Research Question

How does the design and use of space in a Writing Center affect teaching and learning?


WC spaces should be flexible and adaptable. WC design should reflect a collaborative effort and create an environment that builds confidence and generates ideas. Some WCs believe they should be “homey,” while others disagree. How do we define “homey?” Look at our WC, consider how tutors as individuals can improve the space: sitting position, noise, table size, presence of computers, individual objects, etc. What about a larger scale? Layout, decoration, designs, furniture, etc.


Conduct seminar in the UWC lobby for the class that usually met in the WAC room (The other seminar was meeting in the UWC lobby). Participation in discussion plummeted drastically especially those seated on the edges of the group that normally participate heavily. Discussion about how meeting in the different rooms affect tutors.

Impact on WC

Moved all seminar sections to the WAC room for a semester.

Reference List

Central Michigan University (2013). College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Dickel, M. and Parker, A. (1998). Architectural Articulations of the Writing Center. Conference on College Composition and Communications

Convention. Chicago, IL. Web. 14 February, 2013.

Giaimo, Genie. “Design Thinking Comes to NU Writing Center.” Pedagogical Musings. Northeastern University, 31 October 2012. Web. 14

February, 2013.

McKinney, Jackie Grutsch. “Leaving Home Sweet Home: Towards Critical Readings of Writing Center Spaces.” The Writing Center Journal 25.2

(2005). 6-19. Print.

Scott-Webber, Lennie, Michael Marini, and Jane Abraham. “Higher Education Classrooms Fail to Meet Needs of Faculty and Students.” Journal

of Interior Design 26.1 (2000). 16-34. Print.