Why broadband access is an essential learning tool

Vol. 4, No. 8 (Spring 2023)
Brian Hotson, Editor, CWCR/RCCR

I recently was going into a shop in a stripmall, and one of my son’s friends from school was sitting on the sidewalk outside the store playing on their phone. I chatted with them a bit, and then asked if either of their parents was in this shop. “No. I come here because we don’t have internet at home.”

In a recent  Education Equality and Accountability Office (EQAO) survey of grade 9 students in Ontario, only 55.2% indicated that they had “access to strong internet connection at home to complete my schoolwork.” In real numbers, of the 103,816 students who responded to the EQAO survey, 3502 (3.4%) said that they do not have strong access to the internet; 1236 students (1.2%) indicated that they have strong access “hardly ever.” Eight hundred and twenty-four (0.8%) students in grade 9 in Ontario indicated that they “never” have access to the Internet (EQAO, 2023; see Figs. 1 & 2).

A sample of school boards with significant rural and Indigenous populations (Algoma, Ontario North East, and Near North) had lower access to the Internet, as well as to laptops/desktops, compared to urban or suburban populations (Durham and Ottawa-Carleton), shown in Table 1.

Comparison of Internet and computer access for grade 9 students
in Ontario, by school board.

As someone who’s lived in both north western as well as in southern Ontario, in very small rural and very large urban communities, these numbers are not surprising.

In 2020-2021, there were 1,429,347 students in Ontario enrolled in secondary school (grades 9-12) (Statista, 2023a). Applying the EQAO number 0.8% here, the result is 11,434 secondary students without access to the Internet. If, on average, a high school in Ontario has ~710 students,ꟸ the 11,434 students is equivalent to ~16 high schools without Internet access, never mind broadband. Together, the Algoma District School Board (9) and District School Board Ontario North East (10) have 19 secondary schools. Viewed this way, this lack of connectivity should be considered an emergency.

What about broadband access?

What about numbers for Canada? This is not easily discovered. A 2020 StatsCan survey report shows that 94% of Canadian households have access to the internet (StatsCan, 2021) and a Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) report in 2021 shows similar numbers: 7.5% of Canadian households do not have access to the internet. This might make it appear as though Internet connectivity in Canada is strong. It ranks in the top 30 nations by connectivity at 92% compared to 60% globally, and ahead of Sweden (91%) and Germany (88%) (World Bank, 2023c). But, in real numbers, 7.5% of households nationally equals nearly 1.2 million people without internet access. Further, only two-thirds of Canadian households have broadband internet (StatsCan, 2021a) (rated as 50 megabits per second download and 10 megabytes upload) (FCC, 2014). In British Columbia, for example, according to B.C.’s auditor general, “…60% of rural and remote communities and 62% of rural and remote Indigenous communities still lack adequate [broadband] internet” (Indigenous Partnerships…, 2023, February 22).

In British Columbia, for example, according to B.C.’s auditor general, “…60% of rural and remote communities and 62% of rural and remote Indigenous communities still lack adequate [broadband] internet” (Indigenous Partnerships…, 2023, February 22).

The federal government’s High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy promises through its $3.2 billion Universal Broadband Fund to “bring Internet at speeds of 50/10 Megabits per second (Mbps) to rural and remote communities” (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 2022), “toward ensuring that 98 per cent of Canadians have access to [broadband] internet by 2026, and 100 per cent by 2030” (Government of Ontario, 2023, March 16). Unfortunately, those students who don’t have broadband access now will be in their 20s in 2030. The difference in access to broadband is often the difference in being able to participate in a webinar (with video), watch HD video, or running several data-heavy applications at the same time. This is significant considering online delivery of course materials, tutoring, and instruction in education.

Broadband is a public health issue

Broadband access is a well-known determinant of public health, as “broadband access is important given its impact on other social determinants of health, including education and employment opportunities” (Bauerly, McCord, Hulkower, & Pepin, 2019, p. 39).

Given that the internet has become a fundamental component of so many aspects of American life, broadband access is increasingly recognized as an important social determinant of health as well as a public health issue. (Bauerly, McCord, Hulkower, & Pepin, 2019, p. 39)

In 2023, the Ontario Minister of Rural Economic Development, Gudie Hutchings, agreed,

We all know that the internet is no longer a luxury in this day and age—it’s a necessity. Having fast, reliable internet helps rural Canadians by levelling the playing field to access essential services like health care and education, participate in the digital economy… (Government of Ontario, 2023, March 16)

This is a recognition of what the federal government calls, “a national connectivity gap” (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 2022). This gap is evident in the urban/rural divide in Canada, “[n]early all Canadian households (95%)” in urban areas “had a home Internet connection, compared with 88% of those living outside” of urban areas (Stats Can, 2021b). This isn’t a surprise to Indigenous communities, as these communities have heard promises of connectivity before. In 2004, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) passed the First Nation Telecommunication Technologies and Broadband Infrastructure resolution. The

​​resolution recognizes the socio-economic importance of broadband connectivity in First Nations across the country. It directs the AFN leadership to ensure that Industry Canada (both regional and national programs) complete the job of ensuring that all Aboriginal communities have the opportunity to develop and maintain their own broadband infrastructure. (Kakepetum, 2005)

But these connectivity problems continue, even as the importance of broadband access grows.

Broadband, tech, and rights

Early & Hernandez reason, in Digital disenfranchisement and COVID-19: broadband internet access as a social determinant of health (2021), “[a]ccess to broadband internet has become a basic need. The COVID-19 pandemic has unearthed our reliance on broadband internet, not as a luxury but as an essential utility such as water and electricity” (p. 609). They go on to say,

Advocating for access to broadband internet should also go beyond just calling for adequate infrastructure for widespread connection: Access also includes making it affordable, creating inclusive technologies, and enhancing people’s digital literacy to use the technology. (p. 609)

In Australia, broadband access was recognized by their federal government as a right as a result of lack of access and age discrimination:

The social and economic consequences of the relative disadvantage experienced by older Australians in using the Internet has led Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan to characterize this disadvantage as a form of age discrimination. (Australian Human Rights Commission, n.d.)

