Online Office Hours

University of Wisconsin - Stout — Schedule of Online Courses, Online Certificate Programs, and Graduate Degree
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OFFICE HOURS - SAMPLE*

Note: be sure to delete the footnotes at the end of this document if you are copying and pasting text to your syllabus.

My goal is to be as responsive and helpful to you as possible. That said, I am not online 24 hours a day. Please know that I am a very interactive instructor and will be online every day except Sundays.1  

Q & A Forum on the Discussion Board - Think of This as My Online Office

I have created a Q&A discussion forum at the top of the discussion board for posting questions about course content or assignment directions. Please post all questions to the course Q&A before emailing me unless it regards a private matter or grades.  The Q & A discussion forum is the place to ask a question which pertains to all participants in the course. There are no dumb questions except unasked questions.  If you have a question it is likely others do as well, and everyone will see the answer as soon as you do when we use the public Q&A forum. Even better, your colleagues may have the answer for you!  If someone knows the answer to a question before I login, please jump in and help each other.

My Online Schedule

I will always check this forum first when logging into the course. In general, I will be logging into the course at 9 . A.M. Monday-Saturday.

Private Email Communication with the Instructor

When you email me privately include the course name and section number, your full name, and a complete explanation. This information2 allows me to give you the best possible answer as quickly as possible.

My Email Response Timeline

You can expect an answer to all emails within 24 hours, Monday-Saturday. Do give me at least 24 hours before emailing the same question again. If you get no response from me to an email or a Q&A posting within three days then you know I haven't seen the email/posting. Somehow I have missed it. Send or post it again, please! This won't hurt my feelings, as I want to provide the best possible feedback, but I am human and occasionally miss things. And sometimes emails go into some kind of "cyber black hole" and are never received.

When Grades will be Posted

If assignments are due at midnight on Sunday night, then I will post grades for the module by midnight on Wednesday night. However, I will not grade any papers before the assignment due date. This is for both of our benefits.

This is not a self-paced course, and you will be required to work together as a class within the discussions and certain group/partner activities. Therefore, the dropbox and discussion boards are date-restricted to open as appropriate for the assignments. It is entirely possible that I set a date incorrectly, so please let me know if you should have access to something, and it hasn’t opened yet.

Working Ahead of the Schedule

I know the challenges of being an adult learner. If, at any time, you need to have the next week's discussion opened early, please let me know, and I will be glad to open the next forum to accommodate your schedule. However, I will not open more than one discussion forum ahead of the current week's forum. This helps everyone focus on the content for this week without being distracted or feeling behind.


1 — Indicate what day(s) of the week are your offline days for family, research, etc.

2 — I'm teaching multiple courses, and emails from "Kathy" or "Bob" with no reference to the course title or section make it very difficult for me to respond quickly without having to check other sources to determine which "Kathy" is in which course.

* Adapted and used with permission of Dr. Kay Lehmann

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University of Wisconsin - Stout — Schedule of Online Courses, Online Certificate Programs, and Graduate Degree
© Copyright 2012 Joan Vandervelde  All Rights Reserved
Updated:  Sunday, August 21, 2016