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Remote teaming, switching writers

Cindy Aitken Aug 06, 2015 12:29PM MST

I'm curious how others have handled teaming and switching writers during long sessions (using Weblinking). Does the student get two transcripts, one from each writer? How is the switch coordinated between the student and writers? Assuming the audio is coming via Skype, does anyone know of an unobtrusive way to hand the audio over to the second writer?

Any comments, tips, and tricks about teaming and switching writers will be most appreciated!

Cindy Aitken
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Kate Ervin Aug 07, 2015 08:26AM MST TYPEWELL Agent

Hi Cindy,

For some background, please see:
How to use Web Linking
How to team with Web Linking

Here’s what we at TypeWell have learned from our users who team with Web Linking, and hopefully other people will chime in if they handle teaming differently.

Switching writers:
With other streaming text services like StreamText, only one writer can input text at a time. With some of TypeWell’s other linking methods, both transcribers can type at the same time, but the result is a bunch of garbled text. Our Web Linking service lifts those limitations, by allowing two or more transcribers to be connected to the same “channel” at the same time, and allowing them to both type at the same time when needed.

Both TypeWell transcribers must enable the same Web Linking channel in their respective software programs, so they both can be linked to that channel simultaneously. Before the assignment, the transcribers should work out a way to “signal” to one another when they’re ready to switch off.

For example, the transcriber who’s currently typing might type something like * * * * * in the transcript, to indicate that’s the end of their section and they’re ready for the other transcriber to take over. For the transition to be less noticeable to the client, they could just send a quick chat message to the other transcriber in Skype or another instant messaging program.

Multiple writers can type simultaneously:
It’s OK for the currently-typing transcriber to finish his or her sentence even while the second transcriber begins typing. This is an awesome feature! The Web Linking server parses each transcriber’s typing into separate paragraphs, so the text does not get “garbled.”

Some transcribers have made excellent use of this Web Linking feature that enables them to both type simultaneously, by “tag teaming” during math/science classes. Once transcriber might be responsible for capturing the written information from the board (using TypeWell’s Math Mode), while the other transcriber captures the spoken information from the teacher or other students in the class. They can both type at the same time, effectively doubling the amount of information they can capture during these content-heavy jobs.

Sending the complete (combined) transcript to the client:
Even if transcribers team an assignment, the client can easily receive one complete (combined) transcript. This article explains how.

Sharing the audio with a team transcriber:
Skype supports group calls. To add the second transcriber to the audio call, follow Skype’s instructions for how to add someone to an ongoing call. This process may differ depending on the device you’re using (i.e. the Skype mobile app vs. the desktop application), which operating system you’re running, and the version of Skype you’re using.

Most people use the Skype for Windows desktop application when they’re transcribing. See How do I add an incoming call to a call I am already on in Skype for Windows desktop?

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