Currently, as many as 13 countries recognize access to the internet as a right in various forms, but few mention broadband specifically. Spain, in 2011, “added broadband access to its universal service, and stipulated that broadband connection…is to be provided through any technology (Agencia Estatal Boletín Oficial del Estado, 2011; Psaila, 2022). Other countries that recognize broadband as a fundamental right include Finland and Kenya (Psaila, 2022).

In Kenya’s 2013 National Broadband Strategy, the national government describes the changes to the constitution to assure broadband access to its citizens: the “Constitution of Kenya 2010…provides for information access to all citizens as a basic right and the recognition that Kenya aspires to be a globally competitive and prosperous nation” (p. 3).

Equal access is a human right

For countries such as Kenya, the digital divide is significant, not only within Kenya, but in its ability to join the global knowledge society, and its commerce and exchange. Its National Broadband Strategy (2013) was updated in the National Broadband Strategy 2018-2023 (2018). This 2018 report recognized issues with connectivity,

…the first National Broadband Strategy (2013-2017) that aimed at transforming Kenya into a knowledge-based society enabled by high-capacity nationwide broadband connectivity. Besides infrastructure capacity limitations and inadequate institutional framework, cyber security, privacy and data protection have also in part affected the uptake of broadband services in Kenya.

The government of Kenya recognizes that moving toward universal broadband access is key for many reasons,

“Government intends to leverage broadband to deliver…food security, universal healthcare, affordable housing and manufacturing… the government aims at increasing access to broadband coverage of 3G to 94% of the population by 2020; and increase digital literacy in schools to 85%, expand broadband to the 47 counties and especially to have 50% digital literacy amongst the workforce. (Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, 2018, .. 10).

Importantly, Kenya’s strategy ensures “[a]ll citizens including children in primary schools and adults across the country would be empowered through digital literacy and awareness” (p. 14).

For countries such as Kenya with large rural populations (72% in 2021 (World Bank, 2023b)), broadband access becomes fundamental. Globally, 44% of people live in rural areas (World Bank, 2023c), many with conditions similar to Kenya.

According to the World Bank, globally in 2021, 1.23 billion people had access to “fixed broadband subscriptions” (World Bank, 2023d), which is only 16%. At the same time, globally in 2023, it is estimated that 86% of us own a smart phone, with a projected near-universal ownership in 2030 (Statista, 2023b).

For those living in Canada, broadband was declared a basic service by the CRTC in 2016: the

Commission is establishing the following universal service objective: Canadians, in urban areas as well as in rural and remote areas, have access to voice services and broadband Internet access services, on both fixed and mobile wireless networks. (italics in the original) (CRTC, 2016, December 21)

The Commission declares broadband as “essential,”

In rural and remote communities, high-quality broadband Internet access service is essential for accessing services that may not otherwise be available due to distance (e.g. health services via videoconferencing and education). Further, increasing reliance by banks and governments on virtual services requires reliable broadband Internet access services in all areas, including in rural and remote areas. (CRTC, 2016, December 21)

What the commission failed to do is cap the price of broadband service, like it did with basic TV services (at $25/month in 2016) (Pedwell, 2016, December 21). While the federal government’s 2022 Connecting Families initiative proposes a $20 monthly rate for “low income families and seniors,” the “initiative relies on Internet service providers” to “participate voluntarily and without government subsidy.” A March 2023 Auditor General’s report criticized the federal government for the continued “digital divide” between rural and urban areas, “including First Nations reserves” (Connectivity in Rural and Remote Areas, 2023). OpenMedia, an internet-access advocacy group, goes further, “[t]he government and CRTC must ensure that both connectivity and affordability are key cornerstones to their funding for Internet buildout” (2023, March 27). Access to the cable that connects to broadband is not enough, when many cannot afford connection.

“Canadians can’t imagine moving to an area lacking broadband. Almost six in 10 Canadians say it’s very unlikely they would purchase a home in a location without access to high-speed internet. Only one in 10 says it is likely they’d be willing to make such a purchase.” (Canada’s Internet Factbook 2021)

Chatting about broadband

While a great deal of digital ink is being spilled on ChatGPT and other Large Language Models (LLMs) tools, we in higher education need to also remember about the inequity and injustice of who has access to broadband and the equipment need to employ it, and for those 1.2 million Canadians who do not have access to the internet at all. This is a global issue that we need to keep in mind when assigning writing projects or providing online tutoring and writing support. To keep this in front of my mind, I remember my son’s friend getting their internet on a sidewalk in a stripmall.

ꟸ ~ 650,000 secondary students in Ontario / 920 publics secondary schools in Ontario = ~710 students per school (Council of Ministers of Education, 2023; Statista, 2023).


Agencia Estatal Boletín Oficial del Estado. (2011). Ley 2/2011, de 4 de marzo, de Economía Sostenible. Retrieved from https://www.boe.es/eli/es/l/2011/03/04/2

Australian Human Rights Commission. (n.d.). 8 A right to access the Internet. Retrieved from https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/8-right-access-internet

Bauerly, B. C., McCord, R. F., Hulkower, R., & Pepin, D. (2019). Broadband Access as a Public Health Issue: The Role of Law in Expanding Broadband Access and Connecting Underserved Communities for Better Health Outcomes. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 47(S2), 39–42. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073110519857314

Boerngen,M. A., & Rickard, J. W. (2021). To zoom or not to zoom: The impact of rural broadband on online learning. Natural Sciences Education, 50(1), 10–13. https://doi.org/10.1002/nse2.20044

Canada’s Internet Factbook 2021. (2022).CIRA. Retrieved from https://www.cira.ca/resources/factbook/canadas-internet-factbook-2021#activities

Connection Families. (2022). Government of Canada. Retrieved from https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/connecting-families/en

Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. (2023). Funding – Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. Retrieved from https://www.cmec.ca/299/Education_in_Canada__An_Overview.html

Connectivity in Rural and Remote Areas. (2023). The Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_202303_02_e_44205.html

CRTC. (2016, December 21). Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-496. Retrieved from https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2016/2016-496.htm

Early, J., & Hernandez, A. (2021). Digital disenfranchisement and COVID-19: broadband internet access as a social determinant of health. Health promotion practice, 22(5), 605-610. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248399211014490

