In addition to email and conventional face-to-face tutoring, the Writing Center now offers video tutoring. Writers can talk to tutors as they do in face-to-face meetings, and share their drafts on the screen. But these benefits of a real-time session come without having to be on campus in the Writing Center.
One Mason student who has used the new format noted, “video tutoring has many of the same perks as face-to-face tutoring. The two are similar,” she said, “in that the tutor can see the paper as you are going over it and make live suggestions.”
Holly Mason, a veteran writing center tutor, says she enjoys video tutoring, despite being nervous about it initially. “The energy in these sessions is always really great, really positive.”
The Writing Center has offered online tutoring for over a decade in the form of email appointments, but the email format doesn’t allow tutors and writers to talk in real time. Tutors like the new video format because they can learn more about the assignment prompt, help writers brainstorm ideas, discuss different options for revising, and get a better idea of the writer’s goals and purposes.
“I appreciate the ability to have that back-and-forth conversation with the writer,” Mason stated. “It feels like a true collaboration, but from the comfort of the writer's own home. Sometimes with a puppy dog in their lap.”
You can sign up for video tutoring using your regular Writing Center log-in. On the dropdown menu at the top of the scheduling page, choose “Video OWL – Fall 2015” and then select an available appointment. A few minutes before the appointment begins, you’ll receive an email message with a link to the video session. Be sure to have everything ready—prompt and draft open on your computer, camera and microphone cued up. Then click the link and say “hello!”
Video tutoring sessions are free and open to any member of the GMU community, but they are especially helpful for commuters, distance learners, parents, and full-time workers.
“Video tutoring was convenient,” the Mason writer said. “I didn't have to drive to the campus and I could work on my paper up until the time of the appointment.”
We look forward to meeting you online soon—with or without puppies!
For more information, please visit writingcenter.gmu.edu/tutoring/video-tutoring
October 22, 2015