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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 than synchronous (see Figure 15). This is consistent with past semesters but not on as large a scale: 12 more appointments, 1 more student, and 6 more recurring appointments than that for synchronous.

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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, the majority of asynchronous appointments are with graduate students (Figure 16) and students in the Eastern Time Zone (Figure 18). However, unlike synchronous, 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%)
See description below image
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?

The following is an example of a helpful Writer’s Note before the appointment:

Here is my writer’s note.  I hope I am sending it to the correct email address.

1) The description of the assignment is at [link]

I am writing about vultures and the need to conserve the 23 species remaining. I am looking at the California condor reintroduction program and how it can serve as a model for other vulture conservation work.  I specifically worked with California condor groups on International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) noting what types of programs were being planned and how CA condors were being woven into the information being delivered.  Finally, I did a very limited study of who was attending IVAD at the San Diego Safari Park.

2) I do much synthesis but usually do not have an actual research component, nor have I had an Action Focus before.

3) I am not very confident about the flow of the paper. Also, I would like to look at the introduction from an outsider’s focus because I do not think it does a very good job of explaining the project.  Finally, I’d like it if you could look at the results section and let me know what type of charts and graphs would be more informational. I have many percentages and numbers in the results section, are they formatted correctly? 

Any suggestions you have will be most appreciated. My document is shared with anyone with this link. Please let me know if you need any further information.  Thank you for all your help.

After their appointment, students are sent the following two 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 Student Praise 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.

Disabilities or Medical Issues

I have a condition called pseudo tumor cerebrae that causes my learning to be delayed. I am registered through Student Disability Services.

My learning accommodations are not on file with Miami.

I have a medical emergency and may not be able to make the [synchronous] appointment.

Full-Time Jobs

I’m a full time teacher and am still teaching PST at 4pm, but I appreciate the written feedback. I’m available for phone or google hangout starting at 4:45pm PST.

I wanted to let you know that there’s a chance I won’t be able to make it to the meeting, or at least the beginning of the meeting, depending on the projects I’m scheduled to contract for this day. If that’s the case, I will email/share my draft with you Tuesday night. I look forward to your feedback!

I am working full-time so would like to use this [asynchronous] option as it is hard to get to a place where I could have an on-line [synchronous] appointment. However, feel free to cancel me for someone more in need if this is not a good reason. Thanks.

I would prefer the written online appointment.  I live an hour off campus and work full time. I have to work tonight from 2-9 and will not be able to chat for very long.

I do work full time and do not always have internet access available. Please let me know what I need to do at the time of my online appointment this Friday at 2pm ET (I am Central Time).

Technology/Internet Access

The internet connection in the Galapagos Island, where I live is pretty bad so is difficult for me to use Hangout.

 I made an online written response appointment with Luke on October 26 at 7 pm. I am in China now and I have limited internet access so hope luke can help me to revise my essay by writing comments on my word file.

Time Zone Differences

I do not wish to meet in real time due to time zone difference.

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.

The following sections are student praise from Summer 2016 and Fall 2016 and are organized by consultant and date.


6 asynchronous appointments in Fall 2016

Thanks a lot for your message. I received very useful feedback from both Luke and Carly. I particularly appreciated the examples on how to improve my sentence wordiness offered by Carly. Sometimes, we know our writing can be improved, but just do know how. By looking at the examples, I can not only improve a give sentence, but also follow the same way for others.

I plan on accommodating all the changes suggested. As I mentioned, they were very helpful and I think they will greatly improve the quality of my writing.


25 asynchronous appointments in Fall 2016

1. I greatly appreciated and enjoyed Luke’s feedback. His enthusiasm on the topic was also very encouraging!

2. One point that Luke really helped me with was the use of clauses or modifiers which contributes to wordiness. He highlighted a few places where I used these so that I was able to review or remove if necessary. He also left comments where he was able to understand the paper’s topic a little clearer, which helped me realize that I needed to address this earlier on in my paper.

I feel really confident about submitting this final copy later this week! 🙂

Thank you for your service & your time 

I really appreciated his help on my project. He was the final set of eyes and I was able to re-word a few things that he suggested. I was encouraged by many of the comments and because of the ratio of constructive and positive feedback, I felt that it was a good time to submit my final product to class.