EQAO. (2023). OSSLT: Student questionnaire (SQ), technology access. Education Equality and Accountability Office. Retrieved from https://www.eqao.com/results/interactive-eqao-dashboards/

FCC. (2023). Types of broadband connections. Retrieved from https://www.fcc.gov/general/types-broadband-connections

Government of Ontario. (2023, March 16). Governments of Canada and Ontario invest nearly $2.4 million to bring high-speed internet access to up to 299 households in Campbellville. Retrieved from https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1002834/governments-of-canada-and-ontario-invest-nearly-24-million-to-bring-high-speed-internet-access-to-up-to-299-households-in-campbellville

Indigenous Partnerships Success Showcase. (2023, February 22). Fixing the digital disconnect in First Nations communities. Retrieved from https://www.indigenoussuccess.ca/news/fixing-the-digital-disconnect-in-first-nations-communities

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (2022). Universal broadband fund. Retrieved from  https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/high-speed-internet-canada/en/universal-broadband-fund)

Kakepetum, G. (2005). Open letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin: Broadband connectivity in Aboriginal communities. The Journal of Community Informatics, 1(2), pp. 197-203.

The National Broadband Strategy. (2013). Ministryof Information Communication and Technology. Retrieved from https://www.ict.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/National-Broadband-Strategy-2023-FINAL.pdf

The National Broadband Strategy 2018-2023. (2018). Ministry of Information Communication and Technology. Retrieved from https://www.ict.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/National-Broadband-Strategy-2023-FINAL.pdf

OpenMedia. (2023, March 27). Auditor General finds CRTC and ISED are failing to track affordability, a key barrier to connectivity. Retrieved from https://openmedia.org/press/item/auditor-general-finds-crtc-and-ised-are-failing-to-track-affordability-a-key-barrier-to-connectivity

Pedwell, T. (2016, December 21). CRTC declares broadband internet a basic service. The Toronto Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/12/21/crtc-declares-broadband-internet-a-basic-service-like-telephone.html

Psaila, S. B. (2011, June 10). UN declares Internet access a human right’ – did it really? Diplo. Retrieved from https://www.diplomacy.edu/blog/un-declares-internet-access-human-right-did-it-really/

Roth, L. (2000). Reflections on the colour of the internet. In S. Hick, E. F. Halpin, & E. Hoskins (Eds.), Human rights and the internet (pp. 174–184). Palgrave Macmillan.

StatsCan. (2021a). Population estimates on July 1st, by age and sex. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210531/dq210531d-eng.htm

StatsCan. (2021b). Access to the Internet in Canada, 2020. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1710000501&pickMembers%5B0%5D=1.7&pickMembers%5B1%5D=2.1&cubeTimeFrame.startYear=2018&cubeTimeFrame.endYear=2022&referencePeriods=20180101%2C20220101

Statista, (2023a). Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools in Canada in 2020/21, by grade. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/449112/enrollment-in-public-elementary-and-secondary-schools-in-canada-by-grade/

Statista, (2023b). Number of smartphone mobile network subscriptions worldwide from 2016 to 2022, with forecasts from 2023 to 2028. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/

Strategic Council. (2021). Trends in internet use and attitudes: Findings from a survey of Canadian internet users. Retrieved from https://static.cira.ca/2022-05/CIRA Internet

Factbook 2022_Public.pdf?VersionId=B1k9RzbuiKIKo9tc4saNLokKfkzmsaTd

World Bank. (2023a). Individuals using the Internet (% of population). Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.ZS?most_recent_value_desc=true

World Bank. (2023b). Rural population (% of population) – Kenya. Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.RUR.TOTL.ZS?locations=KE

World Bank. (2023c). Rural population (% of population). Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.RUR.TOTL.ZS

World Bank. (2023d). Fixed broadband subscriptions. Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.BBND


ChatGPT snapshot: University of Waterloo

Vol 4, No. 7 (Spring 2023)

Clare Bermingham,
Director, Writing and Communication Centre,
University of Waterloo

In April 2023, I asked writing centre practitioners to answer 5 questions on ChatGPT and their centres’ responses. Over the next month, I’ll post the response. If you have a perspective to offer, please use this form, and I’ll post it here. Brian Hotson, Editor, CWCR/RCCR

What actions, policies, resources, or information has your institution put in place for ChatGPT?

At the University of Waterloo, the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic has shared several information memos and a FAQ resource, which includes guidance on the university’s pedagogy-first approach and maintaining academic integrity related to ChatGPT. Our university uses Turnitin and has just activated the ChatGPT detection option. The impact of this for instructors and students is unclear at this point in time.

Staff from academic support units, including the Writing and Communication Centre (WCC), have been working together to share information to support instructors and students, and to stay up-to-date on new developments. The Library has released a subject guide on citing AI like ChatGPT. The Centre for Teaching Excellence has a resource for instructors on talking to students about Chat GPT. The WCC is working on a student resource with guidance on ethical and productive ways to use ChatGPT and preparing a student-facing workshop for fall.

What actions, policies, resources, or information has your centre put in place for ChatGPT?

At the WCC, we have not put any formal policies into place at this point; however, we have been sharing information internally to help with any conversations that may arise with students. It’s important that we are familiar with the possibilities and limitations of ChatGPT to support students who have been directed to use ChatGPT or who may be anticipating using it in their co-op work terms. It’s also important to be familiar with the most up-to-date information on including AI in authorship and citation for assignments and publications.

We are working with other units to create a general student resource with guidance on ethical and productive ways to use ChatGPT, and we are planning a workshop for students for the fall. Our goals are to empower students to optimally use the technology in ways that support their writing processes; to educate them about its limitations and any potential areas of concern, such as privacy issues and  linguistic whitewashing; and to give them information about citation and academic integrity policies so that they can learn to use ChatGPT ethically and know not to use it when not permitted to.

Is your centre providing training for the writing centre staff?

Yes, we have been sharing information to this point, but we will engage in more active education and planning for fall peer tutor training over our spring term (May-Aug).

What are your students saying about ChatGPT?

Students are saying that there are a range of approaches to ChatGPT by instructors: not mentioning it, banning its use, incorporating it to some degree, and embracing it. One student recently noted that they are expected to do additional work to prove they have not used it.

What other comments, etc. would you like to add?

