UNF chemistry professor does office hours in an unconventional way

Heydi Ortiz, Managing Editor

There’s one thing we’re all too busy for: office hours. Yes, we understand it’s crucial to our success as college students but sometimes we just don’t have the time for it between classes and part-time jobs.

 One professor seeks to change that.

UNF assistant professor of chemistry, Joshua Melko uses Twitch, a rather unconventional way of conducting office hours.

You may be asking yourselves “What is Twitch?”

Well, Twitch is commonly used for gamers live streaming their content. Yes, gamers. But instead of live streaming video games, Melko uses it to help his students succeed in the classroom and out.

“I couldn’t get students to come to office hours very often. Even if you tried to encourage them and be approachable, not a lot would come and over time I realized that’s either because they are working full time jobs, or have family commitments, or live so far away from campus that they just don’t want to come all the way back to campus for 30 minutes of something, and so I wanted to explore doing an online office hour,” said Melko.

This all came to attention when Melko posted a clip of of his live office hours on Reddit, which got more than 3000 views.

I tried holding online office hours on Twitch…here’s what students said. Thoughts? from chemistry

Despite its unconventional ways, Melko says his students tend to like and respond to his new way of teaching in a positive way — and the best part? Melko says students usually feel intimidated coming into in-person office hours. But with Twitch, students can remain anonymous, sparing them the embarrassment that comes with asking questions about things they don’t understand. 

“I chose Twitch because it seemed like the most engaging, community-driven platform and the classroom is really a community so I still wanted that classroom feel to the office hours and to make it engaging and interactive,” Melko explained.

Though Twitch may not work for all teaching methods, Melko recommends other professors look into it. He says using Twitch at first may be confusing but is open to helping those who are interested.

“Between work and my class schedule, I’m virtually unable to attend office hours for any of my courses without setting up separate meeting times.The Twitch hours that you do for us are not only a great idea, they are literally a lifeline for some of us,” said one of Melko’s students in an email.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].