Thanks to everyone for their help! 🙂

Thanks again Luke! I feel a lot better about my paper now 

Thanks Luke, the feedback and information was super helpful!

Thank you so much, Luke! You helped a ton! The paper has been completed and turned in! Yippie!


7 asynchronous appointments in Fall 2016

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my paper!  You have an amazing way of giving suggestions without making a person feel bad….your suggestions were great! thank you again!

Thank you so much for all of your helpful comments and suggestions. I feel much better about submitting the paper and have learned a lot about APA formatting.

I can’t thank you enough for all of your help. Your responses were clear and thoughtful and I know a lot of detail went into your editing. Thank you for your encouraging words as well. It has been a long time since I have been a student, (23 years since graduating with my bachelors). I feel confident, with your help, to submit this paper.


11 asynchronous appointments in Fall 2016

Thanks! You’ve made me feel better about this whole thing. I will be making another appointment as this comes together.

Tatiana’s feedback was fantastic – she answered what I needed the most help with and also provided a few responses to other comments I had left in. After resolving her recommendations, I have a paper that is much stronger and is more in line with the assignment requirements.

My biggest area for improvement was making my opinion known in the paper. Tatiana provided a recommendation for how to do that comfortably (which is awkward in a research paper) and pointed out sections of the paper that had weak arguments/opinions and how to make them stronger. She gave me guidance on being more comfortable making the kinds of statements I needed to.

It was also nice that she seemed to enjoy the topic and shared a personal anecdote about the subject.


34 asynchronous appointments in Fall 2016

I have only been able to work on the paper from your review on Monday Nov 14 at this time, but the feedback was excellent. 

I already incorporated a lot of your changes and want to incorporate them all – specifically moving the paragraph about the paper organization up, adding the size of other birds from studies I had reviewed, adding a summary of results to the results section opening, add results into the text also, adding definitions of the behaviors of resting, foraging, and walking and removing active resting afterall, and incorporating, and cleaning up the ending arguments.  You have really helped me reorganize the paper and greatly improve how to tie together the arguments and pieces throughout the paper.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help on this, you are very skilled at what you do and I just could not improve without this feedback as I keep spinning my wheels. Thank you for getting me back on track!  This full draft is due today and I still have work to do, so I intend to incorporate all your feedback by the final deadline in a few weeks.

I know I’ll be looking for more of your services as you have appointments available unless you are graduating soon?  And in that case, I want to wish you the best in all your future opportunities as you have such talent.

I apologize for the delayed response to this email but I wanted to provide a brief review of my feedback from Jenelle.  The feedback was incredibly helpful and Jenelle was able to answer each of the questions I posed in my writer’s note and provide clarity about how best to switch from passive to active voice.  I think this advice will help me to alter the tone of my paper substantially so that it better aligns with assignment expectations.

Our session was extremely helpful.  Thank you!  I made all of the modifications you suggested, and I checked the entire document for commas.  I still don’t feel like I’ve completely got them down, but I have improved thanks to you!  I also fixed the issues with the references and citations and found a couple of other ones.  How is that possible?!  I don’t think it is ever possible to find everything.  I also rewrote a little here and there for clarity and conciseness.  I requested another session if one opens up before my portfolio is officially due on Wednesday.  It seemed doubtful, but possible.  I will do another once-over tomorrow morning and then Wednesday morning, and then it is time for some serious Thanksgiving. 

This is the first time I have worked with the Center and wish I had taken advantage of your services earlier.  You were great!  As I am graduating, I probably won’t be able to work with you again. 

Thanks again and have a great Thanksgiving!

Thank you for taking the time to read my paper and provide feedback! Your comments are excellent and will definitely help strengthen this report. Thanks again!

Thank you so much, Jenelle! I appreciate the organizational guidance on the Introduction and Lit Review sections. Your comments are great… and I learned something new (“known-new” contract)!

First of all, thank you SO much for this consultation. I have scheduled many visits through Howe, and this is by far the most valuable feedback I have received. I can tell you put a lot of time and thought into each comment, and each piece of your feedback was extremely helpful! You posed questions that I completely overlooked. I am very impressed with how much it improved with your suggested changes!

I also appreciate your support and positive comments, it really means a lot to me!