Online Consultations


Did you know that Writing Center appointments are available through online or distance learning options? If you cannot come to The Writing Center for an in-person appointment, you can still choose to meet with us via WC Online Chat, Zoom or phone conversations. All students (including undergraduate, graduate, and Bachelor's Degree for Professionals), faculty, staff, and alumni can utilize our services. Here are a few guidelines and tips for distance learning options.

Step 1: Make an Online Appointment

To begin, every CLU student must first schedule an appointment with The Writing Center:

  1. Log in to MyCLU and click on The Writing Center button.
  2. Choose a date, time slot, and consultant for your appointment.
  3. Click on the open slot and register for the appointment.
  4. Select an option to meet online or in-person. For Online options, choose the "Yes, schedule online appointment" option under the "Meet Online?" tab.

For more detailed instructions on how to make an appointment, please click on the button below for a tutorial: 



Step 2: Log In to Your Appointment

On the day/time of your appointment:

  1. Log in to MyCLU and return to the appointment you made on the WC button.
  2. Open up the scheduler (the same location you went to make your appointment). Your appointment should be in yellow.
  3. Click on your appointment once again and then, underneath the "Meet Online?" tab, click on "Start or Join Online Session."

A separate window will open, and this is where you will meet your consultant. For more information on how to get to this page, check out this Online Guide or watch the following video about joining an appointment:



Step 3: Choose an Online Option

Once you have opened the WC Online Chat window as instructed, you can begin talking to your consultant through the chat window. At this point, you have three options for your online appointment: Stay with the WC Online Chat window you are using, opt to include a phone call, or choose to connect through Zoom. As you begin the session, please tell your consulant which option you prefer. To guide you to your best option, refer to the following information to help you:

WC Online Chat

The WC Online Portal (found through MyCLU) is often the easist for students because the online experience began through this platform. The consultant can see the same window you see and make comments in real time. We also encourage students to add a phone conversation for maximum effectiveness. The chat space is split into two parts: the right chat area and the left shared text window. The chat area allows you to type your questions and comments to your consultant as you discuss the paper. In the left shared text window, you can copy and paste your paper so that both you and your consultant can see it together. This shared area allows you or the consultant to make changes, type ideas, strike out language, or add other alterations to the text. 

Phone Conversation

For clients who prefer direct conversation, the phone option works best for a consultation. For this choice, you will once again log in to the WC Online chat window and tell your consultant that you wish to have a phone chat. The consultant will give you The Writing Center phone number, and you can call the center to speak with your tutor. Once again, you should use the WC Online chat window to discuss your paper with your consultant in real time. 

If you do not have a computer available, and you would like to have a phone conversation, please make a note of that preference in the comments box when you make an appointment. Then, you can call The Writing Center directly at the time of your appointment. Please note that choosing to use the phone conversation without looking at a specific draft of the paper can be a bit limiting because the consultant cannot review the paper with you. This kind of conversation is reserved best for pre-writing or brainstorming sessions. 

Zoom Application

Zoom offers a face-to-face appointment with your consultant over the Internet or phone. Zoom also allows for screen sharing for the consultant to view your work. These options may allow for more material to be covered during a session. To access the appointment, you enter through the regular online chat portal for your Writing Center appointment. and your consultant can guide you to Zoom. 

Click on these written instructions for a guide on joining a Zoom session.

For tutorials on how to use Zoom, click here:  ZOOM TUTORIALS

 Step 4: Give us Feedback!

Once you have had an online appointment with The Writing Center, we would love to hear about your experience! Please complete the online survey  and let us know how we can improve our services. Thank you!

Online Consultation Survey

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How do I contact my consultant or The Writing Center if I have a problem?

       There are two ways to contact your consultant: Log in to the WC Online Chat window, where you can type your questions or comments, or call The Writing Center at 805-493-3257. 

Q2: How do I log on to the WC Online Chat window?

       You will need to log in to MyCLU and click on the yellow Writing Center button under the "Tools and Support" box on the Home Page. Then, you will locate your online appointment and click on it. Finally, you will click on the "Start or Join an Online Session" link. Please refer to Step 2 above for detailed instructions. 

Q3: How do I get my paper into the WC Online window? How do I share my paper with the consultant for a Zoom or phone session?

       With WC Online, you can share your paper with the consultant by copying it from your Word document file and pasting it into the open text space on the left of the chat box in the WC Online chat window. You can delete the instructions already in the open text space to paste your text. For Zoom sessions, upload your document onto your desktop and select the share feature in Zoom. For a phone session, you can email your paper to your consultant.

Q4: How is an online appointment different from a traditional in-person appointment?

       While the consultant will follow the same policies and procedures for an online appointment as a traditional in-person session, there are some differences between the session styles. Refer to the list below:

1. Online appointments allow for clients to meet with consultants remotely instead of coming into The Writing Center.

2. Online appointments require technology (computer or phone) in order to contact the consultant.

3. During online appointments, there may be more lag time to set up technology, type comments and suggestions, or wait for answers. Generally, therefore, the consultant might not be able to cover the same amount of material as an in-person appointment. 

Q5: How much material can we discuss in an online learning session?

       The consultant will assist you as much as possible for your 50 minute session. However, because of technological lag time, the consultant may not be able to get through all of your paper with you. The aim is to assist in the same way as a traditional in-person appointment. 

Q6: Will the consultant edit my paper in an online session?

        Unfortunately, no. The Writing Center's policy to support student development does not allow consultants to "edit" papers and make corrections during an in-person or online appointment. Our aim is to help the student learn better writing strategies and techniques. So while we can discuss grammar and identify issues, we cannot edit all the mistakes in the paper. 

Q7: What if I need a stamp or proof of attendance for an online session?

       If you need a stamp or proof of attendance for an online appointment, you will have to come into The Writing Center the next time you are on campus and get a stamp from the front desk. Any consultant working on that day can look up your past online appointment and give you a stamp. 

Q8: What if I change my mind and want to come in for an in-person session?

       If you would like to change your online appointment to an in-person session before the appointment begins, simply log in to your appointment on the WC Online scheduler (by clicking the yellow button on MyCLU) and change the appointment to in-person under the "Meet Online?" tab in the appointment window. Change the "Yes, schedule online appointment"  to "No, meet face-to-face in the Center" option. 

Troubleshooting Tips
  • Unblock Pop-Up Windows:  Remember that the WC Online chat space will open as a separate window on your computer after you click on the "Start or Join Online Session" link. Please make sure that you have not blocked your computer's ability to generate pop-up windows.
  • Phone Conversations: Consultants cannot provide their personal phone numbers. For that reason, please call 805-493-3257 to conduct a phone distance learning session.
  • Document Share: If you prefer not to keep the WC Online chat window open during a phone conversation, then simply email your paper draft to so that both you and your consultant can work on the draft together. Note, choosing this option means that you cannot share a text screen with your consultant and thus feedback may take longer. 
  • Internet Outage: The consultant will be with you live throughout the session but if the internet goes down, try to restart your page or remain online while the consultant logs back on.
  • Expectations: If you do not meet these expectations, we reserve the right to end or cancel your appointment.  
Zoom FAQs
  • The Zoom guide will assist you with accessing and navigating Zoom.  
  • You do not need a Zoom account. Your consultant will provide you with the URL link to access Zoom.
  • You can upload a document and share it with your consultant.
  • The consultant cannot edit your shared document, only you.
  • Your Zoom session is an online video consultation.