Skip to main content

COVID-19 coronavirus information and KPU's response [Read more]

KPU Surrey Campus

You are here

First-Year English Writing Labs

The First-Year Writing Labs will take place online in Fall 2020. Registration starts the first week of classes!

English Writing Labs

Are you a First-Year English student who would benefit from additional instruction in essay writing essentials?

The English Department’s Writing Labs are your best opportunity to complement what you are learning in first-year English and to keep you on track. Designed and taught by English faculty members, these online interactive labs focus on reviewing essay-writing skills in a series of modules. The labs offer plenty of hands-on practice in a supportive environment. The lab instructors—experienced in teaching first-year English courses—are here to guide you through the essay writing process while showing you how to apply each module’s lesson to your academic writing. You should attend if your WRTG1100, ENGL 1100, ENGL 1104 or 1200-level instructor has recommended it or if you know that you need extra help with your writing.

When and where are the labs?

The Fall labs will take place synchronously (or "live") fully online within Big Blue Button on Moodle. This means it is essential that you enrol in a labs Moodle page (see below) so that you can access the videoconferencing interface. Past students say that signing up early is important. Keep in mind that each lab is limited to 25 students. Enrolment opens September 8th.

The Fall 2020 Lab schedule is as follows. Each lab comprises of five modules that meet at the same time each week. You are welcome to sign up for as many or as few of the lab days as you like, but you should avoid repeating labs.


Lab A        Mondays  (Sept 21-Oct. 26)               8 PM         (Heather Cyr)* THIS LAB IS NOW FULL

Lab B        Tuesdays (Sept. 22-Oct. 20)             1 PM     (Jennifer Williams) THIS LAB IS NOW FULL

Lab C        Wednesdays (Sept. 30-Oct. 28)        10 AM         (Heather Cyr) THIS LAB IS NOW FULL

Lab D        Thursdays (Sept. 24-Oct. 22)            10 AM     (Heather Cyr) THIS LAB IS NOW FULL

Lab E        Fridays (Sept. 25-Oct. 23)                2:30PM        (Jennifer Williams)

Lab F        Saturdays (Oct. 3-Oct. 31)                10 AM         (Jennifer Williams)

Lab G        Tuesdays (Oct. 27-Nov. 24)               10 AM         (Jennifer Williams)

Lab H        Mondays (Nov. 2-Nov. 30)                  8 PM         (Heather Cyr) THIS LAB IS NOW FULL


 *skips one week for Thanksgiving on Oct. 12th

How do the online labs work?

The labs are interactive synchronous (or "live") sessions. This means that you will need to be online during the lab in order to take part. After enrolling, you will log on each week 10 minutes before your lab time. 

What do I need to take part?

To participate, you will need to enrol in a lab at the time of your choosing. You will need a device that works with Moodle (a laptop or computer is ideal). You will also need a working mic (a camera is not strictly necessary). Please be advised that BBB will not work properly on a cell phone. Chrome is the best browser for BBB.

How do I sign up?

To sign up for the labs, you will use Moodle. Click here to open up Moodle (you may be prompted to sign in). Sign-up will begin the first day of classes, September 8th.

You will see a list of writing labs on Moodle. Click on the one that works for your schedule. Weekly times and days are listed in the titles of the labs. Once you choose one, you will press "Enrol Me" (it's the blue button):

blue button

The lab will now appear on your dashboard with all your other Moodle courses:


screenshot desktop


Once you are enrolled in a Moodle page for the lab you want, go into the lab Moodle page and click on the "Sign-Up" survey. Make sure to answer all of the questions. You will need to know your First-Year English Instructor's name, so have that handy. Choose the lab modules that you would like to attend:


sign up screen shot 


That’s it! You are signed up. You will receive reminder messages about the lab you signed up for a day or two before the session. Ten minutes before your session, you will enter the videoconference room on BBB. Please keep your camera off and mic muted at first. 

If you decide not to take the labs, simply unenrol from the Moodle page.

Trouble-shooting tip: If you find that the link to the labs (above) is not working for you, do this instead: 1) Log in to Moodle in a separate browsing window. 2) Find the search function at the top of your screen on your dashboard, 3) search for "Writing Lab," and 4) look for the courses clearly marked with lab times and days that have our logo.


More Frequently asked Questions

Where are the labs?
Fall 2020 Labs will take place ONLINE within Moodle as interactive synchronous (or "live") sessions. This means that you will need to be online during the lab in order to take part. After enrolling, you will log on each week 10 minutes before your lab time. 

Students must register before attending labs (see above). Registration begins the first week of class. 

When are the labs?
In Fall 2020, eight sets of labs run from September to November. To give students maximum flexibility, we having rolling start times throughout the semester. Several sets of lab workshops start in Week Three of the Fall 2020 semester. Other sets begin in Week Four. Finally, several more start in Week 8.

What do they cover?
Labs cover five topics in five modules over five consecutive weeks. All digital materials are provided and each lab covers a lesson on the basic components of university writing. The topics differ for each lab: Sentence Structure, Paragraphs, Using Quotations, Thesis Development, and Grammar.

How long are they? How many can I attend?
Each interactive online module is one hour. You may attend as few or as many unique modules as you like. There are labs starting throughout the semester, so if you miss the first session or you discover later in the term that you'd like writing guidance, there will be labs available to help.

How can I sign up?
You will use Moodle to sign up. Please see above for instructions. Each lab time is limited to 25 seats, so sign up as early as you can to avoid disappointment. Seats are limited, so please only sign up for labs that you know you can attend.

What are the labs like?

Contact or if you have any questions.