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WriteAway Benefits and Responsibilities

Last Updated: July 2018


WriteAway is British Columbia’s collaborative post-secondary consortium for online asynchronous writing tutoring. As part of BC ELN’s suite of virtual learning services, WriteAway complements the existing student support services offered by participating institutions. Through the WriteAway service, learners at participating institutions connect seamlessly to a network of tutors who provide suggestions and resources to improve writing skills.

This highly successful service can only continue to be as healthy as its partners. The following information is intended to ensure that the WriteAway service remains strong and balanced amongst participating institutions

WriteAway Benefits

Benefits to Learners

Effective writing skills are critical to success at the post-secondary level and beyond. For many learners, these skills are also very challenging to master. WriteAway provides valuable benefits to learners as they develop their writing abilities.

  • Quality Feedback: Trained tutors give feedback and guidance intended to provide opportunities for the learner to develop better writing skills, rather than focusing simply on writing a better paper.
  • Additional Opportunities for Learning: WriteAway tutors often have 'teachable moments' with learners; these are occasions where additional resources, for example pointing a learner to a citation manual, are suggested to support the learner's progress.
  • Greater Success: WriteAway was included in a 2018 Globe and Mail article describing support to help students improve their writing. Improved writing abilities allows learners to achieve greater success academically and in their future careers.
  • Greater Access: Collaboration across BC's post-secondary sector extends writing support services that are currently offered at many institutions. WriteAway provides a highly accessible service at point-of-need for learners on or off campus.
  • Convenience: Distance learners and those who engage with studies online and off campus benefit from the quick and convenient support they need, where they need it: online.

Benefits to Institutional Participation

There are a number of key benefits to institutions participating in the collaborative WriteAway service:

  • Extends Service: Many institutions in BC offer writing support services that are heavily used by their students, and thus have reached their limits. WriteAway creates a collaborative service available more hours per week than any single institution could provide.
  • Increased Expertise: Through cross-institutional collaboration, WriteAway enables a strong community of practice. Expertise and knowledge is shared, and the whole community benefits as a result.
  • Equity of Service: WriteAway increases equity through the post-secondary system by providing a service that supports learners at both large and small institutions, and in all geographic regions.
  • Coordinated Infrastructure: The WriteAway Administrative Centre provides operational direction of the WriteAway service, including: training, quality assurance, infrastructure management, promotion, and more. Institutions benefit from the time and cost savings afforded by this central coordination and support.
  • Support for English as an Additional Language Learners: English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners may struggle with the writing requirements of their coursework. WriteAway provides another point of support for these students.

WriteAway Responsibilities

This section outlines the roles and responsibilities of the WriteAway Administrative Centre and participating institutions.

The WriteAway Administrative Centre will:

  • Provide standard criteria to be used for tutor selection for WriteAway
  • Provide platform training for WriteAway
  • Provide centralized platform licensing and project management to minimize costs and maximize efficiency
  • Provide centralized support, marketing and communications infrastructure
  • Liaise with platform vendor and host to facilitate shared service

Participating institutions will:

  • Designate a primary institutional contact to the WriteAway service
  • Hire, monitor, schedule and supervise the institution's WriteAway tutors. All tutors hired meet WriteAway Tutor Competencies.
  • Ensure that all the institution's WriteAway coordinators and tutors have agreed to and signed all applicable privacy and confidentiality agreements, as well as the WriteAway Privacy and Confidentiality Agreement
  • Provide a yearly WriteAway Service Support Fee as determined by the WriteAway Advisory Committee and set out in the current WriteAway Service Support Fee Model.
  • Meet their committed number of tutoring hours per term. The WriteAway Administrative Centre will provide guidance on the minimum number of hours expected per institution.
  • Promote the availability of the WriteAway service to the campus community
  • Report back regularly to the institution's administration and faculty on the benefits and impact of the WriteAway service at the institution

Data Description & Usage

This section outlines the use, protection and storage of data needed by the WriteAway to provide online learning support services to participating institutions.

WriteAway service requires the data elements listed below for student to submit assignments and question to the online tutoring service and to track student use of the service.

Student information required to participate:

  • Post-secondary institution
  • Student name
  • Email address

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) was completed for WriteAway in 2018. Participating institutions that wish to view the PIA are asked to contact the WriteAway Administrative Centre.


Acknowledgement of and Agreement to Responsibilities

By participating in WriteAway, institutions are understood to have read and agreed to the above responsibilities. Participating institutions will provide one-year notice in advance to the WriteAway Administrative Centre for discontinuation of participation in the collaborative online tutoring service.