How do I set up online office hours in Zoom?

You can set up online office hours in Zoom by scheduling a recurring meeting with a waiting room to keep conversations private between you and the student(s) meeting with you.

Where it will be easiest to set up the meeting depends on whether you are setting up office hours for students in just one UVACollab site, or you plan to make the same office hours available to students in multiple UVACollab sites.

Schedule office hours for a single class.

Follow the steps in How do I schedule online meetings? to schedule a recurring meeting in your site. Select the Enable waiting room option.

Skip to an example of meeting settings.

Example: Settings for Online Office Hours.

Below is an example configuration for an Online Office Hours meeting where the instructor will be available to meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-5 pm.

Date, time, and recurrence settings

  • When: 03/23/2020 3:00 PM - This is the first date/time when the instructor will be available for office hours.
  • Duration: 2 hr 0 min - The instructor will be available in the meeting room for 2 hours.
  • Time Zone: GMT-04:00 Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  • Recurring meeting
  • Recurrence: Weekly
  • Repeat every: 1 week
  • Occurs on: Mon, Wed - The checkboxes to the left of Mon and Wed are selected.
  • End date: By 05/02/2020

Additional options

  • Video: default (off) for both Host and Participant
  • Audio: Both
  • Meeting Options: Enable waiting room

Tip: Leave all the other Meeting Options unchecked (disabled). This will ensure that students will have to wait for you to be present to join the waiting room, and the meeting is not being recorded to maintain privacy.

Schedule office hours for multiple classes.

To set up office hours for students in multiple UVACollab course sites, you can create an identical meeting using your Personal Meeting ID in each course site. This will help ensure that you and the students are able to meet in the same place.

Open Online Meetings.

In one of your course sites, select Online Meetings from the Tool Menu.

Select Schedule a New Meeting.

Enter the meeting topic and optional description.

Set this meeting as a Recurring meeting.

Scroll past the date and time settings to select the checkbox next to Recurring meeting.

Note: Do not set a specific date and time for this meeting. Personal meeting IDs do not work with set dates and times.

Set the Recurrence to NoFixed Time.

Select NoFixed Time from the Recurrence drop-down menu. This setting leaves the meeting open for students to join at any time. However, you can specify your office hours in a Syllabus and in the course site.

Note: You cannot use a Personal Meeting ID with a Daily, Weekly, or Monthly recurring meeting. You must select NoFixed Time if you would like to use your Personal meeting ID with a recurring meeting.

Do not require registration for this meeting.

It's important to leave this meeting open so that students can join throughout the semester. If you would like to ask your students to sign up for a meeting time with you, you can use the Sign Up tool. Learn more about Sign Up.

Set meeting security settings.

  1. Required: Set a passcode for your Zoom meeting. You can choose to use the generated passcode or create your own by typing in this field.
  2. Recommended: Enable a waiting room that will require you to admit participants into a meeting. This will prevent students from unintentionally interrupting a conversation in progress.

Set video and audio options.

  1. By default, the Video settings for both the Host and Participants are turned off. Turning on video will cause a host's or participant's webcam to turn on automatically when they join the meeting.
  2. The Audio settings indicate how attendees can access the meeting audio, by Telephone, Computer Audio, or Both. It is recommended to leave the default setting of Both to allow participants to call in via telephone for audio.

Set your meeting options.

Meeting Options allow you to control participant entry to a meeting, and enable automatic recording.

  1. Enable join before host is selected by default. This option allows attendees to access the meeting before the host joins or when the host cannot attend the meeting.
  2. Mute participants upon entry will mute all participants' microphones as they join the meeting.
  3. Enable Personal Meeting ID to open the meeting in your Personal Meeting Room. This is a critical step that will allow you to have the same meeting link in multiple courses. For more information about the Personal Meeting ID, see Zoom's FAQ: Personal Meeting ID (opens new window).
  4. Only authenticated users can join will allow you to limit the participants to those with UVA email addresses or require a Zoom log in.
  5. Record the meeting automatically will start recording upon entry of the first person to join the meeting. Enabling this option will prompt you to select whether the recording will be saved on the local computer or in the cloud.

Select Save.

Repeat these steps in each course site.

To add this meeting link to multiple course sites, repeat these steps to create identical meetings in each site. If you use your Personal Meeting ID, each meeting link will direct students to the same meeting.