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Handbook

Last Updated January 23, 2019

A Brief Introduction to WriteAway
WriteAway Partners
WriteAway Governance      
Listservs
Responsibilities of the Institutional Coordinator 
Asynchronous Tutoring: How it Works     
Tutor Training         
Key Tutor Documents        
Tutoring Platform 
Accounts       
Reports
Managing Backlogs
Bounced Student Emails    
Evaluation Framework

 

A Brief Introduction to WriteAway

WriteAway provides online writing support for undergraduate students at participating institutions. Qualified tutors from each of the participating institutions staff the service and provide feedback on students' draft writing assignments. 

 

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WriteAway Partners

Through collaboration, cost-sharing, and coordination of existing infrastructure and resources, WriteAway provides a service far beyond what any individual institution could offer on its own. WriteAway is part of the BC Electronic Library Network’s suite of virtual learning services and is a collaborative partnership of the participating institutions.

The WriteAway Administrative Centre

The WriteAway Administrative Centre is hosted by BC ELN and is housed at the Simon Fraser University Burnaby campus. The WriteAway Administrative Centre is staffed part-time (3 days/week). The Administrative Centre:

  • Facilitates communication (e.g. between partner institutions, WriteAway groups)
  • Provides platform and service training
  • Supports committee governance
  • Provides project management and support, marketing materials, and communications infrastructure

 

 

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WriteAway Governance

Oversight for WriteAway is provided by the WriteAway Advisory Committee. More information about governance is available here

 

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Listservs

WriteAway has two main operational listservs (one for institutional coordinators, one for tutors), governance listservs (e.g. WriteAway Advisory Committee), and project specific listservs.

Institutional Coordinator Listserv (coordinators@writeaway.ca)

Members: Current institutional coordinators and their back-ups, WriteAway Administrative Centre staff

Purpose: For all members to communicate administrative items such as set-up, training, platform information, managing backlogs, promotion, and scheduling. This is a closed list; only members can post to it.

Tutor Listserv (tutors@writeaway.ca)

Members: Current WriteAway tutors, WriteAway Administrative Centre staff

Purpose: For all members to communicate items related to staffing the service, such as training, shift swap requests, platform information and service updates. This is a closed list; only members can post to it.

 

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Responsibilities of the Institutional Coordinator

Each WriteAway participating institution is responsible for ensuring the roll out of

WriteAway services at the campus level, a process which should be addressed at several points during each semester.

One person (and a back-up) should be designated as the primary institutional contact to the WriteAway Administrative Centre. This person will be responsible for forwarding messages from the WriteAway Administrative Centre to the relevant person/s at their institutions.

A full list of institutional coordinator responsibilities (which can be fulfilled by one or more people at the institution) is available here.

 

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Asynchronous Tutoring: How it Works 

A student at a participating institution must submits their assignment or question via writeaway.ca/connect. The following information is required to submit a response

  • Post-secondary Institution
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email address

Students must accept the WriteAway Terms and Conditions when they submit an assignment or question.

A tutor at any of the participating institutions will select the submission from a queue, provide written guidance, and upload their response to tutoring platform. The student receives the tutor’s response via an email generated by the tutoring platform, with the response file attached.  

 

 

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Tutor Training

WriteAway tutor includes the activities listed on this page.

Training activities should be completed in order. Tutors should expect to devote approximately 6-8 hours to complete the different training components.

Please Note: to complete training, tutors develop a sample response and begin a customized template. The sample response can be claimed from the training queue of the tutoring platform. The WriteAway Master Tutor reviews the samples response and customized template and provides feedback on these to the institutional coordinator.

 

Key Tutor Documents

The written guidance that tutors provide students has a suggested framework so that there is a degree of consistency across all responses. There are two primary documents used to guide tutors through responding to asynchronous submissions:

1) The Tutor Response Template: Offered as a guide in formatting tutor responses to papers submitted by students to the WriteAway service.

2) Tutor Response Rubric: A general rubric for the Master tutor, tutors, and institutional coordinators to monitor tutor responses.

Both the tutor response template and rubric are available to institutional coordinators on the training page, here.

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Tutoring Platform

The tutoring platform is accessible at: https://writeaway.libapps.com/libapps/login.php

The platform is also accessible through the writeaway.ca > Tutors > Tutoring Platform

 

 

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Accounts

  • Institutional Coordinator & Tutor Accounts: The WriteAway Administrative Centre provides institutional coordinators and tutors with tutoring platform accounts. When tutors begin their training, they will have access to the training queues. When training is completed, tutors will be granted access to the live queues.

 

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Reports

Review the information provided in the Guide for LibApps here.

 

  • Shows the number of papers each tutor has responded to

Student Survey

When students receive their feedback, a link is provided to a post-usage survey. Students are invited to provide feedback on WriteAway, rating their experience, and offering comments. The WriteAway Administrative Centre will facilitate reporting on the student survey.

 

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Managing Backlogs

The WriteAway service goal is to respond to papers submitted within 48 hours. Backlogs occur when the number of papers submitted to WriteAway exceeds tutors’ capabilities to respond within 48 hours. The eTutoring platform posts a message on the student home page (see below) indicating the average turnaround time for responses. When turnaround times increase, the message changes accordingly so that students have advance notice. Students can use this information to decide whether to submit their paper to WriteAway or make use of a different avenue for writing assistance.

When response times rise above 48 hours, the following protocol (implemented November, 2013) is used:

 

Bounced Student Emails

BCcampus helpdesk receives a notification if a WriteAway/eTutoring email message cannot be delivered to a student. BCcampus holds on to these messages for thirty days, after which time the notifications are deleted. If you would prefer to have bounced email notifications for your institutions’ students forwarded to you, please let the WriteAway Admin Centre know. Contact the WriteAway Admin Centre here.

Background/Explanation:

On occasion eTutoring auto email messages (e.g. an email notifying a student that their paper has been responded to by a tutor) cannot be delivered to students. Possible reasons for this might include that the student has input their email address incorrectly, or the student has a full inbox, etc. In these cases, a bounced email message notification is sent to the BCcampus helpdesk.

Options for handling these notifications:

1) BCcampus already holds these bounced message notifications for thirty days. This way, if a student contacts BCcampus about not receiving messages, the helpdesk staff can do a quick search to see if they have received a bounced message notification for that student. If a student contacts BCcampus or the WriteAway Admin Centre after thirty days it is still possible to investigate their account.

2) BCcampus could forward bounced email messages to institutional coordinators. Institutional coordinators can choose what they would like to do with these notifications.

Most institutions choose option 1. If you would prefer to have bounced email notifications for students at your institution sent to you, please let the WriteAway Administrative Centre know. 

 

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Evaluation Framework

An evaluation framework is being used to monitor the WriteAway service each term. The most current evaluation framework is available here.

 

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