In order to accommodate graduate students who are unable to come to campus for face-to-face writing appointments, the Academic Support Center developed the Online Writing Lab (OWL). Using Elluminate software, tutors are able to interact with students much like in a face-to-face consultation. There are audio, text, and video capabilities as well as a whiteboard function to use as workspace or to display PowerPoint presentations. A student is able to upload his/her paper through application sharing so that the tutor may view it and follow along with him/her as the student reads it out loud. An OWL appointment follows the same policies and guidelines as a regular appointment. All sessions are recorded and can be replayed if necessary. At no time does a tutor have “editing access” to a student’s paper; tutors are only able to view the document and discuss aspects of it via the chat or audio features.
The OWL now acts as our Writing Hotline service as well. Any person may submit a short, grammar-related question firstname.lastname@example.org and receive an answer within one hour (during business hours). Or, questions may be submitted via Twitter.
Follow the @ASCtheOWL on Twitter
Watch our Getting Started Tutorial on YouTube: