“It’s a great idea to meet with your professors during office hours since they are the key to your academic success! They are the ones that create and grade your assignments so why not get their perspective on what they want?” –Omoshalewa Bamkole, Second degree-seeking candidate.
“Meeting your instructors outside of class can make a difference on your grade. It shows the instructor that you are taking the course seriously and that you are taking advantage of their skills as well. The instructors can soon put a face to your name, making you stick out of the large lectures.” –Yeng Thao
Meet with your instructor during office hours
Instructors have office hours to help you, take advantage of this. Check out your syllabi to see what time your instructor has scheduled office hours and then stop in and meet with them. Not sure what to do during these meetings? Here are a few tips:
• Schedule an appointment and be on time.
o While your instructor has posted specific office hours it’s still important to schedule an appointment. If you schedule an appointment your instructor will anticipate you being there and if their schedule changes for any reason they will be able to follow-up with you. It’s also important to be on time. Your instructor may be teaching 4-5 courses a semester and will have a lot of students needing their time and attention. Be courteous and be on time.
• Be prepared.
o Bring a list of prepared questions and be specific. Bring specific questions that your instructor can help you with. This is better than just showing up and saying, “I don’t understand what’s going on in class.”
o If you have questions about a paper or exam you’ve taken, bring those with you and highlight the sections you have questions about.
• Take good notes.
o What may seem clear while you are meeting with your instructor may not make any sense a few hours later when you are trying to do your homework. Take detailed notes about what the instructor is telling you. Asking to go through an example to keep in your notes is also highly recommended.
• Don’t wait until you have a problem.
o It’s completely reasonable to stop in during your instructors’ office hours to introduce yourself. This is helpful so your instructors can connect a name and a face. You don’t have to be stopping in because you need help. Schedule this appointment at the beginning of the semester before things get too busy and limit your meeting to 5-10 minutes.
Office hours are a great way to connect with your instructors and get the help you need in your classes.