If you’d like to review your work with a tutor, you will need to be able to upload your work to Google Docs (also called Google Drive) so that you and your tutor can view and comment on the draft at the same time. You will also have the option of communicating with your tutor through a voice or video call via Skype or Google Hangouts or through the chat window within Google Docs.
If you do not already have a Google account (required) and a Skype account (optional), you will need to set these up before you’re able to access the scheduling system. Once you’ve set up these accounts, you may then register for access to the scheduling system, where you can make an appointment with a tutor.
The steps below will guide you through the process of setting up the necessary accounts. A separate set of instructions will show you what to do once you’ve set up the accounts and are ready to sign up for an appointment.
You can make two kinds of appointments:
To schedule a synchronous appointment, log into our schedule and click on an open appointment (white box) to make an appointment with a tutor. All appointments that just have the tutor’s first name and last name initial are considered synchronous appointments.
To schedule an asynchronous appointment, log into our schedule and click on an open spot (white box) to make an appointment with a tutor who has (ASYNCHRONOUS) in large letters next to her name, as in Alaina (ASYNCHRONOUS).
All appointments that just have the tutor’s first name and last name initial are considered synchronous appointments and will not be treated like asynchronous appointments if you do not meet the tutor online at the specified time.
A free Google account will give you access to Google Docs/Google Drive as well as many other useful tools. All CU students have a CU gmail address. Please contact CU’s OIT for support if you need help getting access to your account.
A Google account is not necessarily the same thing as a Gmail account. If you have a Gmail account, you can use that to access Google’s other tools, including Google Docs/Google Drive. If you don’t have a Gmail account and don’t want one, you can still sign up for a Google account, using whatever email address you choose.
If you already have a Google or Gmail account, you may skip to the next step. Otherwise, follow the instructions below that best apply to your situation.
NOTE: These instructions apply only to the process of setting up a Google account, which you’ll need in order to access the scheduling system. A different set of instructions will show you how to use Google Docs for your tutoring session.
All CU students now have a Gmail address associated with you colorado.edu account. You are welcome to use this address. Please contact the CU Office of Information Technology if your CU Gmail address is not set up yet and you’d like help.
If you don’t want to use your CU Gmail address or want to get a different Gmail address but want help setting it up, go to this page:
and click on the Gmail button.
Follow the steps to set up your new Gmail account.
If you don’t want a Gmail account, you can sign up for a Google account using whatever email address you prefer, such as a yahoo or hotmail address. Go to this page:
and click on the button for appropriate email provider (or on the “Use a different email” button).
Follow the steps to set up your new Google account.
When you register with the scheduling system, enter the email address you used to set up your Google account in the appropriate slot.
The easiest way to communicate with your tutor during your session is to carry on a conversation over a voice or video call. We recommend using Google Hangouts for this purpose as it’s free and easy to use, and it’s already located within Google, just like Google Drive.
However, we know that many students are already familiar with Skype, so you may use this for your session with The Online Composition Hub as well if you prefer. As a basic service, it is free but does require a download onto your computer.
If you’d like to use Skype for your tutoring sessions, you will need to enter your Skype username when you register for access to the scheduling system.
If you already have a Skype account, you may skip to the next step.
To create a Skype account, go to: http://skype.com/ and click on the Join Skype button in the upper right corner of the page.
Follow the steps to create your Skype account, which will also include downloading the Skype app for your computer or mobile device. A separate set of instructions will guide you through the process of using Skype for your tutoring session.
When you register with the scheduling system, enter your Skype username in the appropriate slot.
NOTE: If you elect not to have a voice conversation with your tutor, you will communicate using the chat window in Google Docs/Google Drive instead. A different set of instructions will show you how that works.
After you’ve set up your Google account (required) and your Skype account (optional), you may register with the scheduling system.
Follow the “Click here to register” link at the top of the login box to register for access.
After you’ve registered, you may then return to the login box and log in. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be able to view the schedule of available appointments.
For instructions on how to set up an appointment and what to expect from your first session, see: Your First Session
After you’ve registered with the scheduling system, you’ll be able to schedule your first session.
