To the University of Mississippi Community:
Given what is known about the transmission of COVID-19, in-person writing center consultation, typically consisting of indoor conversation-based interactions in close quarters for 30-50+ minutes, may be dangerous for writers and writing center consultants.
Online writing consulting is a pedagogically sound approach and an important part of our existing array of services. As writing center professionals, we believe that any writing center programming offered be authorized at the discretion of individual writing center administrators (WCAs) who can draw from their disciplinary experience and expertise to make the best decisions for their particular context. Guided by existing scholarship and established practice, we have opted for online consultations as the primary platform for our services to ensure learning environments and interactions that are safe and healthy, pedagogically sound and consistent, and accessible and equitable.
The University Writing Centers are prepared to continue meeting the needs of our students through our online services. During the Fall 2020 semester, we will continue to offer access to our two types of online appointments:
- Live Chat appointments are ideal for getting immediate feedback and answers to questions. The writer and consultant will be able to communicate through video conferencing or type messages in a chat box, share drafting materials, and make changes to a document together in real time. This type of appointment requires a consistent internet connection for the length of the appointment. Live chat appointments are best when conducted with a personal computer or laptop rather than a mobile device.
- Correspondence appointments are asynchronous and ideal for getting feedback and answers to questions from a writing consultant over a longer period of time. The writer provides a draft along with information/requirements for a writing assignment prior to the reserved appointment time. About an hour after the reservation time, the writer will receive an email notification that feedback has been uploaded. These appointments can be completed without a consistent internet connection. Writers can upload their papers from any wi-fi/wired connection and return to our scheduler at a later time to download the written feedback. (Note: This delivery method is not available through the Graduate Writing Center).
You can find the most current information on UM’s response to coronavirus at https://olemiss.edu/coronavirus.