Did you know you can maintain office hours using Microsoft Teams? Virtual office hours are a great way to host one-to-one sessions that you would normally host on campus. This could be used for a quick catch up, or even to go through your student’s assignment.

Start by setting out clear expectations of when your virtual office hours are going to be held. Ask your students to book onto a time slot so that you can manage this time effectively. By using Microsoft Teams it can be done easily!

Create a separate channel

It may be easier to set up a separate channel in a team to host these one-to-one sessions. All teams come with a “General” channel which all your students have access to. You could set up a separate channel within the Team where you will host your virtual office hours/tutorials. You can change who has access to the channel, to add and remove students when their time slot starts and ends. This reduces the need to create numerous channels for each one of your students.

Guidance on creating a channel in Teams can be found here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/create-a-channel-in-teams-fda0b75e-5b90-4fb8-8857-7e102b014525

Create a meeting

Creating a meeting within Teams is a good way, not only for you, but for your students to keep track of their one-to-one session. Meetings can be created via the Calendar in Teams. More information on creating a meeting can be found here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/schedule-a-meeting-in-teams-943507a9-8583-4c58-b5d2-8ec8265e04e5

Good Practice

Since this is a new way of working, give yourself time to test this idea before rolling it out to your students. Invite colleagues to a team and have a go! This is the best way to envisage what problems you may come across when doing it in real time.

Make sure you know how to:

  • Mute and un-mute your microphone
  • Turn your webcam on and off
  • Share your screen if you wish to do this – showing students how to share their screens could be a good way to carry out presentations that would normally be done in class.

Informing your students

  • Inform your students of this new, temporary way of working. This could be done via email or an announcement on Blackboard.
  • Ensure that they are able to access teams with no issues before you start to set up your online meetings. Show them how to set up Teams if they are unsure how to.

If you need any support with this, you can request an online drop-in session by following the instructions here: https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/2020/03/20/online-digital-learning-drop-in/ or you can email elearning@tees.ac.uk for further support. 

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