Out in the Open: iPads, Remote Consultations, and the Ethics of Conducting Private Business in the Public Commons

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name

East Central Writing Centers Association

Conference Location

Univeristy of Notre Dame


My research stems from an experiment in moving beyond the walls of the writing center, utilizing the iPad as a tool to reduce physical restrictions and facilitate more natural interpersonal dynamics within writing consultations. Since last year’s ECWCA, the Writing Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne has been working under a hybrid iPad / traditional cubicle consultation model. The ethical questions here are clear: balancing the privacy needs ofboth the consultant and writer with the opportunities for interactivity and engagement that exist in the commons environment is only one of the elements my continued inquiry seeks to explore.Via the works of Bruffee, Murphy, Shamoon and Burns, Trzyna and Batschelet, and Vygotsky, I will explore how traditional viewpoints relating to collaboration can be reinforced and adjusted through the use of iPads within consultations, and the implications that follow. The ultimate significance of my presentation will lie in its ability to answer questions related to whether (and how) technology can revolutionize the spatial relationships, physical restrictions, interpersonal dynamics, and location limitations of the writing center; are these universally positive? The impact on the writer of the implementation of technology must be of paramount importance: will this model substantially alter, for better or worse, the writer / consultant relationship or the efficacy of the writing center? While there will be a formal presentation of data and auxiliary information related to this research within my session, I also hope to include more interactivity that may involve attendees using some sort of digital device (smartphone, tablet, or laptop) as available.


Education | Higher Education

This document is currently not available here.