Using WriteLab for Synchronous Learning in Your Writing Center
Whether you’re a director or tutor—you’ve worked incredibly hard to create a writing center that helps students at any stage of the writing or speaking process. You’re also prepared to provide invaluable feedback on any type of writing assignment while also supporting a diverse range of non-native English speakers.
To expand your services even further, you can offer synchronous learning (allowing students to connect with tutors remotely in real-time). Offering synchronous learning at your Writing Center is a great way to reach more students who can’t make it to in-person tutoring sessions. It may also alleviate scheduling barriers for your busy tutors.
Let’s quickly learn how to facilitate synchronous learning with WriteLab to effectively augment your tutoring sessions.
Starting the Synchronous Learning Process with WriteLab
If your Writing Center doesn’t have a WriteLab Account yet (with registered tutors), students and tutors can still work with the app in a virtual setting.
Virtual sessions. Students can log into their WriteLab Student Account at the start of the session. Whether your Writing Center is using a formalized web conferencing app for the session—or a tool like Skype—the student can start by sharing their screen and then uploading their draft.
Next, the student can click “Analyze Draft” and within 15 seconds WriteLab will generate results via algorithms.
Both the student and tutor will see that WriteLab detected issues in four areas of writing: Concision, Clarity, Logic, and Grammar. Tutors can compare their own analysis and feedback of the draft to these revisions, suggestions, and questions about sentence-level writing features. To learn more about WriteLab’s feedback see the WriteLab Guide.
From here, students and tutors can chat about the draft and what to do next. If the student account is tied to an instructor account—and the instructor has already reviewed the student’s draft—the tutor can view the instructor’s comments. This allows the tutor to align their feedback with the instructor’s expectations and needs. Finally, once the tutor has viewed and addressed the feedback from WriteLab and/or the instructor—they’ll have more time to dedicate to larger global issues in the student’s draft.
But what are the advantages of having a Writing Center Account?
Facilitating Synchronous Learning With a Writing Center Account
If you want to go beyond this simple screen sharing approach, your Writing Center can create a WriteLab account where students share their full drafts with tutors. This allows tutors to work directly in the app during the video or voice session.
WriteLab account. WriteLab can create a Writing Center Account for your institution so you can invite and manage tutors. Learn more on how to get this process started.
Sharing drafts, offering feedback, and tracking drafting progress. Make it easier for students and tutors by allowing students to conveniently share their draft with your Writing Center. Another benefit of having a Writing Center Account is that tutors, like an instructor, can quickly share their feedback with the comments feature. This allows students to easily refer to them after the session—helping to guide their revision process.
Tutors can also quickly see what the student has addressed concerning both WriteLab’s feedback and their comments—saving them time on deciding where to assist the student next. Moreover, when students want to meet with the tutor again it’s easy for the tutor to see what revision changes the student has made. And, together, they can move on to other important issues.
Access to analytics. WriteLab analytics allow you to see which comments students receive, how they interact with WriteLab's feedback, and create custom graphs outfitted with metrics of your choosing. Thus you have the opportunity to track unique data concerning how tutoring sessions influence student writing. This is a new and exciting way to visualize tutoring efficacy—and go beyond basic record keeping. Learn more about WriteLab’s analytics.
Bringing WriteLab into Your Writing Center
In a pilot at Ashford University, almost 90% of students expressed that WriteLab helped improve their writing. Not only can the software save your Writing Center valuable time, and expand your in-person and remote services, it is also an effective method to enhance student writing.
Follow the tips above to get started—and reach out to us with ANY questions.
If you’re interested in learning more about creating a WriteLab Writing Center Account, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule a demo by clicking the button below.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post covering tips for using WriteLab for asynchronous learning in your Writing Center. We will also be producing a post on ways to integrate WriteLab with your existing writing center management—or web conferencing—software.
Also, please share your tips and tricks for offering synchronous learning at your Writing Center.
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