The new Writer’s Block website launched recently. Writing assistant Mercy Daniels and assistant manager Christina Sanderson put the site together. It can be found at https://tinyurl.com/bbwritersblock.
The Writer’s Block is a campus resource to give students feedback on their writing and help improve their communication skills. The team offers studio courses, tutoring sessions and workshops to help students refine their writing. “We typically workshop papers to make sure they meet their goals of their assignments,” said Daniels. “We don’t just help with English papers. We can also help with biology papers or any other form of writing. We can even help with job applications for the school.”
Due to the pandemic, students are split between attending classes remotely and in-person. The Block created a website this semester in order to increase accessibility for remote students. Furthermore, the creation of the website also allows the team to set up appointments. “We can’t have too many people at the Block, so we wanted to implement an appointment feature,” said Daniels. “We also now have asynchronous tutoring options through the site where students can drop off their papers. This way, we can send our feedback to them instead of having a live one-on-one session.”
Students can schedule to have either synchronous or asynchronous tutoring sessions. Synchronous sessions can be held with a writing assistant over a video call. For asynchronous sessions, writing assistants will look over electronically-submitted work and send back comments within 48 hours.
“Previously, students could wait in the Block until the writing assistants on duty were available, but with COVID, we wanted to minimize the opportunities for gathering,” added supervisor Naomi Crummey. “We’ve never offered online tutoring before, so this is a major change!”
The new website is run by all seven people on the writing team. “We check the appointments whenever we’re on duty,” Daniels said. Students can set up appointments through the calendar on the website. The Google Meet link for video calls is also there. They can send any papers for asynchronous sessions through a Google form linked on the site.
“Normally, once we’re three weeks into the semester, we get a little more traffic. Right now, we are seeing people less,” said Daniels. “It may be because of the delay of the launch of the site. Hopefully by midterms we’ll start to see more people come in to the Block.”
With the website now finished, the writing team is ready to help both remote learners and in-person learners. They encourage students to make use of their services.