Below are frequently asked questions regarding the Digital, Written, and Oral Communication Studio. Please contact the director if you have any additional questions, suggestions, or would like to request a service or resource that we do not currently offer.
What is the DWOC Studio?
The DWOC Studio is located in the library and is open to all students at the University of Mount Union. The DWOC Studio provides a space to work on writing, oral presentations, and multimedia projects. Consultants are on hand to provide help with critical thinking at the beginning stages of a project and to support you throughout the writing, speaking, and production process, including with polishing a final draft. We can help with essays, employment and graduate school documents, public speeches, PowerPoints, Prezis, videos, audio files, ePortfolios, and the WOC Portfolio required of all second year students as part of the Integrative Core.
How do I schedule a writing or oral communication appointment?
It’s easy—just visit our appointment page, register, and click on an open slot on our schedule.
Can I make an online appointment?
Yes. Synchronous, online appointments are available any time we are open. We recommend that you make an online appointment only when it is not possible for you to attend a face-to-face session at our location in the KHIC library. For more information about online appointments click here.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Bring the work you’ve completed so far, a copy of the assignment, and any instructor or peer comments that you may have. Think about what you want to talk about before you come in so that your appointment is productive.
Will the consultants proofread my work?
Proofreading is only one part of making sure that what you write is what you mean. We will help you in completing the task of proofreading, but we won’t do it for you. You need to actively participate in the consultation in order to receive assistance.
I'm required to come to the DWOC Studio. Can I just bring my work in and have it signed by a consultant?
If you are required to come in for a consultation, you need to be ready to work for the full session. There are always ways to improve your project, and it’s up to you to think of how you can best use your time at the DWOC. You can request to have a report detailing what you worked on during the session and what you plan to do after the session sent to your instructor. If you are not comfortable having a report sent to your instructor, but would still like for them to know you came in for a session, please contact the director.
I haven’t started my assignment because I don’t understand it. Can you help me?
We can help you at any stage of the process, from understanding the assignment to final polishing, so bring in the assignment requirements, and we will help you work through them. Ultimately, however, your instructor knows most about what they assigned—if you are concerned about whether you are meeting the requirements of the assignment, check with your instructor.
How often can I come to the DWOC Studio?
The usual limit is two, hour-long appointments per week, but we typically restrict students to one appointment during especially busy times. If you feel you need more appointments than what is normally allowed, contact the director.
If I come to the DWOC Studio for an appointment, will I get a good grade?
Consultants can guide, support, and encourage you, but they will not evaluate an assignment or speculate about what grade it might earn. Attending one session or even several is not a guarantee that your work will receive a grade you are satisfied with. If you are concerned about your grade, you should discuss your work with your instructor.
Is every consultant an expert in every citation style?
Consultants are trained in how to help you find answers to your questions about documentation styles using sources available on our citation and grammar page. Some consultants list specific citation styles as areas of expertise in their consultant bios. If you and your consultant are unable to find answers to your questions, the consultant will refer you to a librarian or your instructor.
I’m a graduate student. Can I use the DWOC Studio?
Graduate students are invited to use our physical space in the KHIC to work on digital projects, work at our whiteboard tables, and get assistance from our undergraduate consultants. Undergraduate consultants are capable of assisting with general writing and speaking concerns, as well as basic digital projects. A graduate consultant with experience assisting education and health sciences graduate students with advanced writing concerns is also available for synchronous, online consultations. Contact the director for more information about graduate consulting.
How can I describe the DWOC Studio in my syllabus?
You could describe it as follows in your syllabus: The DWOC Studio is located in the library and is open to all students at the University of Mount Union. The Studio provides a space to work on writing, oral presentations, and multimedia projects. Consultants are on hand to provide help with critical thinking at the beginning stages of a project and to support you throughout the writing, speaking, and production process, including with polishing a final draft. DWOC Studio consultants can help with essays, employment and graduate school documents, public speeches, PowerPoints, Prezis, videos, audio files, ePortfolios, and the WOC Portfolio required of all second year students as part of the Integrative Core. Make an appointment by visiting www.mountunion.edu/dwoc.
The DWOC Studio is located in the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (KHIC), across from the library circulation desk. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (330) 823-4893.
How is the DWOC Studio different than a traditional writing center?
