Examples In Practice

Example – Office Hours Description for an E100 Course

Naomi Salmon

This is an example of how an instructor would tailor the “office hours tasting menu” approach to a specific course. English 100 is a class that enrolls a high percentage of first-year students. Courses like this can help establish (or discourage) students’ willingness to attend office hours later in college, so they offer a good opportunity for instructors to be explicit about what office hours can be for. The course involves multiple writing assignments and peer review sessions, so it lends itself well to office hours sessions in which students put peer or instructor feedback into action while revising a past draft. 

We’ve made some explanatory comments on the sample below using a Hypothes.is annotation tool. If you see something highlighted in yellow, you can click on it and a comment will pop up in your sidebar.


E100 Student Hours (AKA Office Hours) With Naomi

Office hours in this class can take a lot of different forms! The ideas below highlight just some of them.

Hellos & Introductions

Best for: Introductions, quick chat, getting to know you.

Logistics: 10-15 min. casual meetings at the start of the semester (see sign-up sheet) or informal drop-ins during the semester

We might…

  • chat about your interests
  • talk about what drew you to E100
  • show off pet pictures

Question Check-in

Best for: Help with course material, discussion about how to improve performance on future papers, an opportunity to explore a point made in class in greater detail.

Logistics: Visit during drop-in student hours or sign up for an appointment

We might…

  • talk about a course concept
  • clarify instructions for an assignment
  • discuss an issue that you may be having in the course or with your academic life more generally

Conversation about learning approaches or study skills

Best for: Exploring effective ways to learn! There may be strategies for studying in college or preparing for a long-term writing project that you haven’t encountered before but that may click with you.

Logistics: Visit during drop-in student hours or sign up for an appointment

We might…

  • talk about how to take notes efficiently and effectively for this class
  • discuss strategies for reading an academic article or navigating our library database
  • find campus centers or organizations that can help you improve in this course or other courses
  • explore ways to prepare for our research project

Group collaboration session

Best for: Connecting with peers & instructors, getting help with course material, studying together, hanging out.

Logistics: A group of 2+ students signs up for a shared meeting time. These conversations can be free-flowing or I can help you facilitate a peer review session to refine your portfolios for this class.

(See sign-up sheet on Canvas during select points in the semester or email me with a group of peers to set up a time.)

We might…

  • brainstorm essay topic ideas
  • exchange essay drafts for a guided peer review session
  • chat about interests and things in common

Conversation about the future

Best for: Exploring writing-related opportunities at UW-Madison or in a future role

Logistics: Visit during drop-in student hours or sign up for an appointment. Feel free to visit after the semester is over!

We might…

  • talk about UW-Madison courses that may relate to your interests
  • convert or fine-tune the cover letter you wrote for this class into a cover letter you can use to apply for a specific position


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