Teaching with Technology

Computing & Information Services

Virtual Office Hours with Zoom

We recommend using Zoom for hosting virtual office hours. Once set up, you can distribute a link that will let people into your "waiting room": a list of participants that you can let into the meeting one or more at a time. Follow the instructions below for setting up the meeting and advertising it.

1. Set up a recurring "office hours" meeting

Zoom allows you to schedule meetings with multiple occurrences, so that each occurrence uses the same meeting ID and settings. This reusable Zoom meeting is your new "office". Follow these instructions for creating recurring Zoom meetings. Be sure to enable the following options for your meeting:

  • Topic: [Your Name]'s Office Hours
  • Date: ✓ Recurring meeting
  • Meeting ID: ✓ Generate automatically
  • Password: ✓ Require meeting password (This keeps strangers from getting into your meeting. The special link you give out will have the password embedded.)
  • Advanced Settings: ✓ Enable waiting room

2. Try the Waiting Room feature

The Waiting Room feature allows the Host to control when a participant joins the meeting. As Host, you can admit attendees one-by-one or hold all attendees in the waiting room and admit them all at once. More about using waiting rooms in Zoom.

To get the hang of it, ask a couple students, colleagues, or friends to test out this feature with you. Send them your meeting invitation and ask them to join at a certain time. At the appointed time, start your meeting and click Manage Participants (bottom of the meeting window) to see your Waiting Room.

3. Share your hours and Zoom link

When your office hours are set, people will need the meeting link or phone number, as well as the hours you plan on being available. You can copy your meeting invitation from Zoom and email it, or share via Moodle or your campus directory profile:

Add to your Moodle courses

  1. Log in to Moodle.
  2. Add a new Page resource to the top of each of your courses.
  3. Copy your meeting invitation from Zoom and paste it here.

Add to your campus directory profile

There is a field in the authenticated campus directory exactly for this purpose. Your office hours meeting info will be available to anybody searching for you in the campus directory. This information will not be visible in the public directory.

  1. Log in to IRIS and go to the Information Update app.
  2. Under "Campus", find the Office Hours section.
  3. Type, for example, "Monday and Wednesday, 4-5:30 p.m."
  4. Copy your meeting invitation from Zoom and paste it below your hours.
  5. Please edit it down to just the Zoom URL for the meeting and the meeting phone number.
    • Tip 1: press return after your URL and the editor will turn it into a clickable link.
    • Tip 2: make the link more readable by replacing the ugly URL with a phase like "Join Zoom Meeting." Here's an example:
  6. Visit the campus directory to view your profile and confirm that your links work correctly.