By Brianna Jerman, Writing Studio Consultant
If you search for images of “college students” on Google, you’ll find pictures of young adults holding books, smiling, and sitting in a dorm room, the library, a classroom, or on the quad.
There are pictures of intense group study sessions in the library; girls studying from on top of lofted beds in their dorms, and guys wearing backpacks and giving a giant thumbs up before they presumably walk into their classrooms. These images most likely fit the stereotype that comes to most people’s minds when they hear the term “college student,” but, odds are, if you are a USF student, you don’t fit this description for one reason or another.
USF is an academic home to a diverse population of students who learn from a variety of places in a myriad of ways. Consider these statistics:
- 79% of students live off campus
- 25% of students are part-time students
- More than 70% of students work 20 or more hours a week
- 17% of the courses offered at USF are online courses (this doesn’t include the courses that take place in off campus locations or those offered during study abroad sessions or alternative calendar courses)
Even without considering the number of students who live more than an hour from campus, or who do not have consistent transportation to campus, or who have families to care for during the day, these statistics paint a picture of a student body who are a far cry from the images Google portrays. Unfortunately, a vast majority of resources available to USF for students are housed on campus during regular work-week hours, making them inaccessible to students who fall into one or more of the above categories.
The Writing Studio has made an effort to meet the diverse needs of our students at USF. We are open evening hours and on Sundays, have walk in appointments for students who can’t guarantee they can make an appointment on time, and now we offer online consultations.
These virtual consultations are an innovative way to provide students with the same quality services they receive in our face to face sessions. While many online services provide written feedback to students on their documents in the form of comments and an endnote (Like Pearson’s Smart Thinking Writing Tutoring Services ), the Writing Studio has found that our interactive session are successful in equipping students with the skills they need to progress as writers and improve both their current and future projects.
Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of our online consultations:
- You don’t need to be an online student to use our online services. The Writing Studio’s online initiative is open to all USF students, regardless of where they live or how/when they attend classes.
- All consultants are trained to do online consultations. If you book an appointment online through Accudemia, you may notice that only one consultant is designated explicitly as an online consultant. Unfortunately that consultant only has so many appointments a week. In class or work during those times? Or have you been working with a consultant you really like? You can request that any session be an online session. Call the studio to make your appointment, or, if you’ve already made an appointment, call and talk to the front desk about changing your existing appointment to an online appointment.
- You can use our online service just like you would a face-to-face service. Have an assignment and need help planning? Our virtual meeting space has a whiteboard for brainstorming, mindmapping, or outlining with a consultant. Need help with research? Our online consultant can use screen share so you can conduct a search for resources together. Have a paper you need to revise? Our file sharing application allows the student and consultant to view a document together and make notes on it together. We also have all of our helpful handouts available for our online students just like they are in the studio.
- Read the directions for how the online consultations work. Students who are familiar with using Canvas for their courses will have no problem with online consultations. Everything from submitting your paper to meeting with your consultant takes place on the Writing Studio’s Canvas page. As soon as you make an appointment, you’ll be invited to our Canvas page and emailed a set of direction. Give yourself time to read the directions so you aren’t scrambling 2 minutes before your session.
- Make sure you have the right equipment. You need a computer, a web camera, and a speaker/microphone set up. We suggest a pair of headphone with a built in mic so both parties can hear each other well.
- Show up to your consultation. Sometimes it’s easy to forget an appointment you don’t have to attend in person. But online consultations are just like face to face consultations: you need to be there to benefit from it.
We hope to see you for an online consultation!