Zoom: Hold Online Office Hours

Zoom can change the way you teach and interact with learners, by giving you the ability to hold online office hours with learners anywhere in the world on a one-time or recurring basis.

Why hold online office hours with Zoom?

  • Pre-schedule upcoming office hours 
    By scheduling an upcoming meeting in Zoom, you can generate a link that can be shared with students to virtually join you at the appropriate time. 

  • Consider using the waiting room feature
    You can use the waiting room feature in conjunction with your Personal Meeting Room.  This will allow you to use the same meeting link for all of your office hour sessions throughout the semester, but to admit only one student at a time into a meeting for privacy.  You can still require students to sign up for a specific time slot on a calendar or spreadsheet to avoid long wait times. 
  • Meet with individual students about assignments or tests 
    If you would like to meet with a student from your office or home, you can start a meeting and invite the student to join you directly from Zoom.

  • Meet with groups to discuss projects 
    Because Zoom has functionality to allow up to 300 people to join a virtual meeting, you can also meet with groups to discuss a project, presentation, or assignment. 

  • Conduct online review sessions the night before an exam

Equipment

  • Computer with a good internet connection
  • Headphones or earbuds (optional)
  • Microphone (either built-in to your computer or separate)
  • Web cam (optional, but preferred for face-to-face contact)

Before your meeting

  • Schedule specific virtual office hours at the beginning of the semester and communicate them to your students
    • If using your Personal Meeting Room for office hours, consider using a calendar or spreadsheet to allow students to sign up for a specific time slot
  • Let students know your meeting expectations
    • Can students enter and exit the "room" as they wish, or should they enter only at the time you specify?  Will you be using the waiting room feature to control access to the meeting?
    • Will you want students to share their screens during the meeting?
    • Are you recording the meeting for future access and referral?
      Note: if you will potentially discuss Protected Health Information (PHI), adhere to PHI security protocols.
  • Log in and be ready for the meeting before it is scheduled to begin
  • If you will need applications like Word or Excel for the meeting, keep them minimized when not in use

Look your best

  • Find a background that is free of distractions
  • Have adequate lighting so you are easily visible
  • Turn off background distractions like email notifications and cell phone rings
  • Mute your mic and turn your video off - you can turn those on when you are ready to start.

After your meeting

  • Poll students regarding the effectiveness of the session
  • Invite students to future sessions if needed
  • Use support materials and training sessions to learn more about Zoom