Writing Centre Director's Message - Writing Centre Procedures During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Dear Writing Centre Students,

As you will have heard by now, the University is switching to online-only instruction starting Monday, March 16. This means that the Writing Centre must also go 100% online, and we have been preparing for just this eventuality.

Unfortunately, however, that means that the actual physical space of the Writing Centre, on 3rd Floor Ross, will no longer be assisting students directly. We have also been forced to cancel all remaining “in-person” or group activities in the Writing Centre for the remainder of the Winter term. This includes in person one-to-one meetings, all drop-ins (in S311 Ross and in the Library), all workshops and seminars, and any further meetings of the Multilingual Writing Studio.

Members of the Dr. Keith O’Regan-led Thesis Café will be contacted by Dr. O’Regan to arrange further meetings via videoconferencing. The ESL Open Learning Centre will also be in contact with their students about possible online group activities.

However, we are still open and helping students to the extent possible. If you visit our website you’ll see that our instructors have shifted online to provide both real-time (synchronous) one-to-ones via video chat, and “asynchronous etutoring” – where you upload your paper to our website, and an instructor will reply with feedback within 24 hours. Finally, please visit the Writing Centre's Moodle Website for online links and resources.

If you’d like to book an appointment, please visit the Writing Centre schedule, and look for your favourite instructor. The Instructors available for online one-to-one appointments will be marked “Online Only.” Instructors available for asynchronous etutoring will be labelled “Etutor Only”. Please note: you must have a working camera attached to your computer in order to properly participate in online synchronous sessions. Instructors will not be able to call you at home or consult with you over the phone.

The other normal conventions of the Writing Centre still apply—you may book one appointment a week in normal circumstances.

If you have been meeting with a Learning Disability Specialist, please call the Writing Centre and ask to speak to James Robertson (416-736-2100 x22036). An online one-to-on Video chat will be scheduled for you.

If you encounter difficulties with scheduling online appointments, please give the Writing Centre front desk a call at 416-736-2100 x55234.

I hope that these measures will still be of help to you in this period. Please do be patient with instructors and staff as they make the adjustments to this new system. There are bound to be some problems to work out in the next week or so, but we will address them with deliberate speed.

Finally, we very much hope that we will be able to continue to help you on your assignments etc. during this difficult time. Our faculty and staff are here to assist!

Please stay safe, and healthy in the meantime. I hope the conclusion to the semester is a successful one for all of you!

Best regards,

Jon Sufrin, Writing Centre Director