Using Office Hours
Office hours provide opportunities for having individual contact with students and thereby provides opportunities for a different form of communication than during lectures with a large group of students.
Students who do not feel comfortable asking questions during lectures might find it easier to ask questions during office hours. Office hours can help you to gain a better understanding of your students and their challenges and can help students to better understand the topic of your course.
Here are some ideas for how to make the most of your office hours:
Where can Office Hours be held?
- In your office
- In a chat session
You can set up a video chat session in Adobe Connect to which you have direct access via LEARN. The maximum number of attendees in a session is 120.
How to use Adobe Connect
- You can also set up chat sessions on Skype or Google Hangout. These tools allow you to meet virtually with up to 9 students. You can use video and share documents in both tools.
How can students ask questions?
- Bring them to the office / chat session etc
- Email them to you prior to the session
- Upload them in a learn forum
How can you plan Office Hours?
- As an open session
- Ask the students to sign up for the session
- Use questions emailed by students to make sessions with a specific topic in mind
How can you update your office hours on learn?
- Click on your name in the top right corner of the screen (on the front page of Learn)
- Choose ”edit profile”
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ”other fields”
- Here you can type in contact information and your office hours
Office hours can provide an indication of the students' academic level. What challenges them? Do you need to explain key concepts again? Or would it be relevant to offer supplementary material to the class to enhance understanding? Office hours can help you to make changes to your current teaching but they can also help you to identify changes to design or curriculum of your course for the future.
How can you provide feedback to students from Office Hours?
- Email a brief summary of topics discussed that are of interest to other students and how they will be addressed in the course
- Upload supplementary materials
New students often struggle to understand what is demanded of them and assess how well they are doing.
Office hours give you an opportunity to provide direct feedback to students' written assignments, quizzes, exercises, tests etc., so the students have a better chance of understanding what they need to focus on to improve their understanding - and do well at the exam.
If you have large classes a lot can be gained by working with more standardized feedback on assignments where the students in a schematic way can see how they are performing.
If a student has missed out on a few lectures or is challenged academically of other reasons, you can help the student with how to catch up with the rest of the class before the student feels that he or she is so far behind that the only solution is to drop out of the course. You can help by suggesting a realistic plan for reading and help the student to prioritize his or her efforts.
Where can students get help and support at CBS?
Students have many thoughts, dreams and wishes about what their education can lead to in the future. At CBS we have a Student Hub and a Career Center where students can get help and supervision on many general questions and considerations.
You are of course welcome to refer them to these support functions, however, students often have quite specific questions – this could for example be in connection with the semester of electives.
What is most important: exchange, internship or a specialized minor? Here a conversation with you can provide the student with valuable input that can be difficult for the students to get elsewhere.
The Deans Office at CBS have produced this FAQ with guidelines for using office hours in your teaching.