Q. How can I hold office hours online?

Answer

Table of Contents


Scenario 1: Scheduled Appointments via Webex inside Canvas

This scenario is similar to holding private meetings in your office which students schedule with you. You can provide your students appointment slots to reserve in inside your Canvas-hosted class via the Webex button --> Appointment Bookings tab. In this scenario, students choose an appointment slot on the calendar, add information to a form, and book the meeting. You will then receive an email with the information they entered along with their email address.  

Keep in mind that: 

  • You must turn on email notifications in Webex inside Canvas via the Account Settings link in the upper right corner of the Webex panel in Canvas.
  • Neither the open appointment slots nor reservations will appear in your Canvas calendar or your JMU Exchange / Outlook calendar. 
  • Only students enrolled in the Canvas-hosted classes you've added Webex to can see and book these appointment slots. 
  • There isn't away to prevent a student from booking an appointment slot that will soon begin or has already begun. 
  • The appointment slots you schedule will be visible to all classes you've added Webex to Canvas. 

If this scenario appeals to you, refer to this tutorial


Scenario 2: Open Office Hours in Your Webex Personal Room

This scenario is similar to leaving your office door open and encouraging your students to come in, even when other students are in the office with you, but note there is a way to close your virtual door and ask students to wait outside for their turn. 

Keep in mind that: 

  • This scenario uses your Webex Personal Room to hold office hours.
  • Anyone you share the link with will be able to join at any time unless you lock it (more on that below).
  • It's best to not post your room URL on the open internet.
  • To make it easy for students to locate your open office hours information, we recommend placing the information, along with your Personal Room link:
    • on your syllabus
    • on a Canvas page that you set as the home page; and 
    • in announcements.
  • You can make a gathering in your Personal Room private.
    • You can lock or unlock your Personal Room anytime via the ellipses button in the Webex meeting window or via the Meeting dropdown menu.
    • Locking your Personal Room creates a waiting room for everyone who joins.
    • Anyone joining when the room is locked will see a message telling them they are in a waiting room and will be added to the meeting when the host (you) add them.
    • You are not able to send anyone in the waiting room a message, but you can admit them, communicate with them, and quickly place them back in the waiting room. 
    • If you have people in the Personal Room that you would like to place in the waiting room, right click on anyone in the participant list, and choose the selection to move them to the waiting room. 
    • The waiting room list will appear in the right side of the Webex meeting window where the participant list and chat panel appear. 

If this scenario appeals to you, refer to this tutorial


Hold Open Office Hours in Webex Personal Room

The URL to your Webex Personal Room will end with your unique JMU e-ID. It will be: https://jmu.webex.com/meet/YOUR E-ID. To verify this, you can log into the JMU Webex site to confirm the URL in the central part of the home page. Note that to launch your room, you do not need to go to the JMU Webex site, you just need to click on it, or copy/paste, or type your url into your web browser. 

Simply share the link to your Personal Room in calendar invitations you create in Outlook or the application of your choice, or in your posts in Canvas, along with the times you will be available in that space for office hours. 

The first time you launch a session, you will be walked through either using the web app or the installing the desktop app. You can either of these, but we recommend instructors use the desktop app unless you do not have permissions to install software on your computer. If you’d like to install the app ahead of time, you can download the desktop app or browser extension from your Webex site on the Downloads page (login required). You can use this tutorial to install the desktop app. Note that as you install the desktop app, or launch the web app, you will be prompted to grant Webex permission to use your computer’s audio, video, and screen sharing.

After you start your first office hours session, note that you can lock it if you need to have private discussions with students. Left unlocked, anyone with the link can join it at any time. Locking a meeting creates a waiting room for everyone who attends your office hours. When you launch your meeting, and as you consult with students privately, you will get a small notification each time someone joins the waiting room. You can let them into the meeting as you wish. The below image illustrates the Lock Meeting setting in both the web and desktop apps. Note that this setting will remain locked for the next session you have with the app until you choose to unlock it from that menu. More about locking and unlocking your Personal Room is here and more about adding someone from the waiting room is here

Many tutorials about the desktop app are pulled together on the Webex Meetings Desktop App page.

How to lock a Webex Meeting or Event.

 


Schedule Appointment Slots in Webex inside Canvas

  1. Click on the Webex button in the class navigation bar to reveal Webex inside Canvas. In some cases, you may have to click on a Continue button to reveal Webex inside Canvas as illustrated in the second image below. In this instance, the Webex panel will open in a new browser tab or window.

    Click on the Webex button in the Canvas class navigation bar to reveal Webex inside Canvas. 

    Click on the Webex button in the Canvas class navigation bar. In some instances, you may have to click on a Continue button to reveal Webex inside Canvas.

  2. Click on the Appointment Bookings Tab and click on the Offer Slots button.  

    Schedule appointment slots in Webex in Canvas by clicking on Appointment Bookings tab and the Offer Slots button.

  3. Schedule a daily or weekly reoccurring block series using the following controls:
    1. Decide if your appointment blocks will repeat Daily or Weekly. To schedule a Single appointment block, see item 4 below.
    2. The time zone must always be set to "-04:00 America/New York."
    3. Select the days your blocks should occur on. 
    4. Select the dates your blocks will start and end.
    5. Select the time your blocks will start and end.
    6. Select the length of time each appointment slot will be.
    7. Select the length of time between each appointment slot. 
    8. Select a Conferencing Account for your appointment series. To learn more about all three types, and for links to download each conferencing account app, visit this article. Consider some of the following when choosing one: 
      • We recommend using Webex Meetings for appointments and small classes if you'd like attendees to be able to share their video, audio, and screens / files without granting them permissions. 
      • We recommend using Webex Events for large classes since all attendee's audio, video, and screen / file sharing are muted by default. 
      • We recommend experimenting and practicing with Webex Trainings before using it with attendees.  Contact us for help with Trainings.
    9. Click Save to finalize the settings for your appointment block series.

