Instructional Technology Newsletter 18 – Calendars and Appointments


Online Technology –
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Instructional Technology Newsletter 18

Online Technology – Calendars and Appointments

Anaya Jones, Information Literacy Librarian and
Peter Ruiz-Haas, Associate Professor of Chemistry

February 2016

This newsletter describes two different approaches to using technology to enable more efficient appointment scheduling. Anaya Jones and her colleagues at Grafton Library are using the You Can Book Me free scheduling service to manage meeting scheduling. Peter Ruiz-Haas uses the Appointment Slots in his Google Calendar to schedule student advising meetings. 

You Can Book Me
By Anaya Jones, Information Literacy Librarian

Grafton’s Librarians have been using YouCanBook.Me (YCBM), a cloud based scheduling service, to allow students to schedule reference appointments. YCBM works seamlessly with Google Calendar and iCal. YCBM is flexible and can be used to let students/patrons/people book time with a specific person, one of a group of people, or an item or space.

YCBM has plenty of options to fit your needs and style, but the basic set-up is extremely easy and can be done in about five minutes. Then, others can choose times to meet that work for both of you. The appointment is automatically added to your calendar, and you’re notified by e-mail. YCBM may be helpful for you if you have varied or spread out office hours, if students need to see you to sign up for classes, or if you manage a shared space. 

I’ve put together a guide to YCBM that walks you through what it is, how it works, and how to set up your own. I’ve also included some examples of how we’ve used the service at the library, so you can see some of the many possibilities in action!

Creating Appointment Slots and Scheduling Office Hours with Google Calendar
By Peter Ruiz-Haas
Associate Professor of Chemistry

You can use the Google Calendar’s Appointment Slots function to create an appointment calendar that your students can book time on – no more sign-up sheets on your office door or students waiting in the hallway!
This feature can also be used to schedule other related activities such as class-presentation appointment slots that students can book themselves.

To get started, go to (make sure you are logged with your the Mary Baldwin Google account).
Click on a time and select “appointment slots”


If you only want to create one appointment slot, you can stop here and click save. You will be directed to a calendar link that you may share with your students (see below for tips on using an URL shortener to effectively use this feature!)

Fill in any details and whether you’d like to divide up the time into equal intervals. If you want to create a recurring event (e.g., same office hour slots each week), click on “Edit details:”


In the screen that follows, change any details as needed, and click on “Repeat”.


Then, select whether you want the event to repeat weekly, an end date, and “Done”.


IMPORTANT: To facilitate sharing of the calendar URL with your students, I recommend shortening the URL (e.g. to post on your syllabus or in Blackboard). Copy the long calendar appointment page by right clicking on the link. Then, copy the link.


And paste the long URL into an URL shortener.


Copy and paste the shortened URL into your syllabus, Blackboard announcement/contact page. Advise your students that they must be signed into their Mary Baldwin Google account to schedule appointments through the calendar feature.

Students with the link will then see the signup page below and can select an available time. Once they click on a time, the calendar saves the time and you will get an email with the confirmation. If they have a smartphone, they will even get a reminder alert!


About the Committee:

The Instructional Technology Committee at Mary Baldwin University is a faculty committee made up of representatives from the faculty and the Instructional Technology staff at Mary Baldwin. The Current Committee is:
Pam Bailey
Carol Creager
Doris Dodson
Krissy Egan, Chair
Kari Frenz
George Guba
Chandra Mason

Carolyn Moore 
Reid Oechslin
Beverly Riddell
Laura van Assendelft
The charter of the committee is to:
  • Provide a forum for input to the Instructional Technology staff on the relative value of technological improvements from a pedagogical perspective.
  • Be a champion and example for technology enhanced teaching within their schools
  • Try out new technologies that seem promising
  • Develop and share best practices & rubrics for technology enhanced teaching
  • Recommend equipment and management for mixed use (instructional and non-instructional) space
  • This committee meets as necessary.