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Online Tutoring

If you have chosen to work with one of the CEW's online tutors, we hope this will be a smooth and pleasant experience for you. In fact, some of our writing center users prefer it to in-person sessions.

To schedule an online session, follow the instructions on our Make an Appointment page. Please read the following student instructions to help you get started with the Adobe Connect program.

  1. Check your email for a URL from our receptionist.
  2. At the time of your session, click on the URL to open Adobe Connect. You may be prompted to download a plugin, a process that will only take a few seconds and will only happen once.
  3. The Adobe Connect window will look something like this:

    Screenshot of the Adobe Connect window

    If you are not able to interact with the tutor, you may need to communicate by typing in the chat box. It's sometimes necessary to have telephone backup, so please plan to have a phone nearby.
  4. Your tutor may ask you to share your computer screen during your session and will show you how to do this. The tutor at no time has access to your document or your computer!
  5. At the end of your session, please fill out the evaluation to give feedback on your online tutoring experience.

Please keep in mind that the online system experiences occasional errors; therefore, we ask that you be patient when having an online session.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How can I prepare for my online session?

    • Choose a location with few interruptions and little ambient noise. If you can hardwire your computer, you will experience less lag and have more clarity.
    • Have your assignment handy. If you have a copy on your computer, you can share it with your tutor.
    • Know the location of the draft of the paper you want to work on. Hunting around for it on your computer will waste your time and your tutor's.
    • Have a phone handy. Occasionally there are computer glitches. You can still share your screen and have a conference using your phone.

    Will I work with a real tutor?

    Yes, one of our tutors from the Center for Excellence in Writing will be live with you.

    Will the session take place in real time or via email?

    You will meet at a set time that you select on our scheduler. You will be in real time with your tutor.

    Do I need a special program on my computer for online tutoring?

    No. You will be sent a URL by email. Click on the link and you will be prompted to download a plugin that only takes a few seconds, and then you will be connected to the website for the meeting.

    Can the tutor see me?

    Only if you turn on your webcam. Generally we don't use the camera function because it uses a lot of bandwidth and slows the session down.

    Can the tutor hear me?

    You will be prompted to turn on your microphone. Then you and the tutor can talk using the computer.

    Can the tutor see my paper?

    Not until you make it happen. If you have a draft, the tutor will ask you to share your document and tell you how. Once you do this, the tutor can see your paper.

    Can the tutor get access to my computer?

    No! Only you have access to your computer.