ChatGPT is new and exciting, and we will adapt, just as we have to Wikipedia, calculators, integrated grammar and spell check, and other technologies. This kind of AI will encourage educators to really think about what they want students to be able to do, and to be intentional about aligning learning outcomes with assessments. It will encourage students to show all of their sources of ideas and information, including the development of their own thinking.

One unfortunate aspect of AI detection tools is the possibility of false positives in reports. A role for writing centres might be to educate students about this risk and encourage them to keep a record of their ideation and drafting processes for assignments to show the development of their work.

Our students will be using tools like ChatGPT to write in their future workplaces. The more that we can guide, support, and educate students at this early stage, then the more prepared they will be to write productively and ethically with AI as they develop their writing capacities and processes. Ignoring or standing against these technologies isn’t the right answer; writing centres need to become familiar with AI text generators to be the best advisors for students that we can be.

Announcement | CWCA/ACCR’s Forum on Writing Centres and ChatGPT (and other AI)

May 8, 2023
12:00pm – 1:30pm EDT

Please join this open, participatory discussion about how writing centres are integrating, responding to, and guiding students and instructors on ChatGPT and similar large-language model (LLM) Artificial Intelligence.

Discussion Facilitators:
(Chair) Clare Bermingham, PhD
Director, Writing and Communication Centre, University of Waterloo
President, CWCA/ACCR
Brian Hotson, MTS
Senior Manager, Program and Impact Evaluation, Dalhousie University
Michael Cournoyea, PhD
Instructor, Health Sciences Writing Centre, University of Toronto
Zoe Mukura, OCELT
Language Instructor, Saskatchewan Polytechnic


  1. Welcome
  2. ChatGPT & LLM AI Overview / Q&A
  3. Breakout session 1: Participants self-select based on topics
  4. Breakout session 2: Participants self-select based on topics
  5. Shareback / Q&A

Drafting a position statement for ChatGPT and LLM writing tools for higher education

Vol. 4, No. 6 (Spring 2023)
Brian Hotson, Editor, CWCR/RCCR

Having a baseline foundation is important to building writing and tutoring programs and support for students. This is especially true when technology comes available that dramatically changes not only the way we teach, but the way we think about education. This is the case with CHatGPT and other Large Language Model (LLMs) tools. (Think: ChatGPT is to LLMs as Band Aid is to bandages, or Kleenex is to tissues.)

What is ChatGPT?

A number of writing instructors and administrators from across Canada have created a shared document, Crowdsourcing Responses to Generative AI from Canadian Writing Experts, to provide a community of practice for not only responding to ChatGPT, but for developing pedagogy and teaching and tutoring practices everyone in the community can use. One element is a position statement. If you work in writing centres in Canada, please consider participating in the Crowdsourcing document. Continue reading “Drafting a position statement for ChatGPT and LLM writing tools for higher education”

Announcement | Get involved in the CWCA/ACCR!

Get Involved

CWCA/ACCR Board of Directors

Join the CWCA/ACCR in one of the many open board positions this year:

    • Vice President
    • Secretary
    • Francophone Representative
    • Membership chair
    • Digital Media Chair
    • Members-at-large (x2)

Position descriptions are available in the CWCA/ACCR’s bylaws. Different positions do have different time commitments. For the most part, you are free to make what you can of the opportunity. The board meets monthly for 90 minutes. Continue reading “Announcement | Get involved in the CWCA/ACCR!”

ChatGPT snapshot: University of Saskatchewan

Vol. 4, No. 5 (Spring 2023)

Liv Marken,
Learning Specialist (Writing Centre Coordinator)
Writing Centre
University of Saskatchewan

In April 2023, I asked writing centre practitioners to answer 5 questions on ChatGPT and their centres’ responses. Over the next month, I’ll post the response. If you have a perspective to offer, please use this form, and I’ll post it here. Brian Hotson, Editor, CWCR/RCCR

What actions, policies, resources, or information has your institution put in place for ChatGPT?

It has been an exciting but challenging term because there has been uncertainty about who would take leadership on the issue. There wasn’t any official guidance issued, but on our academic integrity website, an instructor FAQ was published in early March, and soon after that a student FAQ. Library staff (including me and my colleague Jill McMillan, our graduate writing specialist) co-authored these with a colleague from the teaching support centre. Continue reading “ChatGPT snapshot: University of Saskatchewan”

Writing a conference proposal: A step-by-step guide

Vol.4, No. 4 (Spring 2023)
Brian Hotson, Editor, CWCR/RCCR
Stevie Bell, Associate Editor, CWCR/RCCR

This is an expansion of the CWCR/RCCR post, Vol. 3 No. 3 (Winter 2022).

‘Tis the season, conference season. For those who have not written a conference proposal, it can seem like a daunting project. The thought of it can cause many to not submit at all. It can be difficult to know where to start and what to write, while following a conference’s CFP format and theme. We’ve had both successful and rejected proposals. As conference proposal reviewers and conference organizers, we’ve read many proposals and drafted several conference calls-for-proposals, as well. Here are some of the things that we’ve learned from experience. We hope this guide will provide you with some help to get your proposal started, into shape, and submitted. Continue reading “Writing a conference proposal: A step-by-step guide”

Academic vigilantes and superheroes

Vol. 4, No. 3 (Spring 2023)
Brian Hotson, Editor, CWCR/RCCR

“Only those safe from fascism and its practices are likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists.” – Aleksandar Hemon, Fascism is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It’s a Set of Actions to Fight

IWCA’s theme for their 2023 conference is Embracing the Multi-Verse, a theme taken up by the CWCA/ACCR’s 2019 conference The Writing Centre Multiverse. The 2019 conference’s theoretical basis was Marshall, Hayashi, and Yeung’s Negotiating the Multi in Multilingualism and Multiliteracies (2012). The CWCA/ACCR’s call for proposals states that the authors’ study’s Continue reading “Academic vigilantes and superheroes”

Academic writing and ChatGPT: Step back to step forward

Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring 2023)
Brian Hotson, Editor, CWCR/RCCR
Stevie Bell, Associate Editor, CWCR/RCCR

