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About the Online Writing Studio

  How do I find the Online Writing Studio? 
 

Our Online Writing Studio is in Microsoft Teams, which UHCL students, faculty, and staff have access to in their UHCL Office 365 accounts. To go to our Online Writing Studio, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to http://teams.microsoft.com/
  2. Log in with your UHCL email and password
  3. Type "Online Writing Studio" in the search bar
  4. Press Enter
  5. Click Join team to have access to the Online Writing Studio
  What should I expect when I go to the Online Writing Studio?
 

In terms of layout, the Online Writing Studio has different public channels that you can access to interact with Writing Center staff and other writers, which you will see after you log in to the Online Writing Studio team. Members can also use the audio/video call feature and send private messages, all of which are accessible through Chat

The following are the public channels you will see along with a description of each: 

General: View an explanation of the channels and their purposes here. This is the channel you will automatically be directed to when you first log in.

Announcements: View updates about the Writing Center's services and events here.

Information Desk: Ask our studio guide any questions you have about the Online Writing Studio or the Writing Center's services here.

Collaborative Writing Space: Ask our writing consultants questions about your writing here.

Café: Talk to others visiting the Online Writing Studio here, whether it's because you've been waiting on an available writing consultant or you'd just like feedback from any available UHCL peers.

Conference Room 1: Go to this channel when the Writing Center is having a workshop you would like to attend.

  How do I ask for writing help?
 

To ask for help with a writing skill, follow these steps: 

  1. Log in to the Online Writing Studio in Teams
  2. Go to the Collaborative Writing Space channel
  3. Send a message requesting help and explain what kind of help you need 

After you send your message in the channel, a writing consultant will react to your request with the thumbs up icon to show that they will be assisting with the question.  

The writing consultant who claimed the message will then respond, check you in through the EAB Navigate tab at the top of the channel, and ask if you would prefer to continue the conversation in the public channel or move to a private chat.

  How do I ask for help from a specific writing consultant?
 

If you want to receive help from a writing consultant that you've worked with before, you can do the following: 

  1. Go to the Collaborative Writing Space
  2. Send a request with the name of the preferred writing consultant in your message

If the writing consultant is available, they will respond to your request. If they are not available, another writing consultant will respond with an estimated wait time. You may then let them know if you would rather wait on your preferred writing consultant or receive help from the available writing consultant.

  How do I upload a file for my writing consultant to see?
 

To upload a file to a channel or chat in Teams, follow these steps: 

  1. Click on the paper clip icon below the message box
  2. Select OneDrive or Upload from my computer
  3. Select the file you would like to upload

Because Teams is designed to be a collaborative environment, be aware that any file you share in a channel can be accessed by other writers or Writing Center staff. Because of this, we recommend these options: 

  • Password protect your file and send a private message to your writing consultant with the password before uploading it to a channel, or
  • If the file is in your OneDrive, set the Link Settings to Specific People and add the writing consultant you are working with to give them access, or
  • Send the file to the writing consultant you’re working with via a private message, or
  • Share the file through the screen sharing feature in a video call with the help of a writing consultant. 

Please note that if you send a file to a writing consultant, they will need to collaborate with you. The process will be discussion-based to ensure that you have the opportunity to practice the writing skill you are interested in learning.

  How do I save the messages between a writing consultant and me?
 

To save a message in a channel or in your chat for easy access, follow the below steps. 

Saving Messages 

  1. Hover your mouse over the message you would like to save
  2. Click on More Options . . .  in the right corner
  3. Click Save this message

Accessing Saved Messages

  1. Click on your profile icon at the top of Teams by the search bar
  2. Click Saved
  3. When you see your list of saved messages appear, click on one you would like to view, and the message thread it is a part of it will show on the right side of the screen 

Please note that your messages will remain in the channels and private chat if you do not follow these steps, but this feature allows for any messages you save to appear in one place under your profile, and your channel messages will be quicker to find.

  I would like to schedule appointments ahead of time for a project. Is this possible? 
 

