Online Consultations

posterDid you know that Writing Center appointments are available through online options? If you cannot come to The Writing Center for an in-person appointment, you can still choose to meet with us via chat, video in app, or Zoom. 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 icon under the Tools & Services tab.
  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.

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 icon.
  2. Open up the scheduler (the same location you went to make your appointment). The yellow box indicates your appointment.
  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 a Synchronous (Real-Time)  or Asynchronous (NOT in Real-Time) 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 video, 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.

Synchronous (Real-Time) Online Consultations:

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. The chat space is split into two parts: the right chat area and the left shared text window. The chat area allows you to 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.

Video in App

For clients who prefer direct conversation, the online consultation allows for the client and consultant to use voice and video functions to communicate. For this choice, you will once again log in to the WC Online chat window and click "allow" for your video and voice to be heard by the consultant. You may then ue the chat window to dicuss your paper or speak freely with your consultant. However, this feature does not allow you to share your screen with the consultant, so you will have to copy and paste it into the window.


Zoom offers a face-to-face appointment with your consultant over the Internet. 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.

Asynchronous (NOT in Real-Time) Online Consultations:

What is asynchronous tutoring?

Asynchronous tutoring does not take place in real time.

Why would I use the asynchronous service?

A face-to-face tutoring sessions is the most optimum situation for having a dialogue about your piece, but we understand it is not always possible due to distance, schedule, illness, disabilities, social state, and further inconveniences. Writers that are seeking growth-oriented, revision-oriented feedback about their papers will get the most out of these sessions. The consultants in The Writing Center will read and formulate responses that are reflective and that evoke thought and development in the writer.

How does asynchronous work?

The student submits their assignment/prompt and paper at least an hour before the chosen appointment time and will receive written feedback from a consultant before the end of the appointment time.

How do I schedule an asynchronous appointment?

  • Log in to The Writing Center scheduler.
  • Select an open time (white box) and change the default to 1 hour (if needed).
  • Select “Yes. Schedule an asynchronous appointment.”
  • Answer all appointment questions.
  • Attach all relevant files (assignment/prompt, DRAFT IN MS WORD, rubric, etc.).
  • Make sure you make your appointment in at least 1 hour in advance.

Should I book a 30-minute or 1-hour asynchronous appointment?

If it’s a shorter paper (under 1500 words) or a portion of a paper and 1 main concern like a review of the thesis statement, 30 minutes would suffice. Anything beyond 1500 words and/or something that requires reflective reading, please book an hour. A paper over 3000 words would require another appointment.

When will I get my feedback on my asynchronous session?

You will receive written feedback before the end of your appointment time.

How do I access my feedback?

Your consultant will upload your MS Word document with comments along with other attachments in your appointment time block as well as email it as an attachment. All documents will remain in our scheduling system for you to access in the future.

Can a consultant go through and edit my paper?

No. Our main goal is to give you the tools, skills, and feedback to make you a better writer. We will make global writing concerns our priority which include structure, organization, thesis statements, analysis, addition of details and descriptive words, focus, etc. Writing consultants do not serve as editors or proofreaders and will not make corrections directly on a student’s draft.

Our main goal is to help improve your writing skills by giving you the tools and skills to become a stronger, more independent, more engaged writer while supporting you in the process of making your writing as well as your assignment better. 

What if I ask you to check my grammar?

Writing consultants will respond by pointing out 1-2 grammatical patterns in a manner that will allow you to address those issues in your writing independently. The ultimate goal is for long-term growth in being able to identify and remedy these issues with confidence.

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.