Sam Altman, a co-founder of OpenAI, creators of ChatGPT, said in 2016 that he started OpenAI to “prevent artificial intelligence from accidentally wiping out humanity” (Friend, 2016,  October 2). Recently, Elon Musk (also a co-founder of OpenAI) and The Woz (a co-founder of Apple) along with several high-profile scientists, activists, and AI business people, signed a letter urging for a pause in the rollout of Large Language Model (LLMs) AI tools, such as ChatGPT. The letter warns of an “out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one—not even their creators—can understand, predict, or reliably control” (Fraser, 4 April 2023). A Google engineer, Blake Lemoine, was fired for claiming that Google’s LLM tool, LaMDA, had become sentient:

I raised this as a concern about the degree to which power is being centralized in the hands of a few, and powerful AI technology which will influence people’s lives is being held behind closed doors … There is this major technology that has the chance of influencing human history for the next century, and the public is being cut out of the conversation about how it should be developed. (Harrison, 2022, August 16)

Continue reading “Academic writing and ChatGPT: Step back to step forward”

CWCA/ACCR Elections: Consider a role on our board

By Clare Bermingham, President, CWCA/ACCR

Elections are coming up at the CWCA/ACCR AGM in May, and we have several board positions that will be open. Writing centre people are the best people! And CWCA/ACCR is composed of an awesome group of folks who are invested and passionate about supporting and advancing writing centre work.

Have you considered a position on our board?

I know what you’re thinking…

You’re worried you haven’t been working in writing centres for very long.

Many board members began volunteering with CWCA/ACCR when we were relatively new to writing centre work. It’s a great way to make connections, get support in your role, and become more engaged in research. There’s no such thing as too new! I was brand new when I attended my first CWCA/ACCR conference in 2014, and I was encouraged to stand for election as Secretary only a couple of years later. I had no idea what to expect. I was excited to land within a community of people who were talking about a range of questions and issues, from ideas for training peer tutors to antiracism in writing centres. They were self-reflective, curious, deeply committed to student learning and student experience, and not afraid to share their own learning journeys.

Are you worried you won’t have the time?

The commitment isn’t a huge one, depending on your role and what projects you get engaged in. Think 5-10 hours a month, on average. That’s like 10-20 minutes a day. It’s a cup of coffee, a washroom break, a… well, you get it. And the returns are so worth it.

What returns?

What do you need as a writing centre professional or researcher or tutor? What support are you missing? What resources do you wish you had a few years ago, or even yesterday? Being a member of the CWCA/ACCR board is an opportunity to create those supports and resources for colleagues and student members across the country. It’s the chance to hear what people need and then find ways to deliver.

From conferences to book discussions, from workshops to panels, the range of projects that board members work on is exciting and fulfilling. I find the work so enriching for my own professional role. I’ve learned a huge amount from colleagues, and I’ve upgraded my skills in meeting facilitation and project organization. Honestly though, it just feels great to know that we’re contributing to the professional experiences of our members, regardless of where they are in their careers or learning journeys. For me, it’s been exciting that the work of the board in the last few years has overlapped with my commitment to equity, antiracism, and decolonization and reconciliation. Having the opportunity to help make space for conversations and actions on these topics and help reduce barriers to participation in the field, is something that I’m very grateful for.

What are you interested in? There will likely be ways to connect these interests to your board work and engage with others interested in similar things.

You’d love to hear what positions are up for election this year?

I’d love to share! Find out more about the following positions by reading the descriptions in our by-laws. You can also contact me or the current member in any role.

  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Francophone Representative
  • Digital Media Chair
  • Membership Chair
  • Members-At-Large

There’s a BIPOC Caucus in the CWCA/ACCR

Vol. 4 No. 2 (Fall 2022)

By Vidya Natarajan and Megumi Taguchi

Vidya Natarajan is a first-gen immigrant whose mother tongue is Tamil, and a settler on the lands of the Anishnaabek, Haudenosawnee, Lunaapewak and Chononton Peoples (now called London, Ontario). She teaches writing and coordinates the Writing program at King’s University College.

Megumi Taguchi lives and works on the unceded, traditional lands of the Qayqayt Peoples, in a city commonly known as New Westminster, in British Columbia. A fourth generation racialized settler, she believes that because her family on her father’s side settled in the Okanagan region, home of the Syilx (say-ooks) people, they were able to avoid the worst of the racial discrimination and imprisonment by the Canadian government during WW2. She is a former peer tutor and English language tutor, and is currently services coordinator at Douglas College, where she supervises and helps run the operational side of tutoring. She is working on her master of education in TESOL at the University of British Columbia.

SIGs and Caucuses

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have long been a way for likeminded scholars and activists to come together at conferences around subjects or projects in which they are deeply invested. As antiracism became a key node for advocacy, research, and attention among members of the International Writing Center Association (IWCA), the Antiracism Activism Special Interest Group, active since 2006 (Godbee & Olson, 2014) consolidated itself. Talisha Haltiwanger Morrison and Keli Tucker (2019) document how the IWCA’s “Antiracism Activism SIG became a standing SIG in 2017” (p. 4). They note that under their co-leadership, the SIG’s “primary goal has been to develop resources and support to help its members move toward the action invoked in the SIG’s name” (2019, p. 4). Many SIGs function on the basis of common professional and academic interests; in giving racial identity full recognition, however, IWCA’s Antiracism Activism SIG acknowledges the complex involvement of identity-based interests in social and professional interactions. Continue reading “There’s a BIPOC Caucus in the CWCA/ACCR”

Friends don’t let friends Studiosity (without reading the fine print)

A surveillance on the ledge of a building with a cloudy sky in the background.

Vol. 4 No. 1 (Fall 2022)

Brian Hotson, CWCR/RCCR Editor
Stevie Bell, CWCR/RCCR Associate Editor

Like many teachers on a late-August vacation, education companies can see September on the horizon. The difference is that these companies aren’t relaxing. They’re sending e-mails and booking video conferences with offers of freshly printed textbooks, handy workbooks, new online tools, and easy-to-use mobile apps that promise to make student life easier and save universities and colleges money.

