Meet Your Students On Neutral Ground With Virtual Office Hours
When you want to offer one-on-one attention to your students, office hours can be a practical option. Students are often going to other classes immediately after visiting your class so they might not have time to talk with you.
Many teachers use appointment management software to make meetings with students more accessible. However, you might not have considered using virtual office hours.
Traditional office hours have benefits, but they’re not perfect, and virtual office space can provide many advantages over conventional office hours.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Office Hours
One of the most significant benefits of using traditional office hours is that you have the benefit of meeting students face-to-face. You can see their expressions and better understand what they’re getting hung up on. One of the most significant negatives of traditional office hours is that both you and your students need to be able to meet at a specific time in your office. This type of setup can limit office hours.
For instance, if you found out that evenings are a more convenient time to meet with students, you might not be able to hold in-person hours because the university offices are closed.
Also, setting up office hours that are convenient for students can impact the likelihood that students will make the meeting.
Why Virtual Office Hours Are Your New Best Friend
There are various benefits to holding virtual office hours-such as increased convenience. With virtual office hours, if 7:00 pm is the best time to meet with students, you can offer it, and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home. And, if you’re concerned that you won’t be able to have discussions that are as meaningful as they are in person, you might change your mind once you’ve had a few meetings with students. They can send you drafts of projects that they’re working on, or they can send you a quick question.
Setting Up a Virtual Office
Virtual offices are the way of the future, and if you want to set one up, it can be easier than you might think. Pick a time that you want to make yourself available to students and a tool you’d like to use to communicate. For instance, if you’re going to have a conversation, you can use Skype.
If you want to be available for quick questions, the instant-messaging system on Facebook might be ideal. You can even have your students help with brainstorming to come up with tools that would be most useful.
Technology helps us do things that we couldn’t have thought were possible even a couple of years ago. You can use a virtual office to augment your regular office hours, or you can replace your traditional office hours with virtual ones-depending on your students’ needs.