Office hours and email provide students the opportunity to ask in-depth questions and explore topics of confusion or interest that might not be addressed in class. Establish a few guidelines (e.g. reason for visit, how much time is needed, etc.) to ensure office visits are productive. Office hours should be posted in the syllabus and office door.
Take notes, jot down names, phrases, and other details of the conversation to reference for future meetings.
Students often ask questions related to majors, internships, and other career opportunities. Sharing your own experience can be helpful.
Offer an Office Hour as a Low Stakes Assignment
At the start of the semester, consider creating an assignment in which students sign up for and attend individual or small group meetings with you. This not only builds trust between you and your students, but also makes students feel heard and promotes equity in the classroom.
- Margaret Walsh, Ph.D. (Faculty Focus): How to Make the Most of Your Office Hours
- Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D. (Faculty Focus): Office Hours Alternative Resonates with Students
- Jennie M. Carr, Ph.D. (Faculty Focus): Two Tips to Increase Students’ Use of Office Hours
- Center for Teaching Excellence (University of Florida): Online Course Netiquette Guidelines (.docx)
- L Li & JP Pitts (2009): Does it Really Matter? Using Virtual Office Hours to Enhance Student-Faculty Interaction