Voice Chatting Through Your Computer
To speak live with the instructor and tutors during our open tutoring hours, you will use a headset (you can buy one for 20 dollars or less) plugged directly into your computer and Skype. This system has proved the most reliable in the past, but if you have trouble with it, we can use a system through Blackboard if needed (Wimba Pronto was what we had before, but it is heavy to run). We only allow our current students to use our secure Skype account. You do not need a web camera unless you want to use one. Once you enroll, we will exchange IDs and add you to our contacts. We never contact you over Skype, you ALWAYS initiate a chat. Since we may have two or three students wanting a tutoring session at once, you will first send a text message through the IM asking if we are free to answer a question (or check the status if we are busy), and then when ready you can do a practice tutorial, or do an actual graded quiz - whatever you want! If you are waiting in line, once the tutor is free, he or she will call your computer. We do only private, individual tutoring, no group tutoring unless there is a very large class that enrolls and meets during a set school period. In that case, we will use the telephone with speakerphone. All graded oral speaking quizzes will be given individually, and no proctor is needed.
Most tutoring sessions last about 20 minutes, but we'll spend longer with you if it's not busy. We used to assign times but that didn't work very well because students kept cancelling and rescheduling CONSTANTLY so now it is all open hours, first come, first served. Please check the tutoring hours at the beginning of each term. Our tutors' schedules change every semester. You will get an announcement in Blackboard Learn or an email through your UA email account when that happens. If you are not enrolled or if you have graduated we have to remove you from the Nihongo Web IM contact lists, but if you would like to stay in touch with your tutors or instructor, they may give you their personal emails if they choose to.
Download Skype free for your computer