Schedule advising appointments online

Posted on May 1st, 2010 by

To schedule advising appointments last smester, I put a sheet of paper on my door with 15 minute time slots and emailed students asking them to come by and sign up for a time slot.  Simple enough…but there was one problem.  I kept forgetting to look at the signup sheet and add the taken times to my calendar.  As a result, I double-booked myself a couple of times.  This semester I used Tungle to schedule advising appointments online.  Tungle integrates with our Google Calendar for the Gustavus domain, so it doesn’t require adopting a new calendar service.  Instead, it serves as an add-on to our current system.

After creating a free Tungle account, you indicate when you are available for appointments pretending for a moment that you don’t have classes during the day and that you have no other appointments scheduled.  In the picture below, I indicated that I am available for appointments between 10:30am and 4:30pm on weekdays.

After selecting your default availability range, Tungle me checks your Gustavus Google Calendar for your class times and the appointments that you already have scheduled so that when a student views your Tungle account, they see an updated version of your availability.

To schedule an appointment, students do not need a Tungle account.  They just visit your Tungle page (which is easy to share since it is “tungle.me/[my username]”), click on “Organize a meeting with…” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, and select a few of your available time slots that would work for their schedule.  In the picture below, the student chose a 15 minute time slot on three different days.  When students click “Step 2: Meeting Details,” they are asked to fill in their name, email address, and a meeting topic (I requested that they put “Advising Appointment”).  Then the meeting request is sent to your email inbox.

From a link provided in the email, you choose which of the 3 time slots would work best for you.  Then Tungle emails the student to let them know which time you chose and automatically adds the appointment to your Gustavus Google Calendar.  Before registration this semester, I emailed my students a link to my Tungle page and a few days later my appointments were scheduled and on my Gustavus Google Calendar.  For the upcoming Fall semester, I plan to list my Tungle page on my syllabi and suggest that as a way of scheduling meetings rather than negotiating a time through a series of emails.

 


4 Comments

  1. Sean Cobb says:

    This is very helpful. The best part about this, which you mention, is that students don’t need a Tungle account or their own calendar to schedule a meeting time. Also, the students can double check to see what time they’ve signed up for. Not that a Gustavus student would ever forget an appointment.

    I’ve even placed a link to my Tungle calendar in my email signature.

  2. Dwight says:

    Kyle,

    I am experiencing ‘app overload’ these days, and thus becoming obsessed with simplicity. Why not (this is what I do) just ask students to look first at your Google Calendar before beginning the negotiation? I find that the negotiation only takes two emails, one from them suggesting a time based on what they see, and one from me confirming that time.

    Dwight

  3. Dwight, your method sounds good too, but for fun, I tried to think of a few reasons why Tungle in addition to Google Calendar might be worth it. Here’s what I came up with…. It’s nice that Tungle allows you to restrict your availability to certain days or hours during the day. For example, if you want to reserve a time before 10am to write, you can make those unavailable times for meetings. You could still do this in Google Calendar, but you would have to make fake appointments. Once you have Tungle setup, you don’t actually have to interact with it anymore with the exception of clicking on the links in emails that people send you to request a meeting, so maybe it won’t add too much app burden. Since the emails are auto-generated and the appointments are automatically added to your calendar, it might save some typing.

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