I teach a large introductory programming class at the University of Illinois. Like many other schools we’re contemplating moving instruction online until the pandemic passes.
I’m looking for a solution to help us run virtual office hours. One of the primary ways that we support students with their longer programming assignments is through in-person office hours, where we have a team of course staff circulating in a large room offering small bits of help and assistance to students. I’d like to replicate this online and am wondering if Jitsi could be part of the solution.
Here’s what we need to work with very low friction. Once a CA selects a student to help, they should be able to create a short-lived meeting that they and the student are automatically added to. The meeting can be destroyed as soon as the help session is over. Ideally only the student and course staff would be allowed to join, since we don’t want students sharing code with other students. Ideally authentication would be one by validating Google authentication tokens, since we already use Google client-side authentication to grant students access to other course resources.
Alternatively, we could create a room for a student each time they ask a question. The student could remain in this room until they no longer need help, and course staff could circulate in and out as needed. In this setup it would be important to have a way to keep continuous track of what student rooms were active (meaning a student needed help) and which had a CA in them (meaning that the student is receiving help from another course staff member).
I like to hack and have a free week coming up that I can devote to working on this. So if someone can confirm that Jitsi is a good fit for this and point me in the right direction that would be great!