Connecting with Students: Office Hours and Beyond

Even when teaching online (hybrid or Internet), it is sometimes beneficial to provide ways for students to connect with each other and/or with the instructor synchronously (in real-time). Some possible uses for synchronous communciation include:

  • Office hours
  • Guest speakers
  • Tutoring
  • Oral examinations
  • Student collaboration
  • Virtual field trips

There are many tools available to provide real-time interaction. Some are built into the Blackboard course management system. Others are available for low or no cost (Skype, WizIQ, etc.).  

While the following article was written about ways to use Skype in online courses, these activities can be used with other tools (Skype cannot currently be used on the CFCC campus). Read 10 Ways to Use Skype in Online Classes.

There are several tools currently built into Blackboard at CFCC that can be used for synchronous activities. Learn about these and more options from Conducting Office Hours Online (pdf).

As always, if you need assistance with integrating these or other tools in your online courses, feel free to contact me (Liz Stover) at or x7722.