The business of education is very large, with total global spending estimated at $4.7 trillion (USD) (UNESCO). By comparison, the total GDP of all African nations in 2021 was $2.7 trillion (USD) (StatisticsTimes, 2021). In 2018-2019, “public and private expenditure on [postsecondary] education” in Canada was $41.5 billion. Education companies would like a share of the money. In this context, a new-to-Canada online writing and tutoring tool, Studiosity, has appeared. Continue reading “Friends don’t let friends Studiosity (without reading the fine print)”

Reading and Writing Excellence Program: A Safe and Brave Space to Address Inequities

Two individuals smiling. One is holding a book, the other is looking at the book.

No. 3 Vol. 2 (Summer 2022)

This post is from the 2022 CWCA/ACCR annual conference virtual poster session. – Stevie Bell and Brian Hotson, 2022 CWCA/ACCR conference co-chairs

By Xiangying Huo & Elaine Khoo, University of Toronto Scarborough

The poster presents an innovative approach to support English Language Learners using a learner-driven and instructor-facilitated approach. Through this one-on-one support by a writing instructor, students develop their linguistic and knowledge capital required for writing in their respective courses. This risk-free approach that embraces relationality, respect and reciprocity to support students in their respective zone of proximal development can be enhanced by Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. The result of one-month of investment of time by instructor in collaboration with student have resulted in transformative impact, and opens up opportunities for further development should the student wish to pursue them. Continue reading “Reading and Writing Excellence Program: A Safe and Brave Space to Address Inequities”

Tutor’s experience: A session reflection on identity occlusion in virtual and in-person spaces

Vol. 3, No. 1 (Summer 2022)

By Mohsen Hosseinpour Moghaddam,
Graduate Writing Facilitator, Simon Fraser University

Mohsen is a PhD student in Education at Simon Fraser University. He moved to Canada from Iran in 2012. He started learning English at the age of twenty. Before that, he only knew a few words and grammar rules. He is currently working as an Graduate Writing Facilitator on the undergraduate team at the Student Learning Commons (SLC) and WriteAway. At SLC, in addition to offering individual writing consultations, he delivers general and course-integrated writing workshops across disciplines on topics ranging from argumentation to ethical use of research material in writing assignments.

“Body is never simply matter, for it is never divorced from perception and interpretation…and it is subject to examination and speculation” – Carla Peterson (2001, as cited in James Alexander, 2001, p. 108)

Mohsen Hosseinpour Moghaddam

Scene 1 (teaching in-person)
I started working as an undergraduate writing advisor at the Student Learning Commons (SLC) in the middle of the third year of my PhD program. I have been teaching workshops and having one-on-one consultations with students since then. Coming to Canada as an international student from the Middle East (Iran)[1] and being a non-native speaker/writer (NNS/W) of English made the challenges of being a writing advisor more intense. A question that has always lingered on my mind is if I am a legitimate writing advisor. I am not saying that others directly question my legitimacy and credibility as a writing advisor; this is just a feeling that I have always had with me as a NNS/W of English teaching at a Canadian university. Continue reading “Tutor’s experience: A session reflection on identity occlusion in virtual and in-person spaces”

Making Space for Speaking at the Canadian Writing Centre

A conference presenter speaking into a microphone

No. 3 Vol. 3 (Summer 2022)

This post is from the 2022 CWCA/ACCR annual conference virtual poster session. – Stevie Bell and Brian Hotson, 2022 CWCA/ACCR conference co-chairs

By Moberley Luger & Craig Stensrud, University of British Columbia

As writing centres increasingly become centres for writing and communication, our presentation calls for expanding the place of speaking pedagogies in writing centres. We understand scholarly speaking as an integral part of the research—and, indeed, writing—process. We will share a scholarly speaking web resource we built available to Canadian writing centres: The Precedents Archive for Scholarly Speaking (PASS). The site features examples of student speakers and aims to align speaking and writing pedagogies.

Please share widely! speaking.arts.ubc.ca


Managing the Emotional Well-being of Tutors and Students in a Middle-Eastern Writing Center

Landscape image of palm trees and institutional buildtings

Vol. 3 No. 4 (Summer 2022)

This post is from the 2022 CWCA/ACCR annual conference virtual poster session. – Stevie Bell and Brian Hotson, 2022 CWCA/ACCR conference co-chairs

By Maria Eleftheriou, Tamanna Taher, Alaa Itani, Konstantina Spyropoulou, & Zahraa Al-Dawood, The American University of Sharjah

As part of an effort to address writing issues, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) located in the United Arab Emirates established a writing center with a peer-tutoring program in 2004. The Writing Center conducts approximately 3500 appointments a year and has a staff of 30 undergraduate tutors and four graduate tutors. In this video, we describe how our Writing Center responded to the emotional challenges presented by the pandemic. We present our story through a variety of clips which illustrate the ongoing process of introducing emotional intelligence training in our program: the discussions that emphasized the importance of emotions in the teaching and learning process, the role-playing activities and readings we incorporated into our training program, the opportunities tutors are given to discuss strategies for avoiding burn-out and our developing ability to create a safe and supportive atmosphere in our Writing Center. Continue reading “Managing the Emotional Well-being of Tutors and Students in a Middle-Eastern Writing Center”

Colonial outposts in the 36th chamber: Hip hop pedagogies and writing centres

Vol. 3, No. 5 (Spring 2022)
Brian Hotson,

I recently interviewed with Casey Wong who is the keynote speaker for the 2022 CWCA/ACCR conference. Wong (he/him) is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Foundations of Education in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He is co-editing a forthcoming book, Freedom Moves: Hip Hop Knowledges, Pedagogies, and Futures?, with H. Samy Alim and Jeff Chang.

Thank you for taking the time for to speak with me. 

Wong: Thank you! I’m excited about entering into community with you and the CWCA/ACCR attendees.

First off, I’m interested in how you got to where you are now. What was your path to your PhD and UCLA? 

