Date of Completion

Spring 5-2-2014

Thesis Advisor(s)

Tom Deans

Honors Major

Individualized Major


Cognition and Perception | Communication Technology and New Media | Other Rhetoric and Composition | Social and Cultural Anthropology


While the body of literature regarding online tutorials in the writing center is growing, researchers seem hesitant to fully endorse, or even commend, online writing tutorials. This seems appropriate for work in communication theory and human-computer interaction; working across a medium may be different, but this could create new and interesting ways of tutoring. This research reports on a comparative analysis of online and in-person tutoring at three different universities, focusing on tutor self-perceptions and on affordances, a concept drawn from systems engineering, human-computer interaction and ecological psychology. Unstructured interviewing is used to create a set of preliminary affordances of online tutorials, including, but not limited to issues of access, tutor training, and identity construction. The research also looks at issues in technology adoption and its relation to the writing center.