HighEdWeb Assocation
The Annual Conference for Higher Education Web Professionals, Austin, Texas, October 23-26, 2011

Session Details

Office-hours: Moving beyond four walls

PST Poster Sessions Track

Texas Ballroom 1-3


The performance of office hours provides one of the few opportunities for students to interact with a faculty member on a one-on-one basis. Office-hours provide the stage for students to seek clarification on class material, seek assistance on assignments, and to generally interact with the instructor in a more personal fashion. Many students, however, find attending office hours to be a challenge due to scheduling conflicts. By offering the opportunity for faculty members to hold video-chat office hours, we can provide students and faculty with an alternative to physically attending office hours. While there are alternatives to developing an in-house solution, such as Skype, developing a homegrown product provides several advantages. First, students can use their own accounts. Instead of having to create yet another account for a student to manage, students can use his/her existing school accounts. Next, faculty members do not have to manage who is allowed to access the video-office hours. By using existing course-management system, such as Blackboard, we can allow only students in a specified course to contact their instructor. Finally, by developing an in-house solution, we can provide customization to meet the needs of the faculty and students. This presentation seeks to demonstrate one in-house solution and opens a forum for discussing extending the product.