Running Virtual Office Hours - MicroCPD Transcript

Our master's in industrial project management programme has been part time since it started 10 years ago, and for the past three or four years has been delivered through distance learning to students all around the world.

One of the things we introduced last year was some live office meetings. We put aside the last Wednesday of every month for our students to book a one-to-one 30 minute meeting with the two faculty who support the programme. Students access an online booking system where they can find a time that's free, that suits them. They can book the time. It goes straight into my diary. It sets up an automatic Zoom meeting. All that we have to do on the day: look in our diaries, click on the meeting, click on the link and we're in Zoom with our students. So we've got very little administration. So the students get the benefit of interaction with the staff, they can book the time well in advance, and we get the advantage of convenience. We stop bookings two days before. So the day before, if there's free time, we can usefully plan to use it for other things. We're not required to sit on a Zoom meeting just in case students want to turn up, as you would if you did office hours in your physical office, they have to book the meeting. We know 24, 48 hours in advance whether we've got sessions, when our free time is that we can usefully use.