It's your first week of college/university!

Your course instructor gives you a syllabus that tells you when and where you can visit their office hours, but you skim past it.

Office hours aren't mandatory to attend, so why bother going? Plus, you can get everything you need from the syllabus, right?

A woman taps on her chin, then says,

Think again!

Going to office hours is time well spent! You'll benefit from the extra help if you need it.

What Are Office Hours?

Sienfeld in awe. Underlying text: What's the deal with office hours?

Course instructors set aside office hours to help students beyond the classroom with:

  • understanding difficult material

  • upcoming assignment expectations

  • preparing for midterms and final exams

  • writing papers and preparing presentations

Quiz

Sally is confused by a topic taught in her economics class and the mid term is tomorrow. She can't go to the office hours as she has classes one after the other. What are her best options?

Email the professor with her question

Ask a peer to help her

Put it off for the future

Go to online office hours by the prof

What Office Hours Aren't!

Girl with backpack smiling Underlying text: Didn't get an A on the exam. Wastes professor's ENTIRE office hour asking for par

  • Tutoring sessions where instructors teach you everything

  • Whining sessions where you complain about the challenges of the course

  • Defending sessions where you argue about your marks or make excuses for not submitting assignments

Benefits Of Going To Office Hours:

1) Fill the gaps in your learning

Come prepared to ask your professor questions about what you didn't understand during class.

Animation with information directed towards human brain

2) Learn from peers

Go with a study partner to office hours so you can learn from your peers about the course material and beyond. You can learn from their questions and pick up some studying tips your peers use.

A woman drowned in potatoes: Underlying text: it's important to surround yourself with peers that you can learn from

3) Get detailed feedback

You can get detailed feedback on your performance on the assignments, mid-term or finals.

Cat with innocent eyes. Underlying text: We want your feedback

4) Build rapport

The professor will notice your active presence during the semester. This may help you get:

  • a recommendation letter for a job or higher education

  • academic placement opportunities (research assistant, teaching assistant, etc.)

    Newman (Sienfeld)  points to a guy sitting on a table next to him. Underlying text: Look everyone! he's building a rapport!

Myths Around Office Hours

You'll be judged by the instructor: On the contrary, instructors like it when students make the extra effort to attend office hours. The instructors are there to help you excel in your learning journey.

Instructors get agitated: The instructors have set aside these hours for the students to ask their questions at length. They'll answer them patiently, as they're not in a rush to finish the course goal.

An animated cartoon with frightened expression. Underlying text says: Don't panic ! come to office hours !

Take Action

A person saying,

Prepare for office hours:

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This Byte has been authored by

SP

Sara Pirani

Engineer, educator, life long learner