The following is the “Introduction to Online Appointments” video that consultants watched in Module 1 of Asynchronous Online Training. The transcript is also available below for accessibility.

Video Transcript

[Jenelle] Hi, again, everyone!

This video will introduce online appointments and show you how students go about scheduling online appointments.

I just quickly want to clarify the difference between our online appointments. We have two types.

In synchronous appointments, the student is present, and the consultant works with them in real-time through video or text-chat. They view the student’s writing together in Google Docs or through screen-sharing. A tip for remembering this term is to think of how you can “sync” different devices together in real-time.

In asynchronous appointments, the student is (usually) not present, and the consultant provides them with written feedback. In most cases, this feedback is in the margins of a Google Doc or Microsoft Word document. However, we have found that with Google Docs, students can and will be present in asynchronous appointments as well, which blends asynchronous and synchronous appointments together in a very interesting way.

I do just want to make a note about language for these appointments. The field refers to these as “synchronous” and “asynchronous” appointments. You will also hear me shorten these terms to “sync” and “async.” But for students, we use more descriptive names, and so you will see different language on our website and in our scheduling system. For students, synchronous appointments are called “live online” appointments and asynchronous are called “written online” appointments. You might hear me use these terms interchangeably during training.

When students schedule online appointments, they login to our appointment scheduling system and navigate to the “Online” schedule. All of your online consulting hours will be located in this schedule. From the administrator’s perspective, synchronous appointments will appear in blue, and asynchronous appointments will appear in green.

Then, students need to find consultants who are available for the type of online appointment they need. They can look in the left margin and see whether “live online” or “written online” appears below the consultant’s name. But an easier way, and the way we recommend, is for them to use the “search for” dropdown menu at the top of the schedule. For example, if the student selects “written online” from this dropdown menu, only consultants available for this appointment type will appear.

Students will then click on a white box for an open appointment. At the top of the form, students will need to select which type of online appointment they want to schedule. If the consultant is only available for one type of online appointment, then this will be the only option listed. But if the consultant is available for both types of online consulting, synchronous or “live online” will be the default option listed and the student must change this to “written online” if that’s the type they are looking for. If they forget, this can be updated at a later time.

There are additional questions towards the bottom of the appointment form as well. Students are asked to provide their location, to tell you how they will send their writing, and to check our website for further instructions for preparing for this appointment.

If you ever need to assist students with scheduling, we have videos and written instructions on the Howe Writing Center website. On our website, click the “Appointments” tab at the top and then click “How to Schedule” on the left.

The next video will discuss how to prepare for the type of online appointment that you are training for.