Ag Communication Web Services

Tech info, tips & tricks


Rethinking Office Hours

We have been holding regular NDSU Agriculture Communication Web Service Office Hours for close to 4 months. Frankly we have not had the response we expected.

We hoped that our regular "Office Hours" would give you a time when you knew you could reach a web technology specialist. By holding "Office Hours" in a Wimba (webconferencing) classroom, we hoped that as we answered one question, others would be in the classroom possibly learning from our answer. We also hoped that "Office Hours" would work a little like a study group, providing some time when you could join your colleagues to talk and learn about mobile and online technology.

"Office Hours" hasn't really met any of those hopeful goals. Most "Office Hours" sessions go by without anyone in the classroom except the web technology specialist.

There could be any number of reasons for that. Maybe we haven't gotten the word out about what "Office Hours" are or what they are for. There is some anecdotal evidence to support that thesis. We have had some people ask in they can ask questions of a web technology specialist anytime or if they need to wait for "Office Hours." The answer is that you can as us questions whenever you need any answer.

Another reason for the low attendance might be a lack of value. In conversation with some of the people who have used "Office Hours," it's been suggested that we add value by offering a more formal learning opportunity with the sessions.

It's also possible that "Office Hours" just isn't an effective way of offering information and help. People generally want answers when they have a question and don't want to wait for a scheduled time to get help.

Of course, there might be other reasons "Office Hours" doesn't seem to be working. We need your help to figure this out.

We are cancelling "Office Hours" for the next 3 weeks, while we get your feedback. There will be no "Office Hours" February 21, February 28 or March 6.

Based on the feedback we receive, an improved version of "Office Hours" will return on March 13 or we will decide to retire "Office Hours" and put our time and effort into other ways to help you get the information and assistance you need.

To provide your feedback on "Office Hours," please complete this short survey, leave your comments below or drop me an e-mail with your thoughts.

Thanks for your help!


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Author: Julie

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