Just after mid-term every semester, my University holds “advising weeks” during which faculty meet with all of their advisees to help them plan their schedules for the upcoming semester. I used to put a list of possible appointment times on my door so that students could stop by to sign up. There were lots of forgotten appointments. And then the program I teach in started working with online students and expecting those students to come to my door became a problem. I then used a free program called SignUp Genius for a number of years. It worked pretty well although the appointments didn’t tie into my calendar or send me a notification when students signed up for an appointment. But as long as I remembered to check the calendar and students didn’t forget their appointments, it was ok. As I try to do more and more work on my own web site, I decided that I would look for an alternative this semester. Plus, I could not for the life of me remember the name of the tool! It only came to me when I was writing this post.
So I did a bit of research into calendar plug-ins for WordPress. I installed and played with a couple of them and found the process for setting up my availability to be a bit cumbersome on all of them. Then I stumbled across Calendly, which is an meeting scheduler that is easy to set up. It provides a connection to Google calendar (which is what I use) to automatically add appointments when someone signs up for them. It also sends you an email when someone signs up for an appointment. It is free to use in the way that I want to use it. And when you set up a calendar, the tool provides an easy-to-use embed code so that you can add it to a page on your WordPress site. You can see what that looks like if you click on the Appointments link in the menu at the top of my page.
I used this tool for my advising appointments this semester and several students commented on how easy it was to use. Although the calendar is served from an external site, I’m pretty happy with how it is displayed here on my own site and with how it integrates with my Google calendar.
I am currently Professor of Digital Media at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I am also the current Coordinator of General Education at the University. I am interested in game studies, digital literacies, open pedagogies, and generally how technology impacts our culture.