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University Writing Services Offer Virtual Consultations, Help for Students

08/10/2020

University Writing Services (UWS) will offer Zoom video conferences and online (asynchronous) consultations, from Monday, Aug. 17, through Friday, Dec. 4., in place of its traditional in-person services in response to the health risks posed by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to promote the safety and well-being of all students and writing consultants.

UWS will be not be holding in-person appointments at any of its on-campus, in-person locations including the Busch Student Center, Suite 331; Pius XII Memorial Library, Room 320; the School of Nursing, Suite 114; Grand Hall, Room 152; and Spring Hall, Room 131, until further notice.

I Need Help With My Writing. How Do I Get It?

What Are My Options for an Appointment?

Want to Use Zoom? What to Expect.
  • Zoom video conferences will take place live (in real time) using audio-video conferencing software.
  • Both you and the writing consultant will be able to look at your writing project simultaneously by screen sharing, use the in-meeting chat function, and make annotations.
  • These conferences can be conducted using a desktop computer/laptop [preferred] or tablet/smartphone app [limited functionality].
  • To communicate with the writing consultant, your device must have microphone accessibility [required].
  • Webcam accessibility is strongly recommended [optional]. No experience with Zoom is needed.
  • If you select Zoom Video Conference when making an appointment on EAB Navigate, you will receive an email with further instructions from your consultant shortly before or immediately at the start of the hour. These conferences will be held on the day of your scheduled appointment, and you must sign into Zoom to “meet” with your consultant at the designated time.
  • UWS requests and expects that students treat the virtual environment the same as in-person environments. We expect students to be appropriately attired throughout the entire duration of their appointment.
Want to an Online (Asynchronous) Consultations? What to Expect.
  • The online (asynchronous) consultation will take place remotely via email (not Zoom).
  • Asynchronous means that the student and consultant will not be online at the same time; in other words, you will be asked to complete and attach your current writing project (as a .doc or .docx file) to an Online Submission Form prior to your scheduled appointment. An experienced writing consultant will then download your project and provide feedback on four to seven pages using Microsoft Word’s built-in comment function.
  • The consultant will start reading in addition to making suggestions about how to improve your project at the time of your appointment but may not send you an email until later that day.
  • If you select Online (Asynchronous) Consultation when making an appointment on EAB Navigate, you will be provided a link to the Online Submission Form when reviewing the “Appointment Details” on the final confirmation page. These consultations will be conducted via e-mail; you will receive feedback by 10 p.m. on the day of your appointment.
  • You do not need to be present online on the selected day/time to receive your feedback.

Do You Have Advice for Using Zoom?

Logging into Zoom
  • You can access Zoom (located under the Tools tab of the mySLU portal) or by going to slu.zoom.us and signing in with your SLU Net ID and password.
Joining the Zoom Video Conference
  • All booked appointments will be held in Central Standard/Central Daylight Time (CST/CDT).
  • You will receive an email from your writing consultant with a Zoom invitation shortly before or immediately at the start time of your appointment. It will help to have your SLU Outlook email account already open as you approach the beginning of the hour.
  • Copy the writing consultant’s Zoom Meeting ID and click the link provided. This will open a new screen that will automatically download Zoom (if it is your first time) or open the video conferencing software (if you have used it before).
  • You may arrive before your writing consultant and will automatically be placed into a waiting room. The screen will automatically change when the writing consultant initiates the conference.
  • If the consultant does not email you with the Zoom Link or initiate the conference after five minutes past the start time of your appointment, email to writing@slu.edu. The UWS administrative team will prioritize your issue during regular business hours of operation. They will do everything they can to resolve the problem by calling the writing consultant and/or reassigning your appointment to another staff member (based on availability).
Preparing for Your Zoom Video Conference
  • Just like an in-person appointment, you will need the following materials:
  • The professor’s prompt and/or grading rubric.
  • Your current writing project in a folder that can easily be found on your device.
  • Any links to outside resources that you might want to discuss with the consultant.
More Zoom Guidance and Tips
Using the Zoom Video Conference Built-in Functions
Share Screen
  • Click this button to select the window, tab, or program on your device that you would like to share with your writing consultant.
Whiteboard (edit vs. annotate)
  • This option appears after clicking the Share Screen button.
  • Only the person who shares the screen can make edits to the document.
  • The writing consultant will be able to see your current writing project and make annotations (on top of the shared screen) which can be erased as needed. Make sure to save the annotations before they are erased and/or prior to the end of the appointment.
Chat
  • Comment or ask questions without speaking.
  • Link to outside resources.
  • Send the document to the writing consultant if Share Screen does not work.
Troubleshooting
Q: If you arrive early or the writing consultant has not yet initiated the Zoom meeting?
  • If you join first and the writing consultant is not already in the meeting, just wait for a few moments. The writing consultant will still be able to join the meeting after you.
  • If the consultant does initiate the conference after five minutes past the start time of your appointment, please send an email to writing@slu.edu. The UWS administrative team will prioritize your issue during regular business hours of operation. They will do everything they can to resolve the problem by calling the writing consultant and/or reassigning your appointment to another staff member (based on availability).
Q: If you cannot hear or see yourself/the writing consultant?
  • Check the lower left corner of the tool bar on the meeting screen to make sure your video and microphone are turned on. Send a message to the writing consultant through the chat function if you are unable to hear or see them.
Q: If you accidentally end a session?
  • Rejoin the meeting because the writing consultant will still be there.
Q: Any other issue that arises?
  • Keep your SLU Outlook email account open during your appointment so that you can email the writing consultant (if needed) to let them know about any issues you are experiencing with Zoom.

For questions or more information, contact University Writing Services.