In traditional writing centers, students often come at the very end of their process—sometimes a day or even hours before a project is due—to read through a final draft. At that point, there isn't much consultants can do for them aside from assisting with last-minute editing or offering presentation delivery tips.
We offer work spaces that allow consultants to support students in critical, analytical, and creative thinking throughout the process of completing a communication project:
The Invention Center
Do you ever wish your students had more creative ideas? Do you wish they’d thought more critically or analytically before writing or outlining? The Invention Center is where students can talk through their ideas with trained consultants during the early planning process of a project. The space is modern, attractive, and includes glassboards, whiteboard tables, and manipulables aimed at helping students gain insight during the early planning stages of a project, where many professors wish they’d expended more effort. The most important resource in the Studio is the consultant, who is trained to help your students think critically, analytically, and creatively about assignments. This space is appropriate for all students, from those in a First Year Seminar to those about to tackle a Capstone or SCE project. Require a visit or offer extra credit to your students to come in early so they get a solid start on their project.
The Writing and Speaking Room
This area provides a quiet space for students to receive feedback on solo or group projects. Send your students to get feedback on early, middle, or late drafts of a paper or presentation. Just make sure that you’ve planned adequate time for them to do so, and ensure that they make appointments well ahead of time.
The Digital Production Lab
Do you ever wish your students’ PowerPoint presentations or Prezis were more lively? Have you ever assigned brochures or other desktop publishing documents only to receive boring, template-driven designs splashed with images stolen from the web with tired clip art? Do you dream of giving a video or podcast assignment? Well, now you can! The Digital Production Lab is equipped with a Mac and PC loaded with multimedia software, including the entire Adobe Creative Suite as well as more beginner-friendly programs like iMovie, Audacity and the Microsoft Office Suite. Consultants are on hand to assist with new media projects. They can also help students understand that the purpose of PowerPoint and Prezi is not to reproduce the text of their speech on the screen but to support their points with thought-provoking images, video, soundbites, charts, or graphs.
Hardware for Checkout
Have you ever wanted your students to interview someone with more sophisticated tools than a notebook and smartphone? Perhaps you want video or photo evidence that they have completed an experiment or other experience outside of class? Maybe you would like students film themselves reporting on location, then incorporate reporting into a class presentation? Using their Purple Plus cards, students can check out digital cameras, camcorders, tripods, field recorders, and podcast mics at the Library’s circulation desk. All hardware is compatible with SD cards students should already own. They can take what they have captured and edit it with the help of a consultant in our Digital Production Lab.
Why should I refer students to the DWOC Studio?
Learning to communicate at the college level can be lonely and difficult. Some students resist help from teachers; in spite of your best efforts to be available and friendly, it is ultimately your job to judge the quality of students’ work. For this and other reasons, some students might not come to you, or might need additional assistance outside of meeting with you. The DWOC Studio is a nonjudgmental environment where students can receive help from peers.
One of my students had an appointment at the DWOC Studio, and afterward I didn't see many improvements. Why is that?
There are a lot of reasons why students' work doesn't immediately improve after an appointment. Acquiring comfort and skill with college-level communication takes time. Learning new genres and developing presentation, writing, or media skills doesn't happen overnight. Consultations are meant to provide students with support so they may become more confident and skilled writers, speakers, and designers, but consultations rarely produce immediate and dramatic results. You can recommend that they come several times rather than trying to address all of their issues at once. This has a better chance of resulting in real transferable and cumulative learning.
I worry that my students are complaining about me or my class when they visit the DWOC Studio. What are you doing about that?
It is true that students sometimes come in and complain about their instructors and the difficulty of their courses. Realistically, there's nothing we can do to stop students from saying what's on their minds. However, consultants are trained to avoid discussing faculty and courses during sessions. Our goal is to support what you do in the classroom.
A student who visited said you won't deal with grammar at the DWOC Studio. Why don't you provide help with grammar?
This is a misconception. We will provide help with grammar, but we don't proofread. When consultants explain this, students are sometimes very disappointed — what they hear is, "We won't help you with grammar." The truth is we do help with grammar, but we usually only work on one or two grammar concepts at a time so that we don't overwhelm students. Working through these concepts slowly helps them to “stick.” Understanding and cooperating with this process helps the consultants best serve you and your students.