On my campus it’s time for academic advisement, meaning all of the students majoring in English—my program—will be looking to make appointments with their advisers, meaning me and my colleagues, in order to discuss what courses to take next semester. I used to just create a paper sign-up sheet or make space on the whiteboard on my office door, and some of my colleagues still do this and are happy with that process. However, I would find myself in class or at home, and because the sign-up sheet was on my office door, I’d be unable to remind myself who was coming when. Granted, I could carry the schedule around with me, but doing so would prevent students from being able to sign up whether I was around or not. Plus, I’m bad at keeping track of non-digital stuff.
This is one of those times during the semester when I’m glad that tools like Doodle.com exist, because such tools make it so easy to schedule all of these appointments.
Now, I also use Doodle to schedule 1-on-1 conferences with students to discuss drafts of their first-year composition essays—such conferences are considered best practice in my discipline—but I don’t imagine that this is very common across disciplines.
What follows is a step-by-step tutorial explaining exactly—I hope!—how to do what I do with Doodle. (By the way, I created this tutorial using ScreenSteps, software that I mentioned briefly last week.)
Step 1: Go to Doodle.com and click on “Make choice”
In this example, I’m using a free “MyDoodle” account, which makes keeping track of your polls and events much easier than not having one.
Step 2: Provide a simple title and a brief direction to students, then click “Next”
Step 3: Create as many “Options” as you plan to have time slots, fill in days & times, then click “Options”
Step 4: Make sure you check the last 2 boxes under “Options,” and then click “Finish”
Step 5: Email the participation link to your students
This is a real link. Try it out if you like: http://www.doodle.com/g33n726tdcmg68k8
Your students will see this interface.
Each student types in their name on the left, selects a time, and then clicks on “Save.” After a student selects a time, that time slot is not available to subsequent students.
Here’s what the interface looks like after a student has already chosen one time...
...and here’s what the interface looks like after 2 students have chosen their times. You get the idea.
This process has worked very well for me for a couple of years, now. If you decide to schedule your appointments this way, then commit only to this process: do not maintain one paper schedule of appointments and one electronic schedule because inevitably you’ll end up with conflicts.
What methods have you found helpful for when it’s time to schedule several different appointments like this?