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Working as a Writing Fellow

Writing Fellows work with instructors to gain a comprehensive understanding of assignments in order to assist writers in their appointments. Most Writing Fellows Cohorts do two rounds of feedback; each round consists of a Written Feedback appointment and a Face-to-Face or Online RealTime appointment.

Writing Fellows

Congratulations! You’ve been assigned to a Writing Fellows Cohort! But, what does a Writing Fellow do?

Writing Fellows work with instructors to gain a comprehensive understanding of assignments in order to assist writers in their appointments. Most Writing Fellows Cohorts do two rounds of feedback; each round consists of a Written Feedback appointment and a Face-to-Face or Online RealTime appointment.

Being a Writing Fellow does not mean that you will have to come in for extra hours or complete work outside of the UCWbL. It does mean that you may have to check Slack and your email more often for updates from your Writing Fellows cohort, course instructor, and writers in the course.

Writing Fellows

One of the main distinctions between being a Writing Fellow and being a Writing Center Tutor is that you have access to the course instructor.

By working with the instructor, you can be a more informed resource for writers on their assignments. The instructor and the cohort should maintain regular communication and work together to provide the best feedback possible for the writers in the course.

What should we discuss with the course instructor during our initial meeting?

The primary purposes of your meeting with the course instructor are (1) to get to know the instructor and (2) to ask questions about the assignments that writers will be doing in the course. Your meeting with the instructor begins your cohort’s quarter-long conversation about how best to help writers in the course.

The Initial Meeting Checklist provides you with a guide for meeting with the instructor. The Initial Meeting Checklist can be found by going to the “Writing Fellows Cohort” AirTable. Change the “Main View” tab to the “Initial Meeting Checklist” view. A “Preview” button to the right of this tab will appear. Once you click this, it will bring you to the official form that you should have up during the initial meeting with the instructor.

This checklist will not only provide your cohort with essential information that you will use throughout the quarter but it can also serve as a guide for the conversation that you have with the course instructor. Once you have completed the entire form, a submit button will appear that, once clicked, will save the information to your cohort’s AirTable. This will allow the information to be readily available to all members of the cohort as well as the Head Writing Fellows & Writing Fellows Coordinator.

How will the course instructor know if a writer completes the requirements of the program?

The Writing Fellows Program Coordinator will provide the instructor with the information from the Participation Report (which can be found on AirTable). The course instructor can then check the participation report at the end of each round to see if students completed the requirements. Complete the participation report promptly at the end of each round.

To complete the Participation Report:

  1. Enter “Yes” or “No” in the “Draft Received” column at the beginning of the round.
  2. Enter your name or “Writing Center Tutor” in the box under “Written Feedback Provided By” or “Synchronous Appointment Conducted By” to show who worked with the writer (If it says “Writing Center Tutor,” indicate which Writing Center Tutor in the “Notes” section).
  3. Use the “Notes” section to communicate any important details about working with the writer (such as turning in the paper late or coming to the appointment late) to the course instructor. It is up to the course instructor to determine whether these appointments will count for credit in the class.

Effective cohort collaboration comes down to one thing: Communication.

Communication in Person During Your Shift

In most cases, you will collaborate in person with the other Writing Fellows in your cohort during your paid work shifts. You will have one hour each week to meet with your Writing Fellows cohort.

Communication Outside Your Scheduled Work Shift

There may be times when issues arise that need to be addressed before your next meeting. Check Slack and your work email frequently and respond promptly to emails or Slack messages from your Writing Fellows cohort, the Head Writing Fellows, the Writing Fellows Coordinator, the Directors, and the course instructor.

What should we do during our weekly Writing Fellows hour?

Your Writing Fellows hour is an opportunity for you to touch base with your Writing Fellows cohort and make sure you’re up to date on emails to writers, logs, etc. Your tasks may vary based on the needs and schedule of the course.

If you find that you do not need your weekly Writing Fellows hour to work with your cohort or writers in the course, be sure to do UCWbL Work or ask the receptionist to open you up for appointments.

