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Writing Center

Preparing for Your Online Tutoring Session

For Fall 2020, the UMass Writing Center is offering 45-minute tutoring sessions to all UMass students, faculty, and staff via Zoom. Here are some tips and best practices for your online tutoring session.

Registering and Booking an Appointment

You will need to register for an account on WCOnline, our appointment and scheduling system. Once you’ve created an account, pick a day and time that works for you with any of our tutors. We strongly suggest that you use your UMass email for this account. 

Drop-in Appointments

While we strongly encourage booking appointments ahead of time, our tutors are also available for drop-in appointments on a space-available basis. Please go to our virtual Zoom room, or enter Meeting ID 949 513 8484, to speak with an admin and book an appointment.

Starting Your Tutoring Session

To start a tutoring session, you can do any of the following:

  • Check your email and look for your Confirmation or Reminder email from WCOnline. Click the link in the email to join our virtual Meeting Room.
  • OR at your scheduled day and time, log into WCOnline and go to your booked appointment (highlighted in yellow). Click on the appointment, and go to the tutor’s bio. Click the link in their bio to start your tutoring session. All appointments will be conducted via Zoom. Please make sure that you have enabled your Zoom account, and that it runs on your device. 

Sharing Writing With Your Tutor

When you’re working with your tutor, you will probably need to share your writing with them in order to work together. Our system has multiple options for file-sharing:

  • GoogleDocs: If you’re working on GoogleDocs, you can use the Share function. Open your document, click ‘Share’, and select ‘Change to anyone with the link’, and Copy the link into the Chat so your tutor can see it. We strongly recommend using this option for ease of collaboration and the ability to save comments and changes on both ends.
  • File Transfer via Chat: Once you’ve been put in your Breakout Room, you can use the Chat function to send your paper, assignment sheet, or any other materials you need to your tutor.
  • File Attachment on WCOnline: When you book your appointment, you also have the option to attach a document to your appointment form. You do not need to do this at the time of booking the appointment -- you can always return to WCOnline at another time to attach a file to your form. And be aware that attaching your file in advance does not mean that your tutor will be reading your paper or providing feedback before your appointment.
  • ScreenShare: If you would prefer not to send an electronic copy of your file to your tutor, you can still work together through Zoom’s Screen Sharing. This means that both you and your tutor can see your paper, but you will have full control over scrolling, editing, and highlighting. To start Screen Sharing, hit the ‘Share Screen’ button at the bottom of your Zoom window, and select your document for sharing. 

While Zoom will work on mobile devices like phones and tablets, we strongly suggest using a laptop or personal computer to have access to all of Zoom’s features, and to be able to work in multiple tabs or windows. 


If you have questions about the UMass Writing Center, please email