Remote Office Hours

One of the struggles of remote teaching is how to conduct remote office hours in the most effective way. This page will provide you with best practices for using Zoom and Sign Up Tool for office hours.

Zoom Meetings for Office Hours

With your Yale Zoom account, you have two basic options:

  1. You can use your own personal meeting room: this allows you to create a customizable URL that is easy for you and your students to remember.
  2. Or you can create specific meetings for each office hour session: scheduling meetings creates specific meeting spaces and URLs for each meeting, which allows you to keep your sessions more organized, and they will have unique URLs that only point to that session.

If you choose to use your own, personal meeting room:

  • Navigate to your Zoom account under .
  • Customize your URL  to provide your students with an easy to remember link.
  • Share the URL with your class in a Canvas Announcement  to let them know when you will be holding remote office hours.
  • To prevent students from joining in to your remote office hours while you are talking to another student, you have the option to enable waiting rooms  for your personal meeting room. This will allow you to monitor when a student can enter the room. Note that this will deactivate the option for join before host .
  • Another option would be to lock your meeting to prevent others from joining the session. This option can be found in the “Manage Participants” settings when you are already in your Zoom meeting.

If you choose to create separate meetings

  • Navigate to your Zoom account under .
  • Click on the “Meetings” link in the left, then “Schedule a New Meeting” button under the “Upcoming Meetings” tab.
  • Create a Meeting Name
  • Set your meeting time and date; if your meetings are recurring, click on this option box and specify the proper settings.
  • You can send just the URL or the full instructions to join by clicking on the “Copy the invitation” link and copying-and-pasting that content into a Canvas Announcement  each week or whenever is appropriate.

Additional Resource Links

How to Create Canvas Link:

How to enable and use waiting rooms in Zoom:

How to customize your Personal Meeting Room URL:


Sign Up Tool in Canvas

Sign-Up Tool  is an external application created by Yale to function as a scheduling tool that allows instructors to set up office hours or other time slots for appointments for students enrolled in their current Canvas course sites. You will be able to add your Zoom link to the location of the sign up appointments.

Some benefits of using Sign Up Beta include:

  • Allowing the students to register for time slots with little confusion in Canvas.
  • Limiting length of time students can schedule (i.e. a 3-hour time block can be separated into 20 minute blocks for students).
  • Having specific time slots available to a group of students or sections within the same Canvas course.
  • Allows faculty to reserve time slots on the behalf of students.

Additional resource links:

How to use Sign Up Beta in Canvas: