If your students are like mine, no location on campus is scarier than your office. Did you know that their reluctance to come to your office hours actually has a medical cause? I didn’t until I saw this funny new video from Arizona State University, which explains that many students suffer from a disorder called FMOOWMP, or Fear of Meeting One on One With My Professor.
Just like in a commercial for a real pharmaceutical drug, students in the video ask questions, like “Is it dangerous?” and “How did I even get FMOOWMP?” Then, the video proposes a treatment: FOH, or Faculty Office Hours. More questions from students ensue: “Do I need a prescription?” and “Does it hurt?” and “Is it habit-forming?” The commercial ends with testimonials by students who have successfully undergone treatment for FMOOWMP, followed by the obligatory list of side effects (I won’t spoil it for you). The fast-talking disclaimer at the end is worth listening to as well.
I played this video for my class a couple of weeks ago, and I was amazed to see its impact. Suddenly, students started showing up for my office hours, after weeks of fruitless cajoling on my part. They admitted that the video had played a role in their decision to come in and talk to me. Try it for your own classes — perhaps it will be just what the doctor ordered for you, too.