What is it?
Office hours of teaching staff are the times at which students are able to find lecturers in their rooms during term-time. Although appointments are not necessary, it is best to arrange an appointment by email if students need to see someone about a particular issue. Office hours are a great opportunity to ask lecturers for clarification on some concepts covered in the course or on the next assignment. It is also really useful to ask for additional feedback or clarify written or verbal feedback received previously on an assignment or in class. Face-to-face feedback is often seen by lecturers and students as the best way to receive feedback as the lecturer can ensure the feedback is tailored to the student’s needs and that the student understand the feedback that is being given. Sometimes lecturers do not have time to talk after lectures so students are encouraged to come during office hours as it is a great way to receive informal and ongoing feedback.
How can students make the most of it?
Both undergraduate and postgraduate students can benefit from having one-on-one sessions with lecturers during office hours. Postgraduate students take advantage of this option more often than undergraduate students who tend to avoid office hours for fear of being seeing as too pushy despite being encouraged by lecturers. Office hours are a great opportunity for all students to get very specific feedback which may help them improve on their next assignment. In the event that a lecturer’s office hours are not convenient for the students, he/she should email the lecturer to arrange an alternative time and date. So if you get the opportunity to have a chat with your lecturer during office hours, don’t hesitate and use it to your advantage.