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Asynchronous Appointments

The data in this section will be presented in terms of number of appointments. Fall 2016 saw larger numbers for asynchronous appointments than synchronous appointments (see Figure 15). This is consistent with past semesters but not on as large a scale: only 12 more appointments, 1 more student, and 6 more recurring appointments than that for synchronous.

See description below image
Figure 15. Asynchronous Appointments in Fall 2016.

Image Description. Figure 15 is an infographic with 3 icons beside statistics.
The icons have white clip-art on a light green background. The data is as follows:

  • 83 asynchronous appointments (comment bubble icon)
  • 43 students (icon with upper half of person’s body)
  • 17 recurring appointments (icon with curved arrow moving clockwise).

Appointment Demographics

Similar to synchronous appointments, the majority of asynchronous appointments are with graduate students (Figure 16) and students in the Eastern Time Zone (Figure 18). However, unlike synchronous appointments, the majority of asynchronous appointments are with part-time students, students who associate with the Online campus, and students taking online courses (Figure 17). The percentage of asynchronous appointments with Project Dragonfly students is also higher (by 24%). As such, the overwhelming majority of asynchronous appointments are with students outside of Oxford (81%).

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Figure 16. Number of Asynchronous Appointments According to Student Rank and Enrollment Status.

Image Description. Figure 16 is an infographic with 2 icons beside statistics for asynchronous appointments. The icons have white clip-art on a light green background. The data is as follows:

  • Rank (graduation cap icon)
    • Masters: 68 appointments (82%)
    • Undergraduate: 13 appointments (16%)
    • Doctoral: 2 appointments (2%)
  • Enrollment Status (clock icon)
    • Part-Time: 42 appointments (51%)
    • Full-Time: 38 appointments (46%)
    • Not Enrolled: 2 appointments (2%)
    • Unknown: 1 appointment (1%)
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Figure 17. Number of Asynchronous Appointments According to Course Information.

Image Description.  Figure 17 is an infographic with 6 icons beside statistics for asynchronous appointments. The icons have white clip-art on a light green background. The data is as follows:

  • Associated Campus (building icon)
    • Online: 56 appointments (67%)
    • Oxford: 26 appointments (31%)
    • Doctoral: 2 appointments (2%)
  • Type of Course (laptop icon)
    • Online: 51 appointments (61%)
    • Not Applicable: 16 appointments (19%)
    • On-Campus (Oxford): 9 appointments (11%)
    • On-Campus (Regionals): 4 appointments (5%)
    • Partially Online: 3 appointments (4%)
  • Course Subjects
    • Project Dragonfly (dragonfly icon): 50 appointments (60%)
    • English (pen icon): 4 appointments (5%)
    • Educational Psychology (brain icon): 3 appointments (4%)
    • Not for Course (“x” icon): 17 appointments (20%)
See description below image
Figure 18. Number of Asynchronous Appointments According to Student Location.

Image Description.  Figure 18 is an infographic with 2 icons beside statistics for asynchronous appointments in bulleted lists. The icons have white clip-art on a light green background. Student locations are indicated by a globe icon. The data is as follows:

  • Oxford: 16 appointments (19%)
  • Outside Oxford: 67 appointments (81%)
    • Other States: 42 appointments (63%)
    • Other Ohio Cities: 14 appointments (21%)
    • Other Countries: 11 appointments (16%)

Student time zones are indicated by a clock icon. The data appears in a bulleted list and is as follows:

  • Eastern: 47 appointments (56%)
  • Other Zones: 36 appointments (43%)
    • Central: 19 appointments (23%)
    • Pacific: 11 appointments (13%)
    • Mountain: 4 appointments (5%)
    • China: 2 appointments (2%)

Success of Writer’s Notes

In Fall 2016, we implemented Writer’s Notes, where students are asked to email information about their writing and concerns before their asynchronous appointment. We are currently asking the following 3 questions before the student’s appointment:

  1. Tell us about the context for your writing: what are you writing for and what is your goal? Please attach any prompts or assignment guidelines.
  2. How is this writing similar to or different from previous writing you have done?
  3. Where do you feel confident in this piece of writing? Where are you not confident and what would you like to work on in this session?

After their appointment, students are sent the following 2 questions to encourage any questions and continue dialogue.

  1. How do you feel about the feedback you received? Do you have any questions or comments for your consultant?
  2. What, specifically, do you plan on changing in your writing, based on the feedback you received?

Our first semester of piloting this new process was successful, with the majority of students responding and providing us with pre-notes and post-notes (see Table 2).

Table 2. Number of Responses Received for Writer’s Notes Pre- and Post-Appointment.

Writer’s NoteRequestedResponseNo Response
Pre-Appointment8365 (78%)18 (23%)
Post-Appointment38*24 (63%)14 (37%)

* 45 post-appointment notes were not requested due to the student having multiple appointment in one week, the student having a history of not responding (likely due to poor understanding of technology), or just plain forgetfulness on Jenelle’s part.

I revised the pre-appointment Writer’s Notes 4 times this semester, and the later revisions seemed to encourage more responses by presenting the Writer’s Note as a benefit to them (rather than a requirement for scheduling) (see Table 3).  I also found that I received more post-appointment Notes when I phrased the email as optional and “checking in.” Post-notes have also given us a lot of feedback and praise on our asynchronous appointments (see section below).

Table 2. Number of Responses Received for Pre-Appointment Writer’s Notes After Each Revision.

RevisionRevision DateRequestedResponseNo Response
18/30/1642 (50%)2 (50%)
29/12/162012 (60%)8 (40%)
310/24/1696 (67%)3 (33%)
411/4/165045 (90%)5 (10%)

Student Need for Asynchronous Appointments

Several students have shared their reasons for needing asynchronous services in Fall 2016. Common reasons include disabilities or medical issues, full-time jobs, technology/internet access, and time-zone differences (see examples below). In the case of full-time jobs, some non-traditional students wish to make appointments early, but do not have a flexible or consistent work schedule to know if they will be available for synchronous at that time. In these cases, having asynchronous as a back-up option (meaning that the consultant is trained in both mediums) helps the student to keep their appointment and helps us to avoid no-shows due to lack of asynchronous training.

[Student responses have been removed from the public version of this report to protect privacy.]

Student Praise for Asynchronous Consultants

All 5 consultants who currently do asynchronous appointments (including myself) have received student praise on their written feedback. Some of this praise is in the form of post-appointment Writer’s Notes. Others are emails or Google Doc comments that the student left on their own accord. These instances of praise often refer to specific written response strategies that the students found to be helpful for their learning and revising.

While a common criticism of asynchronous is that it is impersonal, a major theme in these student responses is how their online consultant made them feel. The students note that they feel encouraged and more confident in their writing, suggesting that they leave asynchronous sessions with the same confidence we hope they would gain in a face-to-face or synchronous consultation. One student with a disability even noted that her asynchronous consultation provided more valuable feedback than her previous 9 on-campus appointments. Many students even seem to feel a personal connection with their consultant, especially if they have worked together several times.

[Student praise has been removed from the public version of this report to protect privacy]