The instructions below will show you how to schedule a session and what to expect the first time you meet with an online tutor.
Don’t forget: You will need to upload your work to Google Drive and share it with your tutor at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. See these instructions: How to Prepare for Your Appointment.
Your tutor will find it helpful to have some time to review your assignment as well as your draft before the appointment begins, so you’ll need to upload your draft to Google Drive and share it with your tutor at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
Follow these steps:
1) For a paper, save your draft in Microsoft Word format, which means that the file name should automatically end in .doc or .docx. Even if you use a different word processing application, you should be able to save or export the file in Word format. You and your tutor might find it helpful if you give the file a file name that includes your last name and some info about the draft, such as: Jones Paper 3 First Draft.
2) Log into Google Docs, which you can access here: http://docs.google.com
3) Click on the red upload button near the upper left side of the Google Docs screen. The button features an upload icon and is next to the Create button.
4) Locate the draft on your computer’s hard drive and select it, so that it uploads to Google Docs.You’ll be given the option to convert the file to Google Docs format. DO choose that option, which will make it possible for you and your tutor to work collaboratively on your draft.
Once the file has been uploaded, you will see it in your list of files stored in Google Docs. Only you will be able to view the file until you take the following steps to share it with your tutor.
Google Docs gives you several ways to share files with others, but the steps below provide a fairly simple method.
1) Click on the file you uploaded, which will open your draft in an editing window.
2) Click on the blue Share button located in the upper right corner of the page.
3) In the Sharing Settings window that appears, enter the email address of your tutor (which you should’ve saved from when you signed up for your appointment).
4) Click the blue Done button.
Your tutor will then receive a notification that you’ve shared the draft, and he or she will be able to access the draft in order review it before your session begins.
To get the most out of your appointment, you should be ready to begin right on time. Being “ready” means two things:
Follow the steps below that apply to the method you’ve chosen for communicating with your tutor.
At your scheduled appointment time, follow the steps below to open the Google Drive chat window to begin conversing with your tutor.
1) Open your draft in Google Drive.
2) Click on the dropdown arrow that appears below the Comments and Share buttons in the upper right corner of your draft.
3) Use the box at the bottom of the chat window to type a message.
Once you and your tutor are chatting on Google Drive, your tutor will ask you if you want to use Google Hangouts or Skype. If you want to use Google Hangouts, tell the tutor what gmail address you are using and s/he will invite you to a Google Hangouts–check your email to follow the link and join the conversation. If you’d prefer to use Skype, double-check the tutor’s Skype name.
Tell your tutor what your Skype name is, then open the Skype application on your computer. Search for your tutor using her/his Skype username. Invite your tutor to connect with you. When she/he accepts the Skype invitation, make a voice or video call to your tutor.
Once you are connected via Google Hangouts or Skype, you can talk while looking at your work in Google Drive together. You may close the chat bar in Google Drive if you like, and focus on using comment balloons, which are discussed in the next section, How to Collaborate During Your Session.
Whether you use Google Hangouts, Skype or Google Docs Chat to communicate with your tutor, you will both use several tools available within Google Drive to collaborate on your draft.
The main tool your tutor will use is the comment tool, which allows both the tutor and you to insert comment bubbles in the right margin of the draft.
1) Use your cursor to select a word or phrase
2) From the Insert menu within Google Docs, select “Comment”
A yellow box will appear in the right margin of your document, like this:
3) Type your comment in the yellow box and click the blue Comment button. Your comment will then appear in a white box in the margin, like this:
After your tutor types a comment and submits it, you should see it appear in the right margin of the document.
If you and your tutor are communicating via the Google Drive Chat window and you’re using a computer with a fairly small screen, you may find that you’ll have to scroll side to side to be able to see the comment bubbles as well as the chat window.
At the end of your session, your tutor will review your Next Steps with you. After you end your Google Hangouts, Skype call or Google Docs chat conversation, you should follow the steps below to save a copy of your work with the comments made by your tutor.