Virtual Office Hours
There are a number of software solutions for holding online office hours, including BigBlueButton, which is integrated into all eClass courses. A few of the other popular options are as follows, but please note that the Office of Digital Learning and Instructional Design Services does not offer support for these tools.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool available online, which is free, easy, and intuitive to use. To get started, research Zoom (zoom.us), sign up for a Zoom account, and download the app(lication) to your computer. Once set up, you can create your virtual office hours by scheduling a recurring meeting, which can be linked to your Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendars. You can then send your students the web address for the Zoom meeting or an invitation for the recurring calendar event. Students would not need to register with Zoom, or pay for an account, in order to come to your virtual office. In addition, sessions can be recorded and then downloaded to your computer for future review.
Skype (skype.com/en/) is a free video conferencing application that is available online. Students and teachers can download Skype to their computers or mobile devices, create a basic account, and use it to communicate with other users on Skype. Basic features include instant messaging, audio calls, video calls, screen sharing, file sharing, polling, and much more, either one-on-one or in a group setting.
All faculty, staff, and students at MSMC have access to a G-Suite (Google) account, which includes tool called Google Hangouts Meet, or “Google Meet.” Hangouts Meet allows you to connect with others on your internet browser, using features such as video chat, instant messaging, and screen sharing. This may be helpful for holding virtual office hours, or for small group meetings, as a Hangouts meeting can include up to 10 people. For more information or support, please contact the Office of Information Technology (firstname.lastname@example.org).