When you are assigned to be a Writing Fellow for a course, you will typically have four appointments per writer you are scheduled with:

  • 2 Written Feedback appointments (1 per assignment)
  • 2 Synchronous appointments (1 per assignment).

Written Feedback appointments:

These appointments often take place first. You will provide written feedback on the document as you would in a typical Written Feedback appointment. In addition, because you will be meeting Face-to-Face or online with the writer, you can also use your Written Feedback to set the stage for working together on revision in your Synchronous appointment.

Synchronous appointments:

These appointments, either Face-to-Face or Online Realtime, allow you to continue the revision process in real time with the writer. The Synchronous appointment is an opportunity to act on some of the comments you made in the Written Feedback appointment. If the Synchronous appointment comes first, you can use it to work on developing ideas together and to get a sense of what feedback might be useful for the writer in the Written Feedback appointment.

How do writers sign up for Synchronous appointments?

For each round, you will receive an Available Hours document indicating when you have been blocked off for Writing Fellows work from the Writing Fellows Coordinator & Head Writing Fellows.

Review the the Available Hours document for accuracy and send it to your course instructor and class. In the email, instruct students to come prepared with 2 or 3 times that they would be able to have their synchronous appointment.

Go to the class visit with a laptop open to WCOnline and your course’s Writing Fellows schedule to allow writers to sign up quickly and easily. Writers will sign up based on the time that they are available, which will determine the Writing Fellow that they meet with. The Writing Fellow that the writer signs up to meet with should be the Writing Fellow who completes their written feedback.

A writer didn’t sign up for an appointment. What should I do?

Send an email from the cohort to any students who have yet to sign up for synchronous appointment notifying of available days/times.

Provide a deadline for signing up so that the writer can receive their written feedback in a timely manner.

You will receive notice from the receptionist via Slack if a writer signs up for an appointment with you through the receptionist.

A writer can’t meet during any of the available appointments. What should I do?

If a writer is unable to meet during one of the available appointment times, any Writing Fellow who still have available hours might be asked to take these appointments on within their regular Writing Center hours. You can work with the Head Writing Fellows or the Writing Fellows Coordinator to move hours in order to accommodate the writer.

If you still cannot find a time to meet with the writer, help them make an appointment with a Writing Center Tutor. If they must meet with a Writing Center Tutor, do the following:

  • Email the writer (and CC the instructor) and instruct them to make an appointment with a Writing Center Tutor. Provide information on how to log in to WCOnline as well as the phone numbers for both Writing Centers.
  • The Writing Center tutor assigned to them should complete the writer’s written feedback and notify a Fellow in the Cohort so it can be tracked in the Participation Report.
  • On the participation report, track the writer’s participation under “Synchronous Appointment Conducted By” as “Writing Center Tutor.” In the “Notes” section, identify which Writing Center tutor.

A writer submitted their draft late. What should I do?

The Writing Fellows Program policy states that Writing Fellows are not required to comment on late drafts. However, if you receive a draft late but still have time allocated for providing Written Feedback available, you should comment on the draft.

Then, make a note of the late draft in the “Notes” section of the Participation Report. Ultimately, it is up to the course instructor to decide if a writer meets the requirements and receives credit for participating in the program. Our goal is to help the writer.

A writer missed their synchronous appointment. What should I do?

If a writer misses their synchronous appointment, cancel it on the WCOnline Writing Fellows schedule.

Do not mark the appointment as missed. Enter ‘No one’ in the Participation Report under “Synchronous Appointment Conducted By.”

How is a written feedback for Writing Fellows the same as/different from a Writing Center Written Feedback?

Written Feedback for Writing Fellows is essentially the same as Written Feedback in the Writing Center. You provide constructive, reader-based feedback on a writer’s draft focusing on no more than two or three aspects of the draft.

