2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Virtual Office Hours and the Student Learning Experience

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Krishna Pakala


Traditional office hours are typically poorly attended, and faculty office space limits the number of students that can participate at a single time. Virtual office hours are an option for faculty members to support their students through a virtual environment. Virtual environments are beneficial as the faculty member, and the participating students, can sign in from any computer or tablet in any location. Using virtual technologies, there is no limit on student attendance and provides more flexibility for both the instructor and the students. Participation in office hours also provides a platform for student-faculty interaction, which improves the students’ learning experiences overall. This poster describes the design and structure of virtual office hours conducted in three mechanical engineering courses (Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer). The student learning experience is also analyzed through the evaluation and quantification of student responses on over 1,000 anonymous course evaluations. Through this analysis, it was found that students appreciated the virtual office hour environment, and more students were able to be accommodated than that could have been in a traditional office hour.

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