Synchronous Online Meetings

Questions During Your Online Meeting


The chat area is on the right side. Start typing in the chat area (highlighted with a blue line in the screen shot above) to chat. Each person can see the other's progress as they type, which usually makes the chat feel more like a face-to-face conversation. If you would prefer to not allow the other person to see your text as you type, uncheck the "send real time chat updates" checkbox at the top of the chat column.

If your center is using audio and video, your image shows up on the top left (shaded gray in the screen shot above). The other person's image shows up below yours. Click on your image to double the size of the video (and again to halve the size).

The text in the large middle section will be replaced if you import a document, and then both people can type on the document.

The enlarged formatting icons in the screen shot, from left to right, are: bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, numbered list, bulleted list, undo, and redo.

The symbol that looks like an eye is to remove highlighting. You can choose to remove all highlighting in the document (with confirmation) or select text and remove only its highlighting. If you would like to "highlight" in the sense of pointing out text, select the text and then cut and paste it. This will add your highlighting color because you just added the text.

Click the "pi" symbol to use math tools.

The enlarged group of symbols to the right in the screen shot, from left to right, are: drawing tool (click to open the drawing area), video camera (click to turn off audio/video or turn it back on), import/export a document, play back the session (if you return later), help (which brings you to this page), and a "people" symbol to show whether one or two individuals are connected to the online session and to change your name and color. These options are at the bottom of the screen on a phone.


Use the "send real time chat updates" checkbox to determine whether the other person should see your chat as you type (such as "I am working on an essay and..." while you are still typing the thought) or should see your chat only after you have pressed "enter" or "return" on your keyboard. People tend to like to see the other's progress, because that makes the chat more like a conversation where you hear the beginning of someone's sentence before they have finished speaking. If you are thinking through ideas and expect to edit a chat before you would like the other person to see it, it might be easier to not send real time chat updates.

At the top right of the screen, or at the bottom of the screen on a phone, one of the buttons that tells you about your online session and offers options is the button that shows head-and-shoulders icons of people and is in a color. If this button shows a "1," you are the only person in your online meeting so far. If this button shows a "2," both you and the person you are meeting with are in the online meeting. Click this button to type in a different name (such as a nickname) or to choose a color for your typing. (You are randomly assigned a color unconnected with any characteristic of your account, but this color can be changed if you find it easier to see another or simply prefer another.)
The button with two arrows is for importing or exporting a document. Click and then follow instructions to import a document. The document will fill the middle whiteboard area, and then both you and the other individual in the online meeting can type on the document. Use the same button if you would like to export the document with comments at the end of your online meeting.


Use the pencil icon to open a drawing area, which should be useful for math, chemistry, physics, and any type of diagram. Both people have to have the drawing area open to see the other's drawing. If you use a see-through drawing area, note that it works just like drawing on a clear sheet on top of the document; you are not drawing on the document.


Click the "pi" symbol to open the math area. Choose from the "Symbols" menu and "Greek" menu, and also adjust as needed by typing letters and numbers. Click "insert" to add your math to the document, and click the inserted math to reopen the math area for edits. (Click the "pi" symbol again for new formulas.)


If your center uses audio and video in online meetings, your browser will likely ask your permission to allow or share your webcam and microphone. Assuming you would like to use audio and video, choose "allow" or "share" or similar.

If your browser instructs you to install an add-on first, follow its instructions. The add-on has to be installed only once. On subsequent visits to an online meeting, you will only have to allow use of your camera and microphone. If there is an update to the add-on, the update takes only seconds to install.

If your browser does not offer an option to use audio and video, you can either proceed with the session using only chat and the whiteboard area, or close this window and use a different browser to open your online session.

Within a given online meeting, if you choose to deny use of the camera and/or microphone or close the message without choosing to allow or share, but then would like to use audio/video, click the video camera icon to be offered the option again.


Similar to in Word, you can use the toolbar to change formatting in your document (or any text in the whiteboard area). The options in order from left to right are: Bold, italics, underline/underscore, strikethrough, numbered list, bulleted list, indent (or increase indentation), outdent (or decrease indentation), undo, redo, remove highlighting.

"Remove highlighting" is referring to the highlight color of any text you have typed or pasted. If you have pasted or typed a lot of text and would like to remove all highlighting, click this option, and then confirm if asked. If you would like to remove highlighting from just one piece of text, select the text (highlight with your cursor) and then click this option to remove the highlighting from only that specific text.

The online module does not include all the possible formatting that you might use in Word but includes enough formatting to make a document readable. The document-sharing function is intended to help with collaborating on the content of a document. If you are working on only (or primarily) complicated formatting, it might also help to attach the file to your appointment (if you see that option when you make an appointment and see a yellow folder icon at the top right of your schedule view), as an attached file retains its original formatting. If you are looking for an attached file (not the document uploaded into the online session) during an online meeting, look for other windows open in your browser to find the appointment (a smaller window than the schedule). The file shows up at the bottom of the appointment.


Our support team monitors all of WCONLINE®, including the online module, 24/7/365. If there were any global problem--the entire module being down--we would respond to it immediately. If you are unable to connect, see a disconnection/reconnection message, have trouble with audio/video, have trouble with the chat, or cannot import a document, please save time by assuming the online meeting is working properly. If there is any problem with the online module, we will already be working on it. If you are having a specific and puzzling problem, it is best to find the fastest way to continue with your online meeting.

General connection and internet problems: If you seem to be disconnected, close the online meeting, and reopen it from the red "start or join online consultation" link in your appointment. If your browser is not responding, close and reopen it, or use a different browser. If your internet is causing a problem--anything from someone else using all your bandwidth to completely losing connection to wireless--try a cellular connection if possible.

Audio and video: If you do not see a message asking for permission to use your camera and microphone, look for a video camera symbol in your browser's address bar (in addition to the one within the online module), and click on that symbol. If you cannot choose to "allow," "share," etc. your camera and microphone, try a different browser. If a building's internet connection is not good enough for any audio or video, or if you are in a noisy area without headphones, mute your audio or hide the video or both. If you seem to be having an unsolvable problem with audio and video and are not able to use it for no known reason, use the text chat instead of trying to troubleshoot for more than a few minutes of your online appointment time.

Importing vs. pasting a document: If you have trouble importing a document--regardless of the reason--and it seems to be taking up too much time in the session, paste the whole document into the whiteboard area, and then remove highlighting. Note that only Word and text files can be imported, so if you are working with Pages, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., either save a copy of the document as text, or paste as much of your work if possible. Along the same lines, a Word document might simply contain something the online module is unable to import or assumes it should block for security (even if there is not an actual problem with the document). Most likely, pasting the text will be the quickest solution.

Chapter Sections

SECTION 1: Questions During Your Online Meeting

SECTION 2: Making Online Meetings Available

SECTION 3: More Administrator Information about Online Meetings

SECTION 4: Specific Online Tutoring Hours