Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Virtual Office Hour

This year, because of scheduling issues, I was really having a difficult time setting appropriate office hours that would work for my students and I.  Following the excellent advice of my 2.0 friends, I decided to initiate a Facebook Group chat as a shared, public office hour instead. 

I am here to report that it worked WONDERFULLY!!!!  At least 13 students participated in the conversation - several of whom decided to help each other out afterwards.  Though the conversation was somewhat superficial - its early in the semester after all -  I also felt like "lurkers" and quiet members were able to benefit from overheard advice and assignment clarifications. 

In my pre-virtual, brick-and-mortar office hour, I occasionally saw one or two students for lengthy discussions....or brief ones. Many times, I saw no one.  This method increases the amount of contact I have with students, and that's got to be a good thing :)


  1. I totally agree and I am doing the same! Starting next week I will have virtual office hours during their lab time so they can ask questions while in the lab.

  2. Just to clarify, you were using the "chat" function in FB groups, right? I think that is the best option.

  3. Yes - the group chat function is what I was using. Love it.

  4. this feels like part of you two's evil plot to get me to reveal my facebook page. ;)