Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Virtual office hours

On the plane back to New Orleans yesterday, I saw this article in USA Today about professors using tools like AIM and Skype to provide “virtual office hours” for students.

I’ve toyed with doing that myself, but I worry about the perils of becoming too available—I already tend to respond to student emails at strange hours of the day, and I wouldn’t really want to advertise my weird working hours for student chat sessions. I suppose the compromise would be to set up separate Skype and AIM accounts that I just use for office hours and which I only use on my office computer, much as I’ve set up a separate GMail account with a more “professional” address and a separate professional website; now’s the time to do it while I’m still finishing up syllabi.