Many people choose to work remotely today, and educational institutions are adapting to this change by offering virtual office hours. One-on-one supplementary sessions with teachers have become a time-tested practice to provide students with additional help and instruction from their teachers. Despite their benefits, office hours still present a number of challenges and misconceptions among teachers and students.
In-Office Hours vs Virtual Office Hours
Not so long ago in-office hours were the only option for students to get help outside class. As technology advances, virtual office hours have become increasingly popular in recent years, and more people opt for remote work and education.
Some parents may often prefer to have their child meet with their teacher face-to-face and spend more time at school. Such meetings are beneficial because they form opportunities to communicate and maybe even discover your students’ hidden talents.
Nevertheless, virtual office hours can also provide the same level of engagement and connection. In fact, online sessions provide many of the same benefits as in-office hours, with a few added advantages.
Reasons to Use Virtual Office Hours
Office hours for teachers may seem like a waste of time for some, but they have several benefits. Having time to meet one-on-one allows students to get extra help from their teachers outside of class, which can be very beneficial in the long run. However, not everyone can attend office hours due to work, family responsibilities or other commitments. Virtual office hours make it possible for students to participate in sessions without having to be in the same place as the teacher.
Let’s look at a few more advantages of organizing online meetings.
Virtual office hours provide teachers and students with flexible scheduling options. Students can attend the sessions from anywhere in the world, at any time of day. Teachers can also hold office hours at times that are most convenient for them.
This is a great way to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to attend the meetings and benefit from the interaction.
Virtual office hours can help improve communication between teachers and students. When meetings are held online, they allow students to ask questions and clarify concepts they may not have understood in class. Virtual office hours can also help bridge the gap between generations by providing an opportunity for students and teachers to connect on a more personal yet professional level.
Virtual office hours can also help increase engagement in the classroom. When students have the opportunity to meet with their teachers one on one, they are more likely to feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes. Such practices lead to a more positive learning experience for everyone involved.
5 Tips to Organize Virtual Office Hours Efficiently
While office hours come with many benefits, it is important to organize sessions in an engaging and motivating way for all students. Below are the top five tips on how to do just that.
Use Advanced Technology
Virtual office hours provide an opportunity to use advanced technology to involve students in the learning process. Teachers can use video conferencing software or collaborative whiteboards to create interactive experiences. This is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and can follow along with the lesson.
Tech-savvy students, for example, would love the idea of solving interactive quizzes. Use LiveBoard’s advanced features to create the most motivating learning environment for them while tracking attention and performance levels remotely. Virtual office hours are an excellent opportunity to give everyone a voice and create an inclusive learning experience for all.
Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Before each meeting, take some time to set clear goals and objectives. This will help you stay on track and ensure everyone benefits as much as possible from the meetings. Don’t expect students to know what you want to achieve, and be clear about your expectations from the start.
Prepare an Agenda in Advance
When you know what topics will be covered during the meeting, it is easier to prepare an agenda. Having a lesson presentation plan on hand is also a great way to ensure the session runs smoothly and efficiently.
Create a Consistent Meeting Schedule
Hold the meetings at the same time each week to create consistency. This will allow students to plan their schedules and ensure they can attend. Consistency is the key to maintaining a positive environment and instilling a sense of responsibility in all students.
Encourage Student Participation
Finally, encouraging participation from all students is essential to ensuring everyone gets something out of the meeting. Virtual office hours provide an opportunity for shy students to ask their questions and concerns in a safe and comfortable environment.
It is impossible to underestimate the advantages of virtual office hours. The first and foremost reason to organize such sessions is to allow teachers to provide more personalized help to students and foster a stronger relationship with them, all while meeting the needs of today’s digital learners. Students also benefit from online office hours by having more opportunities to ask questions and get feedback in a one-on-one setting. If you are considering virtual office hours for your classes, we encourage you to do so! There are many resources available to help make the process very smooth for both teachers and students.
While LiveBoard is an online collaborative platform, it has many in-built features and tools that can turn any online lesson into a fascinating experience for all. From an easy-to-use toolset to real-time collaboration, LiveBoard has everything you need to make your virtual office hours a success! Give it a try and share your experience across social media!