Students' Reluctance to Attend Office Hours: Reasons and Suggested Solutions

Abdul-Wahab S. A., Salem N. M., Yetilmezsoy K., Fadlallah S. O.

JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES, vol.13, pp.715-732, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


This paper focuses on investigating students’ reasons for their reluctance to attend faculty members’ office hours. Study participants included 500 male and female students from the Colleges of Engineering (n = 248) and Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) (n = 252) at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). The study followed a descriptive-analytical approach, and a questionnaire was utilized to collect people’s views. The results of the study indicate that the rates of SQU students’ attendance to office hours were low, and some students (11.2%) do not attend at all as they consider these office hours a waste of time. The main reasons behind the students’ lack of interest in office hours were busy student timetables, conflicts between faculty office hours and students’ timetables, and easier and faster ways of getting information than visiting faculty members. Additional reasons were related to faculty members’ personalities and their discouraging attitudes toward attending office hours. The researchers recommend that SQU adopt a new strategy for encouraging faculty members to hold office hours, familiarizing students with the importance of office hours, working on setting suitable office hour timings that sync with students’ timetables, and assigning part of a course’s grades to meeting with faculty members’ office hours.