October 22, 2022
VT Northern Virginia Center
US/Eastern timezone
We thank all attendees for making the meeting such a great success. See you all in Harrisonburg on April 1, 2023!

Herd Hours: What is it and how does it work?

Oct 22, 2022, 3:30 PM



Sean McBride (Marshall University)


Office hours, a time and place where students receive professor guidance, is an asset available to nearly every college and university student; however, many students do not use office hours. Office hours can be extremely beneficial, so the question exists, how to get students who need help to come to office hours? Herd Hours, an alternative to office hours, successfully addresses this question. Herd Hours is designed with the professor’s office hours moved to a large room, students can come individually, or especially in large groups, or herds as the name implies, to work on coursework without a hovering professor. Students are encouraged to use large chalkboards to explain their work and seek validation from peers. Individual work is first encouraged, followed by working with peers, before seeking help from the nearby professor. Overwhelmingly, the data from 248 students in introductory undergraduate physics courses shows that Herd Hours is effective in getting the students the help they need. Over six semesters, 47.6 % of students attended at least once and 31.9 % attended 4 or more sessions. Independent of the students prescore on the Force Concept Inventory, an assessment test on Newtonian mechanics, the individual normalized gains for Herd Hours students increased 2.0 – 13.1 %. Data shows the peak in the individual normalized gain for Herd Hours students is more than double the control group. Results also show the average individual normalized gain for Herd Hours students is nearly double the expected value for traditional lecture-based introductory physics courses.

Primary author

Sean McBride (Marshall University)


Dr Sachiko McBride (Marshall University)

Presentation materials