Casey Wong
Case Wong

Wong: I love this question, and I imagine I could begin academically, but I might start with my upbringing. When I’m thinking about the power of language and rhetorics, I think about all I witnessed growing up in communities in Southern California that were some of the poorest by size in the country. I saw a variety of literacies spraypainted across train cars that actively passed through one of my central places of upbringing, Colton, California. I consider how I grew up among interconnected and overlapping peoples from the African/Black, Latinx, Asian, and Pacific Islander diasporas. I consider how local Native peoples were actively involved in my elementary school in San Bernardino, California. I think about how White supremacy often found its way into the voices and lives of my poor and working-class White peers, but how often there were deep co-conspiracies and solidarities that went unnoticed. With so many peoples, from so many places, it made having access to multiple varieties of language a deep advantage, and their value, and beauty–even as Dominant American English was widely seen as the ideological norm in very oppressive ways. I saw this personally as my Cantonese father secretly refused to let us know he spoke Cantonese, nor let us learn–something myself, my brother and sister would not find out until he passed away while we were in high school. Continue reading “Colonial outposts in the 36th chamber: Hip hop pedagogies and writing centres”

Safe space to brave space: Avasha Rambiritch on space & safety in the writing centre

a single cloud in a blue sky

Vol. 3, No. 4 (Spring 2022)
Brian Hotson,

Avasha Rambiritch is a lecturer in the Unit for Academic Literacy where she teaches academic literacy and academic writing modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is co-ordinator of the Humanities Writing Centre at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Rambiritch is a plenary speaker at the 2022 CWCA/ACCR Conference.

I recently interviewed Rambiritch for CWCR/RCCR about her work and for a preview of her plenary conference talk. The theme for this year’s conference is Space and Safety.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you. I’d like to start by asking, how did you get started in writing centres? Was it a direct path?

Image of CWCA/ACCR conference keynote, Avasha Rambiritch
Avasha Rambiritch

Rambiritch: I like to think of my journey to the writing centre as one of ‘pure luck’! I am a full-time lecturer in the Unit for Academic Literacy at the University of Pretoria. As part of my responsibilities, I was the Tutor Coordinator for one of the large Academic Literacy modules offered in the Faculty of Humanities. At the end of 2013 my then Head of Department (HOD) asked if I would be interested in investigating the possibility of establishing a faculty-specific writing centre. I jumped at the opportunity and a few months later in February 2014, we opened the doors to the Humanities Writing Centre (HWC). Continue reading “Safe space to brave space: Avasha Rambiritch on space & safety in the writing centre”

Two years on: COVID Snapshot of writing centres in Canada – Emily Carr University of Art + Design Writing Centre

Vol 3, No 3 (Spring 2022)

This is the third of three posts from our CWCR/RCCR’s 2022 COVID snapshot of writing centres in Canada. Here are links to the first and second posts.

Here are the snapshots from 2020 and 2021.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design Writing Centre
Jacqueline Turner, Writing Specialist
Sara Osenton, Learning Specialist
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Vancouver, BC

The deep fatigue of the pandemic has definitely set in, but this year we’ve focused on our tutors and building their capacity to thrive in changing conditions. We started the year with tutor-led meetings, providing a structure and then letting them learn and practice how to lead. To kick off 2022, we started meetings with a variety of activities such as Jamboard drawing on virtual money envelopes for lunar new year, or sharing our own creative practices from painting, book making, design, and graphic novel creation to sewing and knitting. We talked about how all these practices made us think differently about the moment of writing and how empathy and enthusiasm were key traits for tutor success. This week, we’ll start off our meeting figuring out how our collective skills might help us survive a zombie apocalypse. Too real~



While the ongoing limitations brought on by COVID restrictions meant the cancellation of our yearly, open-house Valentine’s event for the second time now, we found ways to connect with students by pivoting “Love, the Writing Centre” to a Valentine’s swag-bag giveaway. A hundred students signed in to WCOnline to reserve their kit and pick up time. The kits included writing-themed items designed by our tutors, who took these ideas from conception through the design process: notepads of Venn diagrams and writing checklists designed by one of our talented (and Instagram famous) tutors; a real postage stamp designed by tutors in the Letter Writing Collective, tucked into a tiny envelope; Writing Centre pencils and bookmarks; and, of course, candy. A few select kits even included a “golden ticket” redeemable for additional prizes to amp up the excitement.

We’ve also had tutors lead out and collaborate on workshops in proposal writing featuring “obnoxious unicorns” (who ask “Why?” and “How?” many times); to moving beyond cliché in artist statement workshops; to MLA sessions; and thesis queries. We’ve had tutors visiting virtual classes and sharing their enthusiasm for writing in Zoom rooms across the curriculum. Tutors have hosted online Study Hall Sessions for students to hang out and work on assignments and hosted a letter-writing collective where they set up a pen-pal system and wrote letters to trees in Australia. Wordsmiths, our long running tutor-led creative writing club, continues to have strong uptake. In this sense, the culture of writing is still strong in our university community.


In essence, we’ve begun to see that the work tutors do beyond one-on-one appointments to build community and a love of writing is even more important in COVID times. Seeking and maintaining connections in the shifting landscape of Writing Centre practice seems like the most significant thing we can do these days. We’re lucky to have such a dynamic and thoughtful group of tutors to carry it all out.

Two years on: COVID Snapshot of writing centres in Canada – University of Alberta’s Centre for Writers

Vol 3, No 2 (Spring 2022)

This is the second of three posts from our CWCR/RCCR’s 2022 COVID snapshot of writing centres in Canada. The first post was a snapshot from Hailie Tattrie from the writing centre at MSVU in Halifax. This snapshot come further west–Centre for Writers at the University of Alberta.

Here are the snapshots from 2020 and 2021.

Centre for Writers
Yan (Belinda) Wang, Acting Director
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB

This coming March will mark the two-year transition into remote services since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past year saw the Centre for Writers (C4W) thrive in some areas but also experience unprecedented difficulties and challenges.

What Went Well and Relatively Well
Our clients are happy with online tutoring and other services we provide. We echo some other writing centres’ pleasant surprise in students’ willingness and appreciation for us adopting remote services. In the past academic year, when clients were asked if they were happy with the new online tutoring service, 99% of them said they were very happy or somewhat happy. For the first time ever, C4W services were offered later in the day (sometimes up to 10:00 pm) to accommodate clients in different time zones. The WCOnline scheduling system, especially its online consultation feature, continued to function effectively most of the time. Zoom was also used as an alternative when WCOnline malfunctioned.

