Online and Distance Learning Consultations

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

Step 1 - Making an Appointment

To begin, every CLU student must make an appointment with the Writing Center. To do so, you must log in to MyCLU and click on the Writing Center button. Then, you can choose a date and time slot for your appointment. Once you have chosen this time/date, click on the open slot and register for the appointment. During registration, you will be asked to state whether you would like to meet your consultant online or in-person. For Online/Distance 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: 



Step 2: Log In to Your Appointment

On the day/time of your appointment, please log in to MyCLU and return to the appointment you made on the WC button and open up the scheduler (the same location you went to make your appointment). Your appointment should be in yellow. Click on the appointment once again and then, underneath the "Meet Online?" Tab, click on "Start or Join Online Session." This step will open up a separate window where you will meet your consultant. For more information on how to get to this page, check out this Online Guide or watch this following video below:


Step 3: Choose an Online/Distance Learning Option

Once you have opened the WC Online Chat window, as instructed above, you can begin talking to your consultant through the chat window. At this point, you have three options for your online/distance learning appointment: Stay with the WC Online Chat window you are using, switch to the Skype App, or opt for a phone call without an online session. As you begin the session, please tell your consulant which option you would like to choose. To guide to your best option, please see the more detailed information about these options below.

1. WC Online Chat 

Using the WC Online Portal (found through MyCLU), this option is often the easist for students because they have begin their online/distance learning from this window. The consultant can see the same window you see and make comments in real time. 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. 

2. Skype Application  

If you prefer having a more face-to-face conversation with your consultant, than you can choose the Skype Application option. The Writing Center has its own Skype account. When you meet with your consultant in the WC Online Chat window, each of you can share your Skype account names. Then, open your own Skype application and log in. From there, your consultant will find your name in their Skype application and begin a video call session with you. In order to take advantage of this option, you will also need to keep the WC Online chat window open as well so that both of you can see and discuss the draft together. Therefore, the Skype option allows you can see each other and chat through a visual medium and this kind of appointment best emulates a face-to-face appointment in the Writing Center. 

Note: You must already have the Skype application downloaded on your computer and completed the Skype account registration in order to use this option. 

3. 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 them. 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. 

Step 4: Give us Feedback!

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



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 Skype/phone session?

       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 right 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. 

Q4: How is an online/distance 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/distance 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/distance 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
  • 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.
  • The Writing Center Skype account names are: CLUWritingCenter1 and CLUWritingCenter2. When conducting a Skype session, please look for one of these accounts to contact you. 
  • For phone conversations, consultants cannot provide their personal phone numbers. For that reason, please call 805-493-3257 to conduct a phone distance learning session.
  • If you prefer not to keep the WC Online chat window open during a Skype or Phone conversation, than 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. 
  • If you run into time constraints, you can ask the consultant to call you on the phone to speed up the session.
  • The consultant will be with you live for the entirety of the session but if the internet goes down, try to restart your page or remain online while the consultant logs back on.
  • If you do not meet these expectations, we reserve the right to end or cancel your appointment.