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Using Zoom for Office Hours

Please follow the instructions below to setup virtual office hours in Zoom for the upcoming term. Office hours should be setup with the waiting room enabled so that you can admit students to the meeting as needed. 

Once you setup your office hours in Zoom, you will have a link that you you can distribute to your students. There are several ways to distribute this link: Create an announcement in Canvas, post to your syllabus, add to your courses menu in Canvas or use the Canvas Scheduler to allow students to signup for times.

ITS is available to assist with this transition:
Email: itshelp@law.upenn.edu
Tel: 215.898.2589

In this Guide:
Setting up your Office Hours in Zoom
Distributing your Office Hours Link to your Students
Procedure for Holding Zoom Office Hours

Step 1 : Setting up your Office Hours in Zoom

  1. Login to Zoom (instructions for new and existing users are at https://www.law.upenn.edu/its/docs/zoom)
  2. Under Meetings, click the option to Schedule a New Meeting.

    screenshot of Zoom interface

  3. Add a title for your meeting. For example: Office Hours - Professor Smith
  4. Check the box next to Recurring meeting.
  5. Select No Fixed Time for the recurrence.
  6. IMPORTANT: Check the box to enable the Waiting Room. (This is crucial to keep students from crashing other students’ appointment times.)
  7. Click the Save button.
  8. Copy the Join URL for Step 2 below (Distributing your office hours link to your students).

 

Step 2: Distributing your Office Hours Link to your Students

There are several ways to distribute this link: Create an announcement in Canvas, post to your syllabus, add to your courses menu in Canvas or use the Canvas Scheduler to allow students to signup for times.

Posting your Office Hours Link to your Canvas Course Menu

  1. Within your Canvas course, click Settings, then Apps
  2. Double-click on the Redirect Tool (Blue Arrow icon) and then Click the +Add App button. 

    Screenshot of Canvas Redirect Tool

  3. A configuration box will appear. Change the name of the link to Office Hours and paste in your Zoom link from step 8 above into the URL redirect box. Check the box for Show in Course Navigation. Click “Add App” and refresh the course page for the link to appear in course navigation. 

    Screenshot of Canvas Redirect Tool

 

Set up the Canvas Scheduler to Allow Students to Sign-up for Office Hours

  1. In Canvas, click the Calendar icon in the Global Navigation (left) menu.
  2. Click the + button at the top right.
  3. Click the Appointment Group tab at the top right of the pop-up window.
  4. Configure the scheduler:
    1. Enter a title in the Name box. (We recommend that you use the same title as the Zoom meeting (ex. Office Hours - Professor Smith) 
    2. In the details box, enter details of the office hours (including the Zoom link you copied in step 8 above).
    3. Click the Select Calendars button, choose the course(s) from the list, and click the Done button in the course selection drop-down. (It is possible to set office hours available for multiple courses.)
    4. Enter the date of the first set of office hours in the Date box. Repeat this in each Date box that appears for each day of office hours. (Unfortunately, there is not a way to set up a recurring appointment. Each day must be entered manually.)
    5. For the time range, enter in the start and end of your availability that day (In the next step we will split that single block into smaller bookable blocks.)
    6. Choose how long each appointment session should be and enter the length in the box to the right of minutes and press the Go button. (This will automatically split each day listed hours.)
    7. Check the box to limit the number of students allowed in each time slot. Enter a limit in the box next to users. (Limiting to 1 user is recommended unless these will be group appointments.)
      Canvas scheduler


  5. Set the other settings as desired and click the Publish button.

Once these steps are finished, students will be able to register for appointments through the Canvas Calendar. Share instruction for registration with your students: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10580-4212716665.

Procedure for Holding Zoom Office Hours

  1. Login to Zoom (instructions for existing users are at https://www.law.upenn.edu/its/docs/zoom)
  2. Click on Meetings and Upcoming Meetings. Locate the Office Hours meeting and click the Start button to begin the meeting.

    Screenshot of Zoom Interface
  3. Choose which students to admit into the meeting from the waiting room by clicking the blue Admit button to the right of the student’s name. (While in the waiting room, students will see the message “Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon.”) Instructors can also message all students in the waiting room. (More info on the Waiting Room is available in Zoom’s Guide).
  4. To remove a student before admitting another student, click the More button to the right of the student’s name and select Remove.
  5. When you are finished your office hours, click on End Meeting.

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