2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Krishna Pakala


Instructor-student interaction is an important element of the course design, but office hours can be challenging owing to time and space limitations and are underutilized by students. Virtual office hours provide a low stakes environment for learning and yield productive interactions between all enrolled students and the instructor. This study reports on three engineering instructors’ perspectives on the efficacy of virtual office hours compared to the traditional face to face option. These classes ranged from sophomore to junior level covering two classes in mechanical engineering and one in electrical and computer engineering and had a total enrollment of 150 students across all courses. The purpose of this study was to understand how virtual office hours can impact engineering student’s learning, if it is an efficient use of time, and the differences between traditional and virtual office hours. The instructors’ perspectives were gathered via interview after implementing virtual office hours for at least a semester. Analysis of the interviews concluded that the implementation of virtual office hours was mutually beneficial to both the instructors and the students.