Instructor Office Hours & Communication
Communication with instructors
Prepare before you go to office hours
Write your questions down beforehand, and have them available when you meet with your instructor. If you want to talk about a test, paper, or reading, have the information ready for you and your instructor to reference.
Be active in the conversation
First, say hello and introduce yourself. If your instructor teaches several courses, indicate which course you are taking. Then, begin the conversation. You might say: I'd like to ask you about ... or would you mind working through this problem together?
If you do not understand, ask more questions
Seeking clarification demonstrates that you want to learn. Be sure you have answers before you leave.
Take a friend
It can feel less intimidating to go with someone else from your class. Plan to meet together beforehand and decide what questions you will ask your instructor.
Make an exit plan
Before you visit office hours, decide what information you need to acquire at the meeting. If there is a certain time you need to leave by, consider telling your instructor when you start. Knowing your exit cues ahead of time can help you to transition smoothly into saying thank you for meeting with me.
Make visits a habit
This is your time, and visiting office hours shows your investment in learning. Your instructors are incredible resources and can help with your classes. So plan to use office hours regularly.
Should I go even if I do not have any questions about the course?
Yes! If you haven't introduced yourself yet, then go and do that. Ask your instructor what strategies they believe will help students succeed in the course. Share how you are preparing for the course and how you are studying the material, and ask for additional suggestions. Meet with your instructor as soon as you can, so that talking with them and asking questions becomes a habit.
Will my instructor think I'm dumb for asking questions?
No! When you have questions and visit your instructor, you show that you are invested in learning.