Well here I am, week four, back in the Writing Center. And though I still have yet to lead my own tutoring session, I’m moving on to new things. Already having shadowed a handful of face-to-face appointments, it’s time to see how other types work; and first on my list is an online realtime appointment. Word around the UCWbL is that these are sometimes few and far between, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity.
The best way I can summarize the online appointment experience is that it’s a perfect blend of a Face-to-Face appointment and Written Feedback. On the one hand, it’s live, much like someone coming into the Writing Center. But on the other hand, the document is presented on a screen in front of you, allowing for a more personal editing experience. While the “experienced tutor” I observed handled it very well, it’s a new challenge for tutors. You can’t read body language, or hear the tone in a writer’s voice. And you can’t add comments or edit anything directly on the piece of writing. Instead you must read what the writer has uploaded, and give feedback in realtime, through a chat box. The interface has been updated recently, so if you’re curious about how it works, you can see our online resource here.
But my obvious need to adjust aside, I have to commend the UCWbL for introducing such a feature. It’s pretty cool that writers can receieve help on their work, live, from the comfort of their homes (or workplace, or wherever). So for those people out there who think writing centers are potentially one dimensional… think again!
Until next week!