How to Access Writing Lab Tutors Online

For your first visit to the Writing Lab, follow the steps below

(For those who have been to us before, go to our Teams channel and use the NEW Sign-In Form tab to meet with a tutor.)

To meet with a live tutor online during our regular business hours, please follow the steps below. For times outside our schedule, visit the Online Tutoring Consortium.

To get started

Every BC student has access to Microsoft Teams for free through your BC Outlook email in a browser. The app is also free to download. Just look for “Microsoft Teams” wherever you shop for apps. Use the desktop version and update frequently for best results.

The "waffle" icon in Office 365 is circled with an arrow to an image of the App Launcher with the Teams icon circled.
Use your free BC Outlook 365 to access Teams through the “waffle” icon in the top left corner

Caution: Your email address and name associated with your Bellevue College email account will be visible to all those who access the Writing Lab Teams General channel when you post there.

1. Use Chrome or Microsoft Edge as your web browser. (Firefox and Safari don’t support Teams.)

2. When you click on the big red button at the end of this page, it will prompt you to open Microsoft Teams. Choose the web browser or desktop version, whichever you prefer, and it will take you to the Writing Lab Tutoring General channel. The following directions are based on the desktop version of Teams.

3. Click the words Sign-In Form at the top of the General channel screen:

Screenshot of the Writing Lab General channel with the words Sign-In Form circled and an arrow pointing to them.
Example view of the Writing Lab General channel and the Sign-In Form tab circled

4. Log in, if prompted, then type in your name and the class (or personal statement essay) you are visiting us for in the sign-in survey and click the Submit button to sign in. An automatic post will be created for tutors to see your presence and respond.

5. When a tutor responds to you with your linked name (also known as a “tag”), use the “Reply” box right under the tutor’s response to continue communicating in the same thread, and the tutor will soon start a private meeting with you, in either an audio call or a text chat in Teams, as you have arranged.

Note: Do not upload any documents to Teams in the General channel, which is visible to everyone. Wait until you are in a private meeting to share any files!

6. For an audio call, click the video camera icon or the middle phone icon to answer their call and start your session. Make sure your microphone is on.

The request to join a meeting call image has video, audio, and hang up or decline icons from left to right.
Answer an audio call from a tutor with video or without, according to your tech and preferences.

If you want to communicate only using text, look for a message from the tutor in “Chat” in the vertical menu. (Mobile apps may have the chat icon at the bottom of the screen.)

The Chat icon is indicated with a red arrow.
If you want a text-only session, use the Chat in Teams

7. Once in a meeting with a tutor, you can click the Share Screen/Share Content button to show your tutor your assignment directions or essay prompt, and your writing.
You may also turn on or off your camera and microphone (icons to the left of the share screen icon)

Meeting controls from left to right: Show Participants, Show Chat, Reactions/Raise Hand, Breakout Rooms, More Actions, Camera, Microphone, Share Screen (circled), and Leave/hang up
Menu icons from left to right: show participants, show chat, raise hand/reactions, breakout room, more actions, camera, microphone, share screen (circled), and leave meeting/end call

When you click the Share Screen icon, little images of your computer’s programs that are open will appear in another area. Click only the program you want the tutor to be able to see. The tutor will be able to only see your selected apps or documents. You will have control to make any changes to your writing. Make the view of essays enlarged (more than 100% scale) to help the tutor read your work more easily.

8. Some time after your session with the tutor, you’ll receive an email with a link to a short survey. Please let us know about your experience and tutoring mode preferences. It will help us to improve!

9. Click on the button below to access the Writing Lab in Teams

Button linked to the Writing Lab Team General channel in Microsoft Teams

We look forward to meeting with you!

For more on how to access Teams, see this Teams Guide for Students

Last Updated January 5, 2024