The following is the transcript for the “Preparing for Synchronous Appointments” video that consultants watched in Module 1 of Synchronous Online Training. To protect consultant and student privacy, the video cannot be shared publicly at this time.

Video Transcript

Hello, again! You are training for synchronous appointments, and this video will discuss how students and consultants prepare for synchronous appointments.

We will begin talking about how students prepare. Students should enter the video call by the beginning of their appointment time. After students schedule a synchronous appointment, I create a Google Calendar invitation for their appointment, which includes a link to a Google Hangout video call. Students can “accept” this invitation if they like, but it is not required. At the start of their appointment, students should return to their Google Calendar invitation and click on the link next to “joining info.” Before or during the appointment, students should send any Google Docs or other materials to the writing center email account.

Now we will talk about how consultants prepare for synchronous appointments. You should still login to our appointment scheduling system with your personal account, and check who you are working with on that day.

In addition, for every online appointment, you will also login to our online consulting email account. You are welcome to use this account to share and work on Google Docs in face-to-face appointments as well.

Once you are logged in, your next task is to see if your student has already sent any materials. You should check your consultant folder, as well as the inbox. If they haven’t sent anything, you can walk them through the process during the appointment.

Next, get a headset so your student’s voice cannot be heard by others in the center. You are welcome to use your own headphones if they have a microphone. The writing center also has headsets you can use. They are located on a shelf in the back of the breakroom.

Lastly, enter the video call for your appointment and wait for your student. You can find your video call in Google Calendar. Do the following:

  1. In the upper right corner of our email, click the block of squares and select “Calendar”
  2. Find the invitation for your appointment. During a busy time of the semester, there may be many appointment invitations listed and overlapping each other. Make sure the “Howe Writing Center Online” calendar is selected on the left and look for a blue invitation. If you can’t find your appointment, use the search function in the upper right. You can search by your name or your student’s name.
  3. Click on your appointment.
  4. Click on “Join Hangouts Meet,” which will open a new window
  5.  And then click on “Join Meeting.” This waiting screen will also tell you if your student is already in the video call.

Once you are in the video call, you should wait for your student for 5 minutes after their appointment time. If they are still not in the video call after 5 minutes, check the inbox for any emails from them. If they haven’t tried to contact you, send them both an email and a chat message, reminding them of their appointment and offering to help if they need assistance.

You can send a chat within our writing center email account. You can send a chat by

  1. Making sure the “Hangouts conversations” icon is selected in the bottom left corner
  2. Clicking the plus sign
  3. Searching for your student’s name
  4. And clicking on their name

Wait for 10-15 minutes for a response. During this time, watch the inbox and chat box for their response. If they respond, help them get to the video call and proceed with the consultation. If they do not respond within 10-15 minutes, you can mark them as a “no-show” in our appointment scheduling system. To do so,

  1. Return to the scheduling system
  2. Click on their appointment
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the appointment form and check “Missed.” Be sure to click the checkbox to the right of the word “Missed.”
  4. Click “save changes”

This will remove the appointment from the schedule, but will keep it marked as a “no-show” for our records. If you have to “no-show” a student, still check the inbox for any late emails from them about their appointment. If they email later in the hour, you can offer to re-schedule their appointment with another online consultant.

If you forget any of the steps discussed in this video, you can find them in a reminder email in the writing center email account. Go to the *HELP folder, marked by a red symbol, and click the “Help for Synchronous Appts” email. This email also provides a list of common tech issues and solutions. We will practice solving tech issues in a later activity.

You can also find other resources for online consulting in the HELP folder. There is a resource for working with graduate student work. And if you’re working with a graduate student from the program Project Dragonfly, there is a sub-folder with their recent assignment guidelines.

Don’t forget that the writing center website also has helpful resources. Under the “Writing Resources” tab, you can find online versions of our own handouts, guides to writing in certain disciplines, and links to outside resources.

You should now continue on to Exercise 1.