practice theory, and writing pedagogy.

Justin Mays (Clayton State University) is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning Technologies. Justin Mays, Clayton State University,, 678-466-4190, 2000 Clayton State Boulevard, Morrow, GA 30260. Justin Mays is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Clayton State University. He works with faculty to implement new technologies and teaching strategies which support student learning. His research interests include AI-enhanced learning and online pedagogy. ​

Webinar Screen Shot: Image of slide with "OLI Principle 1: Online Literacy instruction should be universally accessible and inclusive"; at the right are attendee web cam imagesMoving WAC to the Web: Using GSOLE’s OLI Principles to Create Accessible Resources for Online Writing across the Disciplines

Webinar Leaders: Amy Cicchino, Lindsay Clark, & Traci Austin

Date of Webinar: October 15, 2020


As more universities implement online learning, instructors and administrators across disciplines are more likely to find themselves operating in online environments. While the shift online offers many affordances for instructors and students alike, it also creates unique challenges for instruction and learning—particularly for writing across the curriculum programs because they face the double challenge of needing to prepare faculty to instruct literacy education within disciplinary contexts in addition to offering them strategies for effective literacy education online. 

This webinar explores how GSOLE’s “Online Literacy Instruction Principles and Tenets” can frame and assess online literacy instruction across disciplinary contexts. By focusing especially on the first principle—accessibility—the leaders will engage administrators and instructors in a process of linking principle to practice. This webinar thus responds to a gap between national documents and local practice and focuses on how to develop local practices to support the first principle, accessibility. 

The webinar will open with the leaders describing their own experiences with developing accessible online courses for a WAC program, which involved using Blackboard Ally. Then, participants will be invited to share their own experiences, and to collaboratively respond to a course design scenario. Through engaging with the webinar, you will:

  • be introduced to the four principles within WAC/WID programmatic and course contexts
  • reflect on how you locally enact these principles
  • practice assessing and enhancing resource accessibility using Blackboard Ally
  • set goals for your future practices related to accessible resource development

Webinar Leader Bios

Amy Cicchino is an Associate Director in Auburn University’s Office of University Writing. She studies digital multimodal pedagogy, writing program administration, and writing across the curriculum.  

Lindsay Clark is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Sam Houston State University where she teaches business communication and co-directs the College of Business Administration’s Communication Lab. Her research includes visual and multimodal communication, genre theory and pedagogy, and writing across the curriculum.

Traci Austin is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Sam Houston State University, where she teaches business and managerial communication and co-directs the College of Business Administration’s Communication Lab. Her research interests include communication pedagogy, instructional systems design, instructional technology, and assessment of learning.

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