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Students Sign Up with Google Appointments

Mon Apr 12, 2021 at 07:30 AM

Note: In 2022, Google’s released its new Appointment Schedule feature, which is available to the OaklandU community through their OU Google accounts. As of July 2022, both the appointment slot feature described in this teaching tip and the new Appointment Schedule are available. Appointment Schedule provides more features and does not clutter your calendar as much as appointment slots. To learn more about updates, visit Google’s Help page on Appointment Schedule.

Google Appointments is a calendar feature relevant for student-faculty meetings in the office, elsewhere on campus, or online. It prevents faculty from waiting in the office for students who might drop by, as is the case with student hours, and also gives students a way to set up a specific, limited amount of time to discuss specific content. (For larger image versions, see the Google Doc version of this teaching tip.)

Making Appointment Slots

Setting up appointment slots on your Google Calendar

Set up an event on a Google Calendar, but select the Appointment slots option at the top of the settings window. You can name these appointments something specific to the course, a specific type of activity, or just general visiting times. I hold online office hours in the evening during which I meet with students on Zoom, Moodle’s web conferencing assignment tool. You can add a description, location, and description.

Accessing Appointments

How appointment slots appear to those looking at your appointments calendar.

When you click on your appointment event, there will be a share link you can offer students on Moodle or via email. This link will allow students to see all appointments made on that calendar. When they access this link, they will see your appointments in conjunction with their calendar so that they can easily plan which times work best. (Note: Students see their personal calendar events, not your personal calendar events.)

Booking an Appointment

Window in which students enter information about the appointment they want to set with you.

When students click on one of these appointments, they will see the location, description, and their name displayed in the “What” category. They can edit the description if you want them to share what they would like to discuss or any questions. Once saved, it will automatically appear on their calendar and yours.

Seeing Booked Appointments

Calendar display of scheduled appointments

When a student books an appointment, you will receive email notification, and it will be displayed on your calendar. Even if you delete the remaining appointment slots (by deleting the full appointment event, displayed here as “Visit the Prof. on Campus”), the student’s appointment will still appear on your calendar.

I set rules for how far ahead of time students must sign up: I tell them 24 hours, but I will be flexible for up to 12. This allows me to plan ahead, especially since these are times I may not be on campus regularly.

Adding Google Meet or Zoom to events.

Once someone has booked an appointment, you can edit the calendar event to add a unique Google Meet session as you would when creating any meeting. If you have added the Zoom integration to Google Calendar, you can also add a Zoom session. 

Even if not every student uses these hours, they feel a great deal of support knowing that I offer multiple times to possibly meet. And, most of the time, it has not come at any inconvenience to me to offer these hours. As is usually the case, when students do show the initiative to sign up and improve their work with your advice, I am happy to meet with them.

References and Resources 

The resource Office Hour Scheduling via Google Calendar features a video of faculty talking about how they use this in their courses along with some additional guidance.

In an OU Teaching Community eSpace discussion forum, faculty discuss different options for scheduling appointments, such as ways to schedule as a group.

Save and adapt a Google Doc version of this teaching tip.

About the Author

Written by Christina Moore, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University. Updated in April 2019 from the original 2015 version. Others may share and adapt under Creative Commons License CC BY-NCView all CETL Weekly Teaching Tips. Follow these and more on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.