SLCC Student Writing Center Online Tutoring Website

slccswcheader

I am the lead developer of the online writing center at Salt Lake Community College, which is used to facilitate in-person and online writing tutoring at the college.

This project is an in-house development for which I have had to expand my skills with HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL. From design considerations and content writing to back-end database management and coding, I develop and maintain nearly all aspects of the project in its current form. The director of the writing center has provided feedback and contributed to the project over its development.

Tutors use a system that allows them to learn more about the needs of students via thoroughly crafted and theoretically-sound needs analyses (filled out by students during appointment creation). Additionally, the process for creating and filling out reports has been streamlined into a simple form, which automatically propagates previously collected data (student IDs, emails, date/time, etc.), making for a far more efficient experience for tutors working back-to-back sessions in a physical setting. Furthermore, different online experiences for tutors are tailored to the type of service that the student requests (i.e. online written feedback, in-person appointment, focused tutoring, etc.).

Students are able to schedule appointments for in-person or online writing consultations, ask quick questions, submit their work for written feedback, get in touch with a tutor from a past session, view a detailed report of their session, and make use of our assignment sheet and course databases.

Administrators of the system are given access to a wide array of features, including: staff scheduling and student appointment management, demographic and other educationally-related statistics, as well as options to control each centers’ availability.

All users enjoy a clean UI that avoids clutter and makes use of clear design principles. AJAX is used throughout the site with the intention of improving user experience and server load times, as the project is heavily database-focused. A profile page was developed to give users access to statistical graphs of their sessions (average duration, most popular areas of focus, etc.) and other account settings.

In the many years that I have worked on this project, usage of the online tutoring service at the college has steadily increased. The innovations and tools, developed by myself with the guidance and assistance of my supervisor, have clearly shown to be effective for our staff and students. Instead of being a rarely used service, the online writing center at the college regularly assists students throughout each school year.