Yes. Our Studio Projects service offers recurring appointments, which are 45 minutes in length and can be scheduled twice per week for a specified amount of time. The Studio Projects service is designed for writers with a large writing project who would like to work with a particular consultant over a period of time to meet specific goals. 

Projects that would be appropriate for this service include the following: 

  • Theses
  • Dissertations
  • PowerPoints, presentations, and conference papers
  • Seminar papers
  • Novels and short stories
  • Scripts and screenplays
  • Research studies
  • Senior projects

If you would like to schedule recurring appointments for a project, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to the Information Desk channel in the Online Writing Studio
  2. Send a message requesting recurring appointments

The studio guide in the channel will help schedule a meeting between you and a Writing Center staff member so that we can determine your goals, schedule, and an available writing consultant for your future appointments.

  How do I attend a scheduled online workshop? 
 

Because our workshops commonly have writers break up into small groups during our activities, we use Zoom when we meet online so that we can use its breakout room feature. Zoom is integrated into Teams, and our workshops can be accessed through the Online Writing Studio.  

To attend one of our online workshops, follow these steps: 

  1. On the day/time of the workshop you would like to attend, go to the Conference Room 1 channel in the Online Writing Studio
  2. Look for a message in the channel with the workshop Zoom link
  3. Click on the link to go to the Zoom room
  How do I attend an online writing circle meeting?
 

The Online Writing Studio has private writing circle channels that are accessible to their members only. To attend an online academic or creative writing circle that you joined in the Writing Center, follow these steps: 

  1. On the day/time that your writing circle is scheduled to meet, go to the private channel in the Online Writing Studio with your writing circle name
  2. Look for a message in the channel that has a camera icon
  3. Click on Join to join the video meeting

After the video meeting, all members of the writing circle will have time for independent work and can stay logged into the channel. If you have a question as you work, you can send a message in the channel to receive peer and facilitator feedback.

  How do I find the Writing Center's tip sheets and guides online?
 

You can find Writing Center resources by going to the Writing Center's website or by going to our tab in the Collaborative Writing Space channel in our Online Writing Studio in Teams. 

The Writing Center's Website 

  1. Go to https://www.uhcl.edu/writing-center/
  2. Click on the Writing Center Resources tab
  3. Select from the different categories to view tip sheets and guides

The Online Writing Studio

  1. Go to the Collaborative Writing Space channel in Teams
  2. Click on the Tip Sheets & Writing Guides tab at the top of the channel
  3. Select from the different categories on the page to view tip sheets and guides that are on our UHCL website
  I would like to change the message formatting in the Online Writing Studio so that it is easier for me to read. Can I do this?
 

Yes. The Immersive Reader feature in Teams allows members to change text fonts, background colors, and text spacing for message readability. The program can also read text aloud and translate it, among other features that can be viewed in more detail at Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Teams

To use Immersive Reader with channel or chat messages, follow the below steps: 

  1. Hover your mouse over the message thread you would like to view in Immersive Reader
  2. Click on More Options . . .  in the right corner
  3. Select Immersive Reader
  4. The messages in the thread will now appear in Immersive Reader, and you can select from the different categories to change the text
  I need help accessing the Online Writing Studio in Teams. What should I do?  
 

If you are unable to access Teams, send an email to writingcenter@uhcl.edu to describe your issue and we will do our best to assist you. If we are unable to determine a solution to the problem, we will refer you to University Computing and Telecommunications (UCT). 

If you are able to log into Teams but need help navigating it, send a message in the Information Desk channel. A studio guide will assist you with any questions you may have before you meet with a writing consultant. 

If you experience technical issues as you are working with a writing consultant, your writing consultant will do their best to help you troubleshoot the problem.  

Contact
  • Writing Center

    Phone: 281-283-2910
    Email: writingcenter@uhcl.edu
    www.uhcl.edu/writingcenter

    SSCB 2.101
    2700 Bay Area Blvd
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Regular Office Hours:
    Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Online Tutoring Hours:
    (Aug. 31 - Dec. 14)

    Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
    Fri: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Sat: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    Sun: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.

    Please call ahead during holidays and semester breaks.