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Online Tutoring FAQ

How do I make an Online Tutoring appointment?

Scheduling an Online Tutoring appointment is nearly identical to scheduling a face–to–face appointment. The important difference is that to schedule an online appointment you need to check the "I would like an online consultation" box when you make your reservation.

It’s time for my Online Tutoring appointment. Where do I go to meet my tutor?

Log in to the online schedule and click on your appointment; it should be a golden color. After doing this, a page will appear that looks the same as when you first created the appointment. Click the red “Start or Join Online Consultation” link to launch the Online Tutoring Module (this will open in a new page) and meet with your tutor via text or by using the audio/video chat option.

How do I start the video/audio chat?

In the bottom left hand corner of the screen that allows you to upload your paper and text chat with your tutor is a button that says “Start Video/Audio Chat.” If you click on this, it will take you through three more dialogue boxes that will ask you to connect, start publishing, and finally to allow the publication. Once you go through those, you should be able to see a video feed of yourself.

Even though I’ve set up my web camera correctly, my video feed won’t work. What’s wrong?

There are a couple things that might be hindering the video. If you don’t have the newest versions of Java and Flash, this might be preventing the video from working properly, so please make sure both are updated.

Also, if Skype (or another program that might have its own video chat system that uses the webcam) is open, it can hinder the reliability of the video chat connection. Make sure that any and all programs like these are closed before you begin your online tutoring appointment.

If you cannot get the video feed to work, don’t worry about it too much. It’s frustrating, but it may not be an effective use of your tutoring time to spend a lot of time trying to fix it. Take a deep breath and continue your online appointment via the text chat feature and then play around with these things before beginning your next online tutoring appointment.

My video feed has frozen. Will this be a problem?

If your video freezes in the midst of a session, you can still usually hear the other person. You can continue the tutoring with the audio only, or if it is really distracting, you can revert to the text chat tutoring only.

I can see that my tutor is speaking but I can’t hear him even though I’ve adjusted the volume of my computer up. What can I do?

This can be fixed by adjusting the microphone levels for you and your tutor. If you move your cursor over the video feed of yourself, a microphone icon will appear. Using this icon will allow you to control and increase the volume of your microphone. You can do the same thing for your tutor’s microphone by putting the cursor over his video feed.

The conversation seems to have an echo. Is there any way to fix this?

Using headphones will usually fix the “echo” problems with the audio.

My tutor appears to have left the conversation. His icon is gone and he hasn’t responded in a few minutes. What is going on?

This problem occurs sometimes, but not often. It is a more prevalent issue when you are being tutored only with the text chat feature. The fix here is to close the chat window and then click again on “Start or Join Online Consultation.” The program will save all the changes that you have made in your paper and the chat conversation you and your tutor have had.

I want to import my paper. How do I do this?

You can import your paper by using the arrows in the upper right hand corner of the main paper editing/text chat screen. At the end of the session you can export your paper with the changes that have been made by clicking that same button and choosing if you want the paper downloaded in Text or Word. If you will be using the video/audio chat, it seems to be helpful to the system to not upload your paper until after both parties are connected to the video feed.

I would like to work specifically on my formatting (APA, MLA, Chicago). Will that be possible in the online format?

It is more difficult to check formatting when tutoring online because the program doesn’t keep some of the formatting (page numbers, headers, and footers). We can, however, still work on some formatting issues with you, such as in–text citations and works cited/references page.

I have a longer paper that I want to have looked at. How long of an appointment should I schedule?

It is usually best to schedule an hour–long appointment if you have a longer paper or a number of trouble areas that you want to work on. Online appointments usually move at a slower pace than those that occur in the Writing Center simply because of how long it takes to chat back and forth. Having a video/audio appointment will speed this up but it won’t ever reach the level of an in–person appointment.