Capable and qualified tutors are what make WriteAway a success!
Each institution participating in WriteAway selects tutors who meet the WriteAway Tutor Competencies to receive additional training related to WriteAway’s pedagogical and philosophical approach and operational orientation to WriteAway’s software platform.
On this page, you'll find a brief service overview, important information about your schedule, clarification on the types of assignments that WriteAway tutors can respond to, and answers to common questions from tutors.
How does WriteAway work?
What types of assignments can students submit?
WriteAway tutors assist undergraduate-level students with course-related assignments.
The following submissions are outside the scope of WriteAway:
- Graduate-level writing or graduate school applications
- Take Home Exams
- Group-Written Assignments (unless the student is submitting his/her individually-written section)
- Cover letters or resumes (unless written for a course assignment)
What should I do if a student submits an assignment outside the scope of WriteAway?
There are many scripts to use if a student submits a type of writing that outside the scope of WriteAway. If you are unsure if a submission is acceptable for WriteAway feedback, please contact your institutional coordinator or the WriteAway Administrative Centre
Tutors can also direct students to the Learning Support Services page on the WriteAway website for more information about services at participating institutions (See Scripts).
Who is my supervisor?
Each institution has an institutional coordinator. Your institutional coordinator is your supervisor. If you need assistance with your WriteAway work or if you have scheduling issues, your first point of contact is your institutional coordinator. The WriteAway Admin Centre is here to support you and your institutional coordinator with any WriteAway-related matter – don’t hesitate to be in touch with any questions or concerns.
When are my shifts?
Your shifts are scheduled by your institutional coordinator and recorded in the Collaborative Schedule. Once you’ve opened the schedule spreadsheet, select your institutional tab from the bottom of the page. Find your name and your weekly schedule.
WriteAway tutors work day-set shifts. This means that tutors are scheduled to work a particular number of hours on a specific day. A tutor can decide when, on the specific day, to work. For example, if a tutor is scheduled for three hours of tutoring on a Tuesday, the tutor can work one hour in the morning, attend class and go to meetings, before working two hours later in the afternoon. Keep in mind that the schedule has been created to accommodate anticipated student usage. Missing shifts means turnaround times will rise and students will be waiting longer for responses.
What if I miss a shift?
If you know you will need to miss one of your shifts…
a) Try to find an internal replacement: Let your institutional coordinator know and see if another tutor at your institution can either work your shift for you or swap a shift with you. If an internal replacement is found, notify the WriteAway Administrative Centre.
If that doesn’t work…
b) Try to swap your shift with another WriteAway tutor: Send an email message to the WriteAway tutor listserv (send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org) asking if another tutor swap shifts with you. There must be an even trade of shifts so that institutions work a consistent number of hours over the term.
When you send your message to the listserv, include the following details:
- What day the shift you have to miss is scheduled for and how many hours
- When you would be available to make up the shift (e.g. if you can’t work weekends let tutors know this)
If you are able to arrange a shift swap, please notify the WriteAway Administrative Centre (cc your institutional coordinator) so that the schedule can be updated.
If that doesn’t work…
c) Contact the WriteAway Administrative Centre (cc your institutional coordinator) to plan an alternate date and time to make up your missed shift.
WriteAway depends on tutors working their committed shifts.
Your institution has committed a certain number of hours and days to provide coverage for WriteAway. If you cannot make a shift, it is important that you either find a replacement beforehand or make up the shift as soon as possible.
Please keep your supervisor (your institutional coordinator) and the Admin Centre in the loop about all changes. We appreciate it!
Missing a Shift Due to Emergency
If you have to miss a shift for an emergency reason, please notify your institutional coordinator and copy the WriteAway Administrative Centre. If no internal coverage can be found, the WriteAway Administrative Centre will work with you at a later time to plan an alternate date and time to make up your missed shift.
If you miss a shift without informing the WriteAway Administrative Centre, the WriteAway Administrative Centre will email you, copying your institutional coordinator, to notify you of the missed shift. The missed time will be rescheduled in consultation with your institutional coordinator.
What if there are no assignments in the queue?
If there are no assignments in the queue, you are encouraged to explore the WriteAway website and continue to develop your customized template. Your institutional coordinator might also have tasks for you to complete when there are no assignments in the queue.
What if a student submits to WriteAway and to an institutional tutoring service simultaneously?
This section is applicable to tutors that work both for their own institution’s online tutoring support service and WriteAway. If you are working both services, you may on occasion notice that a student has simultaneously submitted the same paper for feedback to both WriteAway and your institutional online tutoring service.
It is important that the two services be treated as completely separate. This includes maintaining student privacy by not mentioning to the student that their paper was already viewed in the other service. Each paper should be treated as “new”.
What should you do if this happens?
If a WriteAway tutor working at an institutional online tutoring service sees a paper they recognize as having responded to in WriteAway, they should leave the submission for a different tutor to respond to. If the WriteAway tutor has to respond to a submission they recognized from WriteAway, they should not mention that they have responded to the same paper in WriteAway; they should treat every paper as a new submission.
If a tutor working on WriteAway sees a paper responded to already via their own institutional service, it’s acceptable for that tutor to skip the paper in the WriteAway queue and let a different tutor pick it up.
What if a student needs additional help?
Students can submit each assignment up to three times for feedback. Students can also make use of supports at their institutions. Tutors can direct students to their Learning Support Services page on the WriteAway website for more information about services at their institutions (See Scripts)
What about privacy protections?
As per the WriteAway Service Guidelines: Tutors will not share personal information about any student, including their use or non-use of the WriteAway service, without express permission from the student.
Tutors have an obligation to protect personal information to which they have access through the WriteAway platform, as per applicable policy at their university, college or institute and the WriteAway Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement.
Please note that according to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, if “there are compelling circumstances affecting anyone's health or safety”, disclosing personal information is acceptable.
If you feel a student or others are at risk, follow your institution’s policy regarding students/others at risk, and notify your institutional coordinator immediately.
Note that the WriteAway Administrative Centre does not have the capacity to advise in these situations; you should follow your institution’s policy regarding students/others at risk.
If, in an urgent situation, the police or other emergency personnel require further information about a student than you have at hand, please give them the following numbers: Tanya Burnstad 778.782.9404 (work) and Anita Cocchia, cell (778.839.3496).
Follow up by reporting the incident to the WriteAway Administrative Centre staff.
Deleting Student Papers
As an employee or volunteer of an institution participating in the WriteAway service, you have an obligation to protect personal information to which you have access through the WriteAway tutoring platform, including but not limited to personal and identifying student information contained in paper submissions (e.g. student name, student number etc.).
While staffing WriteAway, it is customary for tutors to save a copy of the student’s submitted paper to the computer they are working on. For guidance around appropriate handling and deletion of these papers, please refer to the applicable policy at your university, college, institute or department and with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
What if I need technical support?
The WriteAway Admin Centre provides technical support for WriteAway's tutoring software. If you encounter technical difficulties, please contact the WriteAway Admin Centre. Tutors are recommended to also have modern, up-to-date virus protection software on their computers.
What if a student's behaviour is inappropriate?
You should expect the same behaviour from WriteAway users as from in-person visitors to your institution’s service points. You have the right to refuse service if user behaviour is inappropriate.
Please refer all incidents of inappropriate behaviour or concerns about a user’s behaviour to the WriteAway Administrative Centre immediately, and cc your institutional coordinator on your message.