Making the Most of Faculty Office Hours | Student Affairs Division

One of the best ways to stay ahead of your lessons is to use your teachers as a resource. Believe it or not, they want to see you succeed. The more questions you ask and interact with in and out of class, the easier your learning experience can be. Here is a list of things to try to maximize your teacher’s office hours.

Note office hours

At the start of the semester, it may be helpful to write down the office hours information for each of your classes in one place. Write down the names of your instructors, where the office hours will be (virtual or in person) and when they will be offered (time and days of the week).

If you have any schedule conflicts with office hours and other classes, contact your instructor directly to request an appointment at another time. Be sure to provide the hours you are available and ask which of those hours works best for them.

be ready

It is important to be prepared for any questions and concerns you have regarding the course content. Now is a great time to ask your teacher for clarification on a topic or other ways to prepare for exams or class homework. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Do you have any tips on how best to study or prepare for quizzes, midterm exams or final exam?

  • Are you ready to review a draft of my article before handing over the final product?

  • Can you explain how reading connects to conference topics?

  • Can we review the questions I missed on the exam?

Being prepared also means arriving on time. Make sure you have the correct office time or virtual meeting link to log in or arrive on time.

Maximize your time

During office hours, make sure you stay mentally present in order to make the most of your teacher’s time. Here are a few things to try in your meeting.

  • Take notes that help you better understand your questions

  • Be respectful and stay engaged

  • Ask the questions that matter most to you first

  • Set up a follow-up meeting with your teacher if you need additional help

After office hours

Besides being proactive and attending office hours, another great way to let your teacher know you’re serious about the class is to follow up afterwards.

After attending office hours, follow up via email with any other questions you have asked yourself that you weren’t answered during your meeting. Don’t forget to thank your instructor for meeting you. Remember, professors do their own research and thanking them for their time answering your questions can be very helpful.

Remember to compile the notes you took during office hours and add them to your class notes if necessary. Try to apply them to new practice problems to help internalize your learning.

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