Virtual Hour

An Online Platform for Office Hours

What is Virtual Hour?

Virtual Hour, Everything You Love About In-Person Office Hours, But Virtually. It is an online platform for students and teaching staff around the world. Through this platform, professors and teaching assistants can help students through video conferencing and sharing each other's computer screens. The teaching staff can maintain a shared queue and efficiently help students collectively or 1:1 without ever leaving their virtual room. This platform is designed by Vraj Shroff and powered by Google and GitHub's infrastructure.

What are its features?

  • A student can privately talk to a TA and share their computer screen if needed
  • Multiple TAs can hold OH at the same time for the same class and maintain a common queue among them
  • A TA can call the next student in the queue and help them without having to leave their virtual room
  • Easily accessible from any device

What makes it unique?

Platform designed with simplicity and security as a cornerstone

  • It is free!
  • No need to create an account, just need a .edu email
  • One-click sign in for faculty and students
  • No need to create Zoom meetings; video conferencing is automatically set up for everyone
  • Updates to the queue sent to everyone in milliseconds to save time
  • This platform uses serverless computing technology; it is carbon neutral and helps us save the environment
  • This platform is open source!

How to Use Virtual Hour?

Check out the quickstart page and start using the platform in seconds.

Is Virtual Hour Secure? Is My Privacy Protected?

Thanks for being concerned about this! It is extremely important to protect your data. This platform is designed by Google's engineering principles and proud to serve as a Privacy First product. Here is all the data we need from you:

  • From everyone: name and email address
  • From class creators (when you create Virtual Hour for your class): one-time access to Google calendar to create virtual conference rooms
  • And...that's it! We don't collect any other information at all.
  • As a formality, by using this platform, you agree to abide by all the terms and conditions of Gmail. In particular, don't abuse the platform and its resources. This may result in account suspension and necessary actions.

I have questions or comments

Please feel free to reach out to me, LinkedIn and E-mail. If you find bugs or typos, please help the community by reporting it. Feature requests are welcome by email as well!

Was this platform helpful? If so, please consider making a donation to support global relief efforts for COVID-19.