DOLCE - November 4, 2022 - "Redesigning Office Hours as an Accessible Learning Environment"
From Margaret Merrill
For this Friday’s DOLCE, we heard from one of the most popular professors in Design, and, prompted by his presentation, conversed together about the best ways to define and make use of our office hours.
James Housefield received the UC Davis ASUCD Excellence in Education award for the Division of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies in 2011, and the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Excellence Award in 2019. His prior recognitions include the National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities (2006-2009), Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Award at Texas State University, San Marcos. Housefield was also named a Piper Professor, the most competitive teaching award in the state of Texas.
Professor Housefield named his talk “Redesigning Office Hours as an Accessible Learning Environment.” Here is his abstract:
“In 2016 a graduating senior revealed that, despite their successes in my courses and our Department, they remained intimidated to come to office hours.
This stuck with me. My research focuses on how we design experiences, and how we can redesign to improve upon these. I vowed to redesign the experience of office hours to eliminate barriers to entry and increase possibilities for connection.
In this talk I discuss ‘BYOM: Bring Your Own Mug Open-to-All Office Hours,’ the prompts that start conversations there, students who join us, and former students (including alumni) who return to give back to BYOM. I consider how our students and I use BYOM as an opportunity to build intellectual, creative, and social communities that persist outside of office hours. I examine the possibility of accessibility for all, and how this model might be adapted for other faculty's needs.”
Following Professor Housefield’s prepared remarks, we discussed the topics raised by his talk, and share some of the strategies we use to make our office hours more useful for our students, and better attended.
Review the live chat transcript from the event.