    Schedule reoccurring weekly or daily appointment blocks with these form controls, explained in steps 1 through 9.

  4. Schedule a single block of appointment slots using the following controls:
    1. Select the Single button to create a single, non-repeating appointment block. To schedule recurring appointment blocks, see item 3 above. 
    2. The time zone must always be set to "-04:00 America/New York."
    3. Select a date for your block to occur on.
    4. Select a time for your block to start and end.
    5. Select the length of time you would like each appointment slot to be.
    6. Select the length of time you would like between each appointment slot. 
    7. Select a Conferencing Account for your appointments. To learn more about all three types, and for links to download each conferencing account app, visit this article. Consider some of the following when choosing one: 
      • We recommend using Webex Meetings for appointment slots and small classes if you'd like attendees to be able to share their video, audio, and screens / files without granting them permissions. 
      • We recommend using Webex Events for large classes since all attendee's audio, video, and screen / file sharing are muted by default. 
      • We recommend experimenting and practicing with Webex Trainings before using it with attendees  Contact us for help with Trainings
    8. Click Save to finalize the settings for your appointment block. 

    Schedule a single appointment block with these form controls, explained in steps 1 through 8.

 


Cancel Reserved and Unreserved Appointment Slots in Webex inside Canvas

  1. Navigate to Webex → Appointment Booking tab. In the image below, you will see two appointments booked during the 4-7:30 pm appointment block. You can choose to do one of three things with the appointment blocks and/or slots:
    • delete (cancel) individual appointments
    • delete a block of appointment slots including ones that are booked
    • delete slots that haven’t been booked yet

    To delete appointment slots and reservations In Webex inside Canvas navigate to Canvas → a class → Webex → Appointment Booking tab.

  2. The small plus (+) buttons open information about each appointment and the appointment block. Note that there is a small button in the form of an eraser in the appointment block controls, but not the reserved appointments. The eraser button in the appointment block opens a small menu of three options.
    • Erase:
      • this appointment block
      • series blocks from here onward
      • all blocks in this series

    To delete appointment slots and reservations In Webex inside Canvas click on the small + button by the appointment block you wish to change.

  3. The choice, “This appointment block” opens the below window that will delete the appointment block, but also allow you to delete or keep the appointments already reserved in it.

    When deleting a block, you can choose to delete or keep reserved appointment slots.

  4. The choice, “Series blocks from here onward” opens the below window that allows you to choose which future blocks, and their reservations, you wish to delete or keep.


  5. The choice, “All blocks in this series” opens the below window that allows you to choose blocks, and their reservations you wish to keep.

    The third option allows you to choose to delete or keep all the appointment slots and reservations in a single series.

Set Email Notifications for Reservations

  1. Click on the Webex button in the class navigation bar to reveal Webex inside Canvas. In some cases, you may have to click on a Continue button to reveal Webex inside Canvas. (What is Webex inside Canvas? See this brief description on What is Webex? What does Webex inside Canvas mean? Why should I use Webex?

  2. Next, click on the Account Settings link in the upper right of the window. 

  3. Click on the Email link in the left side navigation of the Account Settings panel that will open.

  4. In the Email Subscriptions panel you will see controls to set email reminders, scheduling changes, and schedule itinerary. Note that Reminders might be be the most useful in dealing with appointments with students. 

What Instructors and Students See in Appointment Booking Tab in Webex inside Canvas

The following two sections explain what instructors and students see in the Appointment Booking tab in Webex inside Canvas. To learn more about your options look at scenarios one and two at the top of this page. 

Keep in mind that...

  • If you schedule your office hours appointments in Webex inside Canvas, they will appear in all your classes to which you've added Webex. 
  • Appointments for classes scheduled in Webex in Canvas will not populate the Canvas course Calendar. 

What Students See in Appointment Booking Tab

The below is an image of what students see when they click on the Appointment Booking tab in Webex inside of Canvas if their instructor scheduled appointments. (Note the below three screenshots are made in a student view, in a class with a team of teachers. In this situation, you will be able to see your colleagues’ individual appointment slots, but note your own.)

Student experience booking an appointment in Webex inside Canvas.

To reserve an appointment, the student will click the small + (plus sign) button by the slot they wish to book. A small form will open in which they can use to enter information about their goals for the appointment. Next, they must click on the Reserve Appointment button to finish making the reservation.

Student experience booking an appointment with their instructor in Webex inside Canvas. They choose the + button to open the booking form.

Note that in classes with multiple instructors, students will have to use the "Book Appointment with" pull down menu to choose which instructor to book an appointment with. 

Student experience booking an appointment in Webex in a class with more than one instructor.


What Instructors See in the Appointment Booking Tab

In the Teacher View, you will only see an entry that notes the block of time the appointments you set will take, not the individual blocks.

Instructor's view of an appointment block in Webex inside Canvas.

Clicking the small + (plus sign) button in the Events column of the appointment list entry will reveal the slot and break durations. In the image below you will see a small eraser beneath the slot and break duration information. Click the eraser for options to delete a series, a single block of slots, or select slots. You can also cancel appointments students reserved with you here as well.   

Instructor's view of an appointment block in Webex inside Canvas and access to delete the series of appointments.


Webex Guide

See more about Webex on the Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching at JMU.

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  • Last Updated Sep 22, 2020
  • Views 334
  • Answered By David Vess

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