Prior to the pandemic, asynchronous tutoring (i.e., emailed written feedback) was only offered to Faculty of Extension, U of A’s  school of distance learning, students. When it became clear that extending the service in a pandemic setting would be beneficial, we started to offer the service to students of all faculties. Soon after the change was implemented, we experienced a surge in asynchronous tutoring requests. Even though we had three dedicated asynchronous tutors providing written feedback, many synchronous tutors had to assist with asynchronous requests when the number of submissions became overwhelming.

Our guided writing groups (for international graduate students) and group writing support (for writing-intensive undergraduate courses) thrived in the first half of 2021. We offered eight writing groups between January and April 2021, a new record for the C4W. We also supported five writing-intensive undergraduate courses in the same period, another very successful record.

The pandemic also impacted the delivery of our tutor training course, Writing Studies 301/603. Dr. Lucie Moussu, the former Director of the C4W, successfully taught the course online for the first time in Fall 2020. A new approach was developed to facilitate the online practicum portion of the course: student-tutors were given the opportunity to develop their tutoring skills and reflect upon their tutoring practice through online observations, online co-tutoring, online supervised tutoring, and solo tutoring at their own pace throughout the term. However, student-tutors’ individual challenges and efforts necessitated adjustments to this plan, with some never reaching the third or fourth stage of tutoring. A detailed spreadsheet was used to track student-tutors’ hours at each stage, as well as their progress. Justin, our Program Coordinator, did an amazing job scheduling and keeping track of everything and everyone amidst the scheduling madness. In the end, out of 18 students, six undergraduate students and eight graduate students from the course were hired in 2021 to fuel our tutor team.

Difficulties and Challenges
The continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light a few ongoing challenges, especially feelings of isolation and mental health concerns. Additional instabilities emerged in the latter half of 2021, bringing with them significant challenges: our previous director left, and we struggled a little in the aftermath of her departure.

Issues with technology
Issues with technology arose for both tutors and clients. Some of these issues included microphone and camera troubles, clients not showing up to online appointments, Internet instability, and a recurring problem with WCOnline malfunctioning and terminating online consultations prematurely. Some of these problems were resolved quickly; for example, we used Zoom to connect tutors with clients during a WCOnline outage. Each tutor was given a private Zoom link (through the U of A) that they shared with clients at the start of each appointment in case issues arose with WCOnline. Some clients preferred Zoom and asked tutors to switch to Zoom at the beginning of their appointments.

Feelings of isolation and mental health concerns
The online environment left many feeling isolated, so it was important for tutors to keep in touch with one another. Justin set up a daily check-in window on WCOnline, where the tutors could connect and socialize. We also gave the tutors our personal cell phone numbers so that they could contact us when needed. Tutors needed to be reachable at all times during their shifts in case clients needed a drop-in session or we had other writing-centre related duties for them. Also, tutors checked in with Justin at the start of each shift between 10 am and 4:30 pm in the WCOnline check-in window, and with the director, by text, from 4:30 pm until 10 pm. More frequent staff meetings were also scheduled so that we could connect with the tutors on a weekly basis.

Isolation due to the pandemic also caused some mental health concerns. While C4W staff had the methods of coping mentioned above, many clients felt very isolated. Tutors often found themselves listening to problems and concerns that their clients needed to talk about. While tutors are not expected or encouraged to act as therapists, they graciously listened to clients when they needed a place to vent their frustrations. Tutors themselves were in turn encouraged to reach out to us with any problems they needed to talk about.

The aftermath of Dr. Lucie Moussu leaving the C4W
Dr. Lucie Moussu leaving the C4W in June 2021 was a huge loss. Her departure and the Dean of Students’ inaction in finding a permanent replacement threw the rest of us into a panic, and we struggled to cope in her absence. The C4W was without a director for two months, after which I asked the Dean of Students to hire me as Acting Director. (I had already been Acting Director during Dr. Moussu’s last sabbatical leave.)

Dr. Moussu’s departure meant that she could no longer teach the tutor training course, which had been essential in preparing well-trained tutors. For the first time in the C4W history, this course was taught by someone other than the C4W director in Fall 2021; it was instead taught by a full lecturer in the Department of English and Film Studies (EFS). The problem with this arrangement was that the lecturer did not train students specifically for the C4W  but rather for other writing tutor positions in EFS. In the end, only two undergraduate students from this class applied for a C4W tutor position. It was very disappointing, as it did not give the C4W any room to select the tutors with the most potential. Also, it defeated the purpose of the tutor training course, which was initially specifically designed to fit the C4W’s purposes.

My limited experience with writing centre work, and even more limited energy as I am trying to complete my own PhD dissertation, means that a number of goals set for the 2021-2022 academic year cannot be achieved. Vigorous promotion of our services, community building, collaboration with various faculties, research-related activities, and professional development opportunities for tutors were greatly reduced, as a result.

Looking Forward
The future of the C4W remains uncertain, but we are hopeful that peer writing support will continue to thrive, at least in some areas. Changes are underway and conversations about the future of our tutoring services are ongoing.

Streamlining services and reinventing workshops
In an effort to streamline our services, limit the unmanageable number of email exchanges, and encourage clients to book synchronous online tutoring appointments, we decided to retire the email system and implement the eTutoring function already available on WCOnline. Our Quick Guide for Online Tutoring was updated to reflect this new change. Justin created a separate eTutoring schedule for Winter 2022 on WCOnline, opening a few eTutoring appointments each day. Three dedicated eTutors are responsible for checking their appointment windows and attaching written feedback to the appointments within three business days.

As our clients and tutors have grown accustomed to the new norm of online learning, interest in and demand for workshops kept growing. As a result, we decided to bring back the writing workshops, which were cancelled at the beginning of the pandemic. Our graduate tutors responded positively to the idea of resuming the workshops in an online setting, and many created new workshop topics and materials relevant to clients’ current concerns. Most of the workshops have been well-attended and all of them well-received.

Resuming in-person services and the future of the tutor training course
We have been having ongoing conversations with the Dean of Students about resuming in-person services once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. We might return to campus in the coming Fall 2022 semester, and we would like to explore a hybrid model to accommodate clients’ different needs. Discussions about alternative formats of the tutor training course are also underway, as entrusting the Department of EFS to teach the course proved to be less than ideal.