Engaging Tools for Dialogic Guidance in Higher Education

Randi Benedikte Brodersen, Birger Solheim, Pål Steiner, Tina Torgersen Oftedal


In this article we present a toolbox for dialogic guidance that we use at the Academic Writing Centre at the University of Bergen when guiding students in various stages of the writing process. Our guidance is dialogic which means that we acknowledge that meaning and learning evolve when we interact with one another, when different and divergent voices meet; we let students themselves explore their writing, their writing processes and their texts, and find their own answers, their own solutions and their own ways. We ask open-ended questions, listen, describe and provide tools that meet different needs at different stages of the writing process, instead of judging and ‘diagnosing’ the written texts - and the students - and then proposing a ‘treatment’. Examples of our tools are spontaneous writing, the academic pentagon and the Toulmin model of argumentation. We seek to strengthen the students’ understanding and awareness of their own writing, thereby improving not just the writing at hand, but also the students’ academic writing skills and learning in general, and to develop a reflective and accepting attitude. Our students engage in dialogues with us, the tools we present, with themselves, their texts and their writing, with fellow students, with previous bachelor and master theses, and with the tradition which they are part of.


writing center, writing center, writing guidance, tutoring, feedback, student writing

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18552/joaw.v6i1.331


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