About Online Consultations
Students can meet with tutors online from anywhere in the world through Adobe Connect, our real-time, web-based consulting program. All online consultations are by appointment only.
You can schedule distance appointments using the University Writing Center’s TutorTrac scheduler by selecting Online as your center. You can also call us to make an appointment. Our online availability is more limited than our face-to-face hours, so it’s best to schedule an appointment well in advance.
What is an Online Consultation Like?
During an online consultation, you and your tutor will discuss your writing project via our free web-based Adobe Connect software. This allows you to communicate privately in real time via your computer’s audio. You’ll also be able to use screensharing, a feature that allows you and your tutor to make changes to your paper at the same time. During the consultation, the tutor will take some notes about what you discuss, which will be e-mailed to you after you wrap up.
What Do I Need in Order to Have an Online Consultation?
You’ll need access to a computer or laptop with an internet connection. Adobe Connect might ask you to install or update a small plug-in so it will work correctly, but there’s nothing else you need to download. If you have a draft, assignment guidelines, or other documents you want to share with the tutor, have them saved on your computer somewhere where you can find them easily. Once you start the consultation, your tutor will walk you through the process of uploading your document into the program so both of you can view it.
Online consultations require an audio connection—while Adobe Connect does allow for text-based chat, typing slows down the conversation and can make it difficult to have a good discussion in the 45 minutes available. We strongly recommend that you use headphones and a microphone (headset, USB, or your computer’s built-in mic). If you don’t have this equipment available, you can also use a telephone as an audio connection.
We do not recommend the use of mobile devices or tablets (such as an iPad) for online consultations.
How do I attend an online consultation?
You’ll receive a confirmation e-mail when you schedule your appointment. The e-mail will contain the URL you will access at your appointment time, or you can click the Attend an Online Consultation button at the bottom of the page. Choose the option to log in as a Guest, and enter your full name in the box, so your tutor can identify you. Make sure you have your paper open and saved as well. After that, all you have to do is wait—your tutor will greet you and walk you through the rest of the online consultation process when your appointment starts. You might also want to test your computer before the session.
It’s a good idea to log in at least a few minutes before your appointment, since the room contains an informational PowerPoint and links to tutorials that will help you get started with your session. At your scheduled start time, your tutor will meet you and give you directions for sharing your document with us. If you’re not able to access Adobe Connect at the start time of your appointment, please give us a call at (407) 823-2197.