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BC eTutoring Steering Committee Terms of Reference

Approved: August 2015


The BC eTutoring Steering Committee exists to guide the development of collaborative online tutoring services within the British Columbia post-secondary sector. These Terms of Reference focus on writing, the sole subject area the committee currently oversees. Should services expand to other subject areas, these Terms may be updated.


The Steering Committee is accountable to institutions that participate in the online collaborative tutoring services.

The Steering Committee is accountable to funding bodies for cost effective use of funding.


Steering Committee membership is representative of post-secondary institutions currently participating in existing online collaborative tutoring services. The Steering Committee is responsible for ensuring balanced representation on the committee.

One seat each is reserved for funding bodies. There are two permanent positions on the Committee: the BC ELN Executive Director (who oversees the WriteAway Administrative Centre), and the WriteAway Coordinator.

Voting Members:

1. One representative each shall be elected to represent the following constituencies. Representatives must be Deans or Directors at participating institutions:

  1. Colleges
  2. Regional Universities and Institutes with 4-year Programs and Small Universities
  3. Medium and Large Universities

2. Up to three members-at-large from any participating institution. Members-at-large should have applicable experience in composition and rhetoric, writing pedagogy, and/or online learning.

3. A Committee Chair from any participating institution. The Chair must be a Dean or a Director.

4. One representative from BCcampus (hosting and infrastructure support)

Non-Voting Members:

5. One representative from Irving K. Barber Learning Centre UBC (funding body)

6. BC ELN Executive Director

7. WriteAway Coordinator

Roles and Responsibilities

The Steering Committee as a whole is responsible for:

  • Overseeing WriteAway, the multi-institution, online collaborative tutoring service, which provides online writing assistance to students. Duties include:
    • Approving the annual WriteAway Expenditure Plan
    • Monitoring and evaluating the efficacy of WriteAway
    • Developing and approving WriteAway service policies
    • Ensuring that participating institutions’ needs are represented and considered in planning and decision-making
  • Exploring, as appropriate, expansion of online tutoring services to other subject areas (e.g. Math, Statistics, Biology)
  • Communicating and promoting the development of collaborative online tutoring services to the post-secondary community
  • Advocating for collaboration in the provision of subject support services within the provincial post-secondary sector
  • Pursuing funding opportunities for online tutoring services
  • Determining terms of reference and membership of subcommittees

The Chair of the Steering Committee is responsible for:

  • Providing leadership to the Steering Committee
  • Advocating on behalf of the overall initiative to external stakeholders and others
  • Establishing meeting agendas and conducting meetings
  • Demonstrating and supporting committee rules of engagement that reflect core principles and values
  • Approving communications for distribution to constituents, stakeholders, and others
  • Initiating the review of the Steering Committee’s Terms of Reference when appropriate


1. Meetings

The Steering Committee meets every three months, or as required. Meetings are conducted in-person with the option to participate via teleconference.

If a Steering Committee member is unable to attend a meeting, they should appoint an alternate from their constituent group to attend and act in their place.

2. Communication

Communication among the Steering Committee members will primarily take place via listserv.

Decisions made by the Steering Committee will be communicated with constituents via meeting minutes, which will be posted online in a timely fashion.

3. Election, Selection, and Term of Office of Steering Committee members

Steering Committee members representing a constituency shall be elected by that constituency for two years, renewable for one additional two-year term. Elections are carried out by the constituency in September, and the member’s term commences October 1.

Members-at-large are selected by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will strive to balance needs of participation institutions and select members-at-large that have appropriate experience in composition and rhetoric, writing pedagogy, and/or online learning. Members-at-large are appointed for two year terms commencing October 1, renewable for one additional term.  

4. Election and Term of Office of the Chair

The Chair shall serve for a term of one year commencing October 1, renewable for an additional one-year term. 

5. Subcommittees

From time to time the Steering Committee may delegate oversight of an initiative to a subcommittee under terms of reference set by the Steering Committee. The subcommittee may make recommendations to the Steering Committee on policy or operational matters. Wherever possible, tutor representation should be sought for subcommittees.
The subcommittee will dissolve once their mandate has been achieved or by decision of the Steering Committee.

6. Terms of Reference Review

These Terms of Reference will be reviewed every 3 years or as needed.