Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.07.38 PMOffice hours are a great way to meet with students to answer questions, explain concepts, and build relationships. For a variety of reasons, students often shy away from office hours. Here are a few ideas for encouraging attendance:

  • Explain the purpose of office hours. Many new students may not understand why they are beneficial.
  • Use a tool like for students to schedule a time to meet.
  • Require an individual meeting for an assignment. For example, review a draft of their first paper with them.
  • Give extra credit or a late day pass for coming to office hours early in the semester. They can come with a question or just to chat for a few minutes. This increases the chances they will come for help later on.
  • Be available online, even in online chat, during your office hours.
  • Encourage groups to come to your office hours. This works especially well if you create study groups or assign group projects.
  • Hold office hours in the Student Union or a classroom. A change of location can make it less intimidating for students to attend.

Try one of these ideas out this semester!



Chung, C., & Hsu, L. (2006). Encouraging students to seek help: Supplementing office hours with a course center. College Teaching, 54(3), 253–258.

Griffin, W. et. al., (2014). Starting the conversation: An exploratory study of factors that influence student office hour use. College Teaching, 62 (3), 94-99.

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