Drop-in Sessions Online

In this recorded session, Ralf Becker (SoSS) investigates how drop-in sessions are run as an alternative to on-campus office hours during campus closure. Through a discussion with his colleagues from the Economics department, topics like session preparation and levels of attendance are discussed.

He originally set up groups in Bb for students to sign in, individually or in groups, especially to manage attendance in an on-campus office.  However, as campus closed all drop-ins moved fully online. With physical space being no longer a factor, registration for drop-ins was no longer required.

Ralf ran his drop-ins using Zoom and communicated what drop-ins were for via Blackboard.

In terms of management, Ralf commonly collected all questions from attendees to spot common themes and to consider the best order to tackle them all.

Ralf prepared his TAs for drop-ins. He shared a PowerPoint file with them containing possible questions that TA could use to instigate active participation.

No significant change was observed as regards the levels of student attendance i.e. online delivery did not significantly increase or decrease compared to on-campus drop-ins. Ralf argues that attendance level may not be the best measure of success.

  • Engages students in evaluating performance 
  • Increased student engagement 
Top Tips
  • Spell out to students what drop-ins are for e.g. bring a question and expect that to be discussed
  • If attendance becomes an issue, consider posing questions to students at the end of your lecture slot and invite students to have a conversation around that questions in the drop-in
  • Consider preparing some questions should the drop-in session move into silence, to keep the conversation active
  • Prepare your TAs for the drop-in session


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School: Social Sciences

Academic: Ralf Becker

Discipline: Economics

Course: ECON10071 Advanced Mathematics

Themes: Student support

Ref: 009