Dear Jo-Anne and other writing-centre colleagues:
Have you read the lead article in the November 2004 Writing Lab Newsletter? It
collates despairing messages among writing directors about the commercial
We're big enough at U of T to make our own mistakes and learn from them. Several
of the 17 or so writing centres here have developed booking programs, most of
them web-based so that students can make their own appointments online and also
cancel and re-book if necessary. They include controls on who can book and how
You can get a glimpse of some of them by clicking on the "online" links for
specific writing centres from the page www.utoronto.ca/writing/centres.html.
Engineering was the first to produce its own system, created in large part by a
student as the project for her fourth-year thesis. The systems used at Health
Sciences and New College were commissioned from an outside consultant;
Woodsworth and Trinity systems were done in-house, but benefitted from the early
adopters. The system used by U of T at Scarborough was designed locally and
depends on a campus intranet.
These and our other systems have made scheduling and bookings (and cancellations
and re-bookings) much easier, but they haven't entirely solved our challenges
with record-keeping. For one thing, they don't keep waiting lists: they let
students check availability and re-book any cancellations, but they don't give
administrators a sense of how much unfilled demand exists. Some allow
instructors to keep records and notes on individual students; others don't.
If people want technical information or the names of our main designers, please
contact me offline and I'll put you in touch.
University of Toronto Coordinator, Writing Support
[log in to unmask]; www.utoronto.ca/writing/
Jo-Anne Andre wrote:
> i all,
> We at the U of C are eager to get an online appointment booking system
> in place for our Writing Centre. I have a few questions for fellow
> writing centre people across Canada--
> 1. Do any of you use an online appointment booking system for writing
> centre appointments?
> 2. If so, are you using an off-the-shelf program (like Duke's
> university shareable program or TutorTrack) or did you develop one?
> 3. If you developed one, is it available for others to share or purchase?
> 4. If you are currently using such a program, what features do you
> consider essential? desirable? annoying?
> 5. If you are not currently using an online appointment booking
> system, would you potentially be interested in sharing costs of
> developing such a program for use?
> Thanks for your thoughts and comments on this!
> Jo-Anne Andre
> Director, Effective Writing Program
> To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
> [log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
> write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]
> For the list archives and information about the organization,
> its newsletter, and the annual conference, go to
To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
[log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]
For the list archives and information about the organization,
its newsletter, and the annual conference, go to