#5: How To Host Virtual Office Hours When Teaching Online

#5: How To Host Virtual Office Hours When Teaching Online

Knowing how to host virtual office hours is important when teaching online. Office hours are the open space where your students can visit and ask questions. This concept comes from the tradition of visiting one’s professors while attending a traditional university. The more classes have moved online over time, the less students attend live office hours face to face.

How Do You Prepare for Online Office Hours?

Some preparation for office hours will make them more successful. First, advertise your availability. Then, tell students how to access the platform. Next, explain what students can anticipate, such as the waiting room and using their video during the call. Lastly, dress professionally and ensure that you can be on camera a few minutes before the call.

What Do Your Students Need to Know?

Virtual office hours are more useful when they are scheduled at a time when students are more likely to attend. You might be most successful by choosing the same day/time each week. Or, you can schedule the hours on-demand, using a scheduling app like Setmore or Doodle.

What Platforms Might You Use?

Most learning management systems (LMS) like Canva, Blackboard, and D2L have an integrated conferencing platform. If one is provided by your institution, this could be your best option. If not, consider Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Go to Meeting. Some desirable features include waiting rooms, whiteboards, screen sharing, password protection, and recording.

For more tips about hosting virtual office hours when teaching online, listen to today’s podcast.