However, providing Written Feedback to a writer as a Writing Fellow also has a few difference and even potential advantages:

  • You’ve been in contact with the course instructor about the assignment and have had the opportunity to ask questions that might be helpful to the writer.
  • You (or another tutor) will have the opportunity to meet with the writer to continue working on the draft, so you can use your comments to set up further conversation.

When setting the agenda, use your knowledge of the prompt and your conversation with the instructor as a guide. Be explicit about why you are focusing on certain aspects to help the writer understand where you are coming from and to better use your feedback.

Using WCOnline to record and track Writing Fellows appointments gives both Writing Fellows and Writing Center Tutors easy access to appointment logs and provides important data for the Research Team.

Using WCOnline also allows us to easily send appointment reminders to writers and reports to instructors should a writer request one.

How do I create WCOnline accounts for writers?

Use the writer’s information from D2L to create their WCOnline account.

To create accounts for writers:

  1. Log in to WCOnline
  2. Select the “Add a New Client” icon beneath the dropdown Welcome menu.
  3. Enter the writer’s information from D2L.
  4. Enter “password” in the Password field and select “Yes” for the “Notify Client” box. (This sends the writer an email alerting them that an account has been created and contains their password information.)
  5. Select the “Register” button at the bottom of the screen.
  6. When you meet with the writer for their synchronous appointment, use the first few minutes of the appointment to have them fill out the rest of the information for their profile and update their password.

To edit their profile:

  1. Log in to WCOnline.
  2. Select the writer’s appointment on the Writing Fellows schedule to open it.
  3. Select the writer’s name to view their profile.
  4. Select “Edit Profile.”
  5. Have the writer complete the form.
  6. Select “Save Changes.”

How do I create a Written Feedback appointment for a writer?

To create written feedback appointments for writers:

  1. Log in to WCOnline.
  2. Select the appropriate Writing Fellows schedule from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select the appropriate white space for the appointment.
  4. Adjust the appointment length using the dropdown menus at the top of the form.
  5. Enter the writer’s name.
  6. Select ‘Written Feedback’ under the Appointment Type.
  7. Before saving the appointment, uncheck ‘Email client?’ at the bottom of the appointment for (the writer does not need to be notified of this appointment as no action on their behalf is required).

    Save the appointment.

When you finish the Written Feedback, complete the log on the WCOnline Writing Fellows schedule, update the Participation Report with your name under the “Written Feedback Completed By” column, and return the draft to the writer in the medium specified in your initial meeting with the course instructor.

For more information on completing Writing Fellows logs, please see below.

How do I create a synchronous (Face-to-face or Online Realtime) appointment for a writer?

To create Synchronous appointments for writers:

  1. Log in to WCOnline.
  2. Select the particular course’s schedule from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select the appropriate white space for the appointment.
  4. Adjust the appointment length using the dropdown menus at the top of the form.
  5. Enter the writer’s name.
  6. Select ‘Face-to-face’ or ‘Online Realtime’ under the Appointment Type.
  7. If using Online Realtime, select ‘Yes’ under ‘Meet Online?’
  8. Leave the ‘Email client?’ box at the bottom of the appointment form checked. (This will automatically generate a confirmation email to the writer.)
  9. Save the appointment.

After the appointment, complete the log on the WCOnline Writing Fellows schedule and update the Participation Report. For more information on completing Writing Fellows logs, see below.

Every appointment should be listed under the writer’s name - not your name, Writer 01, or Writer Writer.

Appointments should be created at least five (5) days before the appointment time.

Entering these appointments ahead of time ensures that writers receive a reminder email and helps receptionists and/or the Heads locate a writer’s appointment when necessary.

How do I complete a log for my Writing Fellows appointments?

Once your appointment is complete, follow the guidelines for the appointment modality provided in How to UCWbL: 3rd Edition.

All Writing Fellows appointments with writers (Written Feedback and Synchronous) and the accompanying logs should be on the Writing Fellows schedule. On the regular WCOnline schedule appointment report, you should refer the reader to the particular schedule that your log can be found under.

When selecting the appointment type on the log, select the modality of the appointment.