How to Use the Online Writing Center

  • The Main Steps

    Step 1: Book an Appointment   

    Step 2: Meet Your Tutor

    Step 3: End Your Session  

    Having trouble? Try Troubleshooting.

  • Step 1: Book An Appointment

    Please note the following changes to our online scheduling policy, effective March 1, 2015: Online Writing Center sessions last 45 minutes. To ensure that students have access to the Online Writing Center, we must limit appointments to no more than two sessions per day and no more than three sessions per week.

    1. Go to our Meet Us Online page.
    2. Click schedule an appointment on our calendar. 
    3. On the SetMore calendar, read our booking policy and click  Okay.
    4. Select  Online Tutoring.
    5. Select a date using the calendar and a time by clicking on an available time. 
      Appointment Calendar

    6. On the booking page, enter your contact details, including a current phone number and your IUP e-mail. Tell us the course , professor, and description of the paper that you’d like to discuss with your tutor.
    7. Click Continue and confirm your information. You may choose to receive a text message reminder a few hours before your appointment.
    8. Click Book Appointment.
    9. Check your e-mail. You will receive a confirmation e-mail from SetMore when your request is received. 

    Online appointment times are reserved specifically for you and your tutor. If you cannot keep an appointment, let us know as soon as possible so that another student can have this time with a tutor. To cancel an appointment, e-mail us at  

    Step 2: Meet Your Tutor Online

    1. After scheduling your appointment, you will receive an e-mail from “Writing Center via Cisco Webex” containing a link to your meeting. Save this e-mail until your appointment time. Don’t see this e-mail? It s probably in your JunkMail folder. WebEx email
    2. A few hours before your appointment, make sure your computer is ready to load WebEx by launching a test meeting. If you are asked to Run a program or install an Add-on to your browser, please do so.
    3. If you have any technical difficulties getting connected to the test meeting, e-mail us right away at
    4. When your appointment time arrives, click the green Join icon in the e-mail you received from WebEx.  
    5. When prompted, enter your name and e-mail address. This does not create a WebEx account.
    6. Your browser will open a new window to connect you to the tutor. When you see this window, you have been connected to the tutor:   Meeting space
    7. Click Call Using Computer when prompted. 
    8. Once the audio is ready, you can speak to and hear your tutor, and he/she will walk you through the rest of the session.

    Step 3: End Your Session

    1. Your tutor will fill out an electronic session summary with you. At the end of the form, you’ll be able to have a copy of the session summary sent to your instructor or to your e-mail. 
    2. You can also ask the tutor to provide you with access to the recording of the session you just completed. It may be helpful to review your session as you continue to work on your assignment. If you choose to view your recorded session, you will receive another e-mail from “Writing Center via Cisco Webex” containing a link to view the session.
    3. You may schedule another online appointment by following the same procedure.


    Do I need a WebEx account to use the Online Writing Center?
    No. When you click the green “Join” link in your meeting e-mail, you will be asked to enter your name and e-mail address or log in to WebEx. If you don’t have a WebEx account, just enter your name and e-mail address to join the meeting.  

    Will WebEx work with my Mac?
    Yes, but you’ll need to use Safari to start WebEx sessions.  

    Will WebEx work on my smartphone/tablet?
    WebEx has apps available for iPhone and iPads, some Android phones, Windows Phone 8, and BlackBerry 10. Since there’s a wide range of devices that could run WebEx, we have not tested WebEx on many smartphones or tablets.

    Keep in mind that you will need to be able to pull up your paper and work on it with your tutor. If your device won’t let you do that, use a computer instead.  

    I never received an e-mail from WebEx with a Join link.
    If you haven’t received an e-mail from WebEx three to four hours prior to your session, try the following: 

    1. Verify that you received an e-mail from the SetMore appointment calendar. If you did not receive an e-mail right after you booked your appointment, we never received your request for a session. Please reschedule a session or visit the Writing Center in 218 Eicher Hall or the Library Satellite during our normal hours.
    2. If you do have an e-mail from the SetMore appointment calendar confirming your booked session, check your JunkMail folder in your IUP e-mail account. Look for an e-mail with “Writing Center via Cisco WebEx” in the subject line.
    3. If you have an e-mail from SetMore but you don’t see an e-mail from WebEx in your JunkMail folder, you’ll need to contact your tutor. Here’s how:
      • If your session is taking place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, call the Writing Center at 724-357-3029 and ask for the Online Writing Center tutor.
      • If your session is taking place on Saturday or Sunday, call 724-343-1433 to talk to your tutor.

    When I tried to start a session, I saw a pop-up asking me to install/update Java.
    WebEx and many other applications won’t work on your computer unless you have Java installed and up to date. You may allow Java to install on your computer, or you can choose to “Run a temporary application” instead of updating, which will connect you to the tutor without updating Java. 

    I started the meeting, but can’t hear my tutor. What should I do?
    If the meeting space loaded properly, but you can’t hear anything, try the following: 

    1. Make sure that your speakers are on and turned up.
    2. If your computer has an internal microphone, use the “Call Using Computer” pop-up to test your microphone and speakers.
    3. If your computer does not have an internal microphone, you will need an external microphone. Make sure this mic is plugged in and set as the microphone device for your computer.

    If you still cannot hear your tutor, use the chat box on the right side of the meeting screen to type a message to the tutor. He or she may be able to help you solve the problem, or you may decide to use the chat box or another communication tool to speak to each other. 

    I’m using Google Chrome, and my browser asked me to install WebEx as an Add-on.
    Just install the Add-on as instructed. WebEx is not adding software to your computer when this happens. 

    I’m having trouble connecting to the meeting for another reason.
    Your tutor will wait about 10 minutes for you to join the meeting, but he or she will wait longer or help you to connect to the meeting if you let your tutor know you’re having difficulties. Here’s how: 

    • If your session is taking place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, call the Writing Center at 724-357-3029 and ask for the Online Writing Center tutor.
    • If your session is taking place on Saturday or Sunday, call 724-343-1433 to talk to your tutor.
  • More Writing Help

    The Kathleen Jones White Writing Center provides tutoring services, workshops, and writing resources.