Like many colleges, Concordia is making a quick transition to online and remote course delivery. The College’s John Bahr Writing Center has been ready for over two years.
The Writing Center’s online platform has been offered as an alternative to face-to-face tutoring in the George House since 2017. It allows students to access the tutoring schedule and make appointments from anywhere. During the tutoring session, students have a virtual white board for writing, with a chat box, video option and opportunity for a phone call as well. The goal is flexibility.
The platform is ideal for non-traditional and off-campus students who appreciate the convenience of later hours and remote access, and about a quarter of all appointments are completed through the platform. Adult learners in Concordia’s Accelerate Degree Program have been known to access writing help from their work desks while taking a lunch break.
Dr. Nathalie Virgintino, Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center said: “Our students are fortunate to have this software and the flexibility it offers as they work on their writing and coursework. The student body was emailed Wednesday about the changes and with no hesitation, students signed up for online appointments. That's how easy the system is! Our schedule is booked, and we’re also offering phone sessions to students without computer access. Since our team has offered online tutoring for so long, they’re familiar with best practices, but since many students are not accustomed to working online, I provided the specialists with some extra resources and online tutoring pedagogies. Many of our students are used to face-to-face sessions in the cozy George House, but we are well prepared to make sure all students feel supported and engaged during their online sessions.”