The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance

Online Tutoring

Can't make it into the Center? The Writing Center offers online tutoring!

For a variety of reasons, writers may prefer online tutoring—living far away, lack of transportation, or bad weather, for example. We want to accommodate writers who can't always make it to the Center for a tutoring appointment.  We believe that the most effective writing tutorial is face-to-face; therefore, we encourage anyone making an online appointment to use audio and video during their session with their tutor.  As an alternative to in-person appointments, we offer this online workspace where writers and tutors can work on a project collaboratively.

How To Schedule an Online Appointment

We use our scheduling system, WC Online, to seamlessly integrate audio, video, and chat into an online tutoring appointment. When you make an appointment on WC Online, you have the option to make a face-to-face or online appointment.

  • All tutors are available for face-to-face or online appointments. When you schedule an appointment, make sure you have selected the online option or your tutor will assume the appointment is in person. If a problem persists, call The Writing Center at 413.577.1293

Your Online Tutoring Session

Five minutes before your online appointment log in to WC Online and click on your appointment to open the appointment window. Click on the red “Start or Join Online Consultation” link. An online meeting window will come up where you can communicate via video, chat, and work on an uploaded document with your tutor.

  • You can immediately type in the chat area or in the document-sharing area.

  • To start a video chat, click on the “start video/audio chat” button, and then, in the new window, click on “Connect”.

  • To start co-writing in a document, click on “Start Publishing” and then upload their document.

If any of this is confusing, your tutor can chat with you immediately in the chat box and talk you through all of these steps.


Troubleshooting Online Tutoring

  • Use Chrome or Firefox, if you can, to log in to WCOnline. (Safari may not support our audio-visual facilities.)

  • Make sure your audio is turned on (not on mute).

  • Make sure your camera is turned on.

  • Make sure you’re in a quiet area for your session

  • In case of technical difficulties, try logging out and logging back in.

  • If a technical problem or connection issue persists, please wait for about 5 minutes until the issue is resolved.

  • If you’re still facing technical problems, call us at 413. 577. 1293.