General Information for Current and Prospective Students
What is the Learning Commons?
The Learning Commons is also known as our tutoring center. We help students improve their academic skills (writing, communication, math, science, studying, note-taking, time management, etc.) so that they can be successful during their time at UNT Dallas.
Who can use the Learning Commons?
The Learning Commons serves all members of the UNT Dallas community: currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty. We assist students enrolled in face-to-face traditional courses, hybrid courses, and online courses.
Who works in the Learning Commons?
Our staff consists of three professional tutors and a growing number of undergraduate student tutors (students just like YOU). Our professional tutors have extensive tutoring and teaching experience. To be selected as a peer tutor, all students must be (a) recommended by a professor, (b) meet strict G.P.A. and grade requirements, (c) pass several levels of writing tests and diagnostics, and (d) receive intensive training on how to tutor students in writing. Both our professional and student tutors receive consistent training even after the selection process is complete.
What types of students need tutoring? I heard tutoring was just for people who are failing or struggling in their courses.
Everybody can benefit from visiting the Learning Commons regardless of whether he/she/they is struggling through an English or Math class or has published 1,000 best-sellers and has a high IQ and is the CEO of a company. Even if you feel you have written the perfect “A” paper, our highly qualified tutors can provide a fresh, objective perspective that may help your writing evolve even further. Many of the students who visit us most often are students who are making As and Bs in their courses and want to get ahead and stay ahead. Of course, if you are having trouble understanding a concept in any of your classes, we highly recommend that come see one of our tutors so you don’t fall behind in your class.
How should I prepare for a tutoring session?
The more information you bring to the session, the more thoroughly your consultant will be able to help you. Items you should bring include:
- A copy of the instructor’s assignment sheet, grading rubrics, and/or your assignment or homework.
- If you are coming in for writing help, bring a copy of the draft that you’d like to discuss. Either a print or electronic version works. If you have previous drafts of the assignment with any instructor feedback (margin notes and comments) or previously graded papers from the class, bring that, too.
- Any textbooks or research material you referenced in your paper (for writing) if you need help with citations.
- A pen, pencil, notebook, and/or computer to take notes.
What if I need tutoring when the Learning Commons is closed?
If you need help after hours or on the weekends when the Learning Commons is closed, you can still get all the help you need by logging onto Smarthinking, an online tutoring program that is a free service offered to all registered and current UNT Dallas students. Using Smarthinking, a student can choose to ask a tutor a question in real-time, post a question to be answered within 24 hours, submit a paper for review, or schedule a virtual tutoring session. Smarthinking is accessible 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, and you can get tutoring in math and writing. Please note that when you submit a paper, it may take 24-72 hours to receive the tutor’s critique. Smarthinking also offers content tutoring in other disciplines such as accounting, science, economics, and the social sciences. You can even use Smarthinking to improve your familiarity with Microsoft Word. For more information and to access Smarthinking, visit our Smarthinking page.
Do I have to schedule an appointment to get help in math, statistics, accounting, finance, science, or other subjects?
It depends. When our facilities are open, we generally take our face-to-face sessions on a walk-in basis for math and other subjects as long as we have a tutor available. Sometimes, tutors may be helping more than one student, so make sure you come prepared with questions and be patient as our tutors make their rounds and work with all their students.
Students can get online tutoring for STEM subjects, as well. These sessions occur on an appointment basis and are limited to 2 appointments per day per student. Students can reserve appointments using WCOnline, and our tutors hold Real-Time Video Tutoring sessions via Zoom for these appointments. For more information, see our FAQs for Online Tutoring page.
Do I have to schedule an appointment to get help in writing?
Yes- we prefer that students make appointments because we give priority to students with appointments. Occasionally, we will take walk-ins when we're not already helping students, if someone cancels last-minute, or if someone doesn't show up for an appointment. We fill up fast, especially during peak times of the semester (mid-terms and finals), so we ask that students book their appointments in advance.
How do I schedule an appointment for writing tutoring AND/OR online tutoring for all other subjects?
You can make appointments by calling us (when we are open), by stopping by the Learning Commons (when we are open), via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via our online scheduling system. You can log on to WCOnline at untdallas.mywconline.com to schedule, change, and cancel your appointments. Make sure to bypass the general error message you might receive on your browser by clicking on "advance settings" and allowing access to the page. The page IS SAFE and will not create any issues for you.
If you have trouble figuring out how to book your appointments, we have an easy-to-follow guide that walks you through the scheduling process. We also know that websites and browsers can be tricky, so if you're having trouble accessing the WCOnline portal, check out this website.
What happens if I miss or skip an appointment?
We ask that students cancel their appointments on WCOnline as early as possible if they know they can't make it to an appointment in the center for face-to-face tutoring (writing) or online for Real-Time Video Tutoring (online). If you don’t have access to a computer, you can always email us at email@example.com or stop by and let us know you need to cancel, as well. There is no penalty or punishment if you can cancel appointments in advance; however, if you miss or skip more than 3 appointments during the semester, you will be blocked from making any future appointments.
Can I drop off my paper or my homework and pick it up later?
No. We would be doing our students a big disservice if we accepted papers for proofreading and editing and did our students’ homework for them. We know you take your assignments seriously and want to earn the highest grade possible for each, but far more important than any individual paper for any individual class is your overall, continuous development of knowledge and skill. This is also considered cheating, and you can be dismissed from the university.