I just saw this tweet from a professor I follow on Twitter:

Thanks for stopping by office and virtual office hours today! #drexel #PSY230 #PSY230 #PSY364 #PSY365

This intrigued me quite a bit. Not to reduce my hours in the office, but with so many students living off campus and working, it can often be difficult for them and me to connect. So, curiosity in hand, I replied:

@meyourprofessor virtual office hours? care to describe?

Chris’ response:

@JustinTopp I use Meebo as an IM widget on my course website for Drexel students who can’t make it to my office.

So it sounds like this is a dedicated time for him to instant message students (I’m unsure of the specific format requirements) that can’t be there in person. I think this sounds like a great idea, if both parties believe that it will be worth it. There’s always email, but the time delay between responses can be a nuisance. The virtual hours model would take care of this and it doesn’t involve Facebook as an intermediate, which I am happy about.

Anyone else use virtual office hours or something similar? If so, what’s the response? If not, why not?

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