Synchronous Office Hours in an Asynchronous Course: Making the Connection

Synchronous Office Hours in an Asynchronous Course: Making the Connection

Beatrice Gibbons-Kunka (Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2017100108
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Abstract

The notion of synchronous office hours in an asynchronous course seems counterintuitive. After all, one of the tenets of asynchronous education is to not require students to be online and participating at any time during the course. Having taught higher education online asynchronous courses for twenty years, the researcher experimented with online synchronous office hours as a means of making a connection with her online doctoral students. This paper outlines the challenges, benefits and best practices of incorporating a synchronous element into an otherwise purely asynchronous environment. Additionally, it offers strategies to enhance communication between students and the professor, as well as developing a community of learners in the asynchronous classroom.
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Material And Methods

While this study cannot be considered to be a strict research study due to the limited number of participants, a survey was administered to the author’s students in order to ascertain the challenges, benefits and best practices of integrating synchronous office hours into an asynchronous course.

Survey Questions

  • 1.

    Will the use of synchronous virtual office hours in an asynchronous course improve communication between students and the professor?

  • 2.

    Will synchronous virtual office hours help create a community of learners in an asynchronous course?

  • 3.

    What are the challenges of using virtual office hours in an asynchronous course?

  • 4.

    What are the benefits of using virtual office hours in an asynchronous course?

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