Tools for Remote Office Hours & Group Meetings

The University provides access to many different videoconferencing and remote meeting tools that can be used by instructors and students for holding office hours online. A few popular examples include:

  • U-M Remote Office Hours Queue – A U-M custom “digital waiting room” that allows students to sign up, and be placed in a faculty member’s queue
  • BlueJeans – Remote meeting and screen-sharing service available to all U-M faculty and students
  • Zoom – Videoconferencing and online meeting software used to collaborate in large groups
 

 

Secure Your Meetings!

Universities across the country have reported instances of Zoombombing, where malicious people enter an unsecured online meeting, and use the screen-sharing feature to display inappropriate and disruptive content. Make sure to keep your office hours and remote meeting sessions secure with the instructions from U-M Safe Computing, and tips from our knowledge base.

U-M Remote Office Hours Queue

ITS provides a custom Remote Office Hours Queue application for U-M instructors to host office hours over BlueJeans videoconferencing. Students log in to the application, see the number of people waiting in the instructor’s queue, and request to join the line. Remote Office Hours Queue automatically creates a unique and private BlueJeans meeting ID for the student’s own personal session.

Note: Remote Office Hours Queue is a work in progress, and ITS continues to make improvements. Refer to the instructions below for the most current information on using the system:

BlueJeans at U-M

BlueJeans is another cloud-based videoconferencing service at the University that offers audio, video, and content sharing. It is open to all U-M students, faculty, and staff, and provides a good option when there is a need for faculty and students to meet remotely in real-time, such as during course planning or office hours sessions. BlueJeans also integrates with U-M Canvas, so instructors can schedule study groups, include remotely located guests, and record discussions. BlueJeans Breakout Sessions lets groups break into smaller teams, allowing instructors to create separate, temporary work sessions as part of their virtual classroom curriculum.

Zoom Videoconferencing

Zoom is an easy-to-use, videoconferencing service supported at the University that can be used for simple online meetings. It provides chat messaging, screen sharing, and the option for recording. It works on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS), and is open to all U-M students, faculty, and staff. For large courses (up to 500 individuals), Zoom’s Webinar feature is available to all U-M faculty.

Refer to the ITS website for more tips on getting started, and performing other common tasks in Zoom:

Other Remote Meeting Tools

Some other videoconferencing and remote meeting options supported at U-M include: