Friday, June 17, 2011

Appointment Slots

I saw the announcement about Google Calendar's appointment slots feature a little more than a week ago, and the various reports of its availability reassured me it was being rolled out gradually. Until yesterday's CNET report, though, I didn't realize the reason I wasn't seeing the feature had to do with viewing my calendar as four weeks at a time. The appointment slots feature showed up when I switched to the weekly view.

The spring term is winding down such that I don't have much occasion right now to use this for scheduling office hours, but I will definitely give it a try in the fall. Just in tinkering around with it for a few minutes yesterday, I learned that the appointments are exceedingly easy to schedule, that the notifications are prompt, and that appointments, once scheduled, show up on the Mozilla calendar I use offline (and for keeping multiple calendars in one place). That it's built into a system I already use for my calendar makes it a better option than, which I tried this spring term. Trouble with is that I don't think to update it, and I don't do enough to push students in its direction for appointment-making. Selecting one of Google's appointment slots requires the scheduler to have a Google account, though, whereas's appointments can be booked without signing up for an account. I remain undecided about the magnitude of this difference and will have to watch whether it makes any difference in the fall.

The appointment slots feature also gets me thinking about integrations for our University Writing Center, which has not yet adopted a booking system for writing consultations. We're not there yet, but it would be ideal if we could create a scheduling system built on the Google Calendar API that would rival WCOnline.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at June 17, 2011 9:00 AM to Technologies

Our TAs used it for ENGL 300 this past winter semester and it was pretty successful...we had 3 TAs using it. Ill see if the site is still active through google pages this afternoon.

Posted by: Chelsea at June 17, 2011 10:59 AM

Did they use it to post availability? Or were they scheduling specific appointments? I thought the second was a new feature, but maybe it has been around for a few months?

Posted by: Derek at June 17, 2011 11:02 AM

We could view their availability and schedule appointments for ourselves.

Posted by: Chelsea at June 17, 2011 11:07 AM

That might be how the UWC is using Google Calendar currently. What's new, I think, it that someone can book an appointment and, once booked, the appointment slot will no longer show as available to someone else. That, and the appointment slots are public on an otherwise private calendar. Small differences, I suppose, but I gather that's what the new features included when they were mentioned a week or so ago.

Posted by: Derek at June 17, 2011 11:18 AM