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Canvas is still the recommended option for for online office hour signup at HLS. Canvas allows faculty to create office hour slots for each course separately as well as one set of office hours to be shared between multiple courses. These office hours however cannot be opened up to all Harvard users. See our documentation.


OpenScholar is the official web platform offered by Harvard University IT. The platform has recently added sign-up functionality, and our team has created OpenScholar office hour documentation to show how that works. The advantage OpenScholar has is the office hours are not course dependent, so they can be opened up to anyone within Harvard.


Calendly is a third-party tool that is built specifically appointment signup. Calendly office hour documentation has been created to walk you through using it to create office hours for students. Note this Calendly is not supported by HLS or HUIT, all trouble shooting issues will need to be sent directly to Calendly. The free version of Calendly supports only one set of office hours, for $8/month the premium version will allow multiple office hour sets.


Doodle is another third-party tool that is a very popular option for creating appointments online. See our Doodle office hour documentation for how to set this up. Doodle is not supported by HLS or HUIT, and all trouble shooting issues will need to be sent directly to Doodle themselves.


SignUpGenius is another third-party tool. See our documentation on how to use this tool for office hours. SignUpGenius is not supported by HLS or HUIT, and all trouble shooting issues will need to be sent directly to the company itself.


Bookings is a scheduling tool that’s part of Office 365. It can be accessed through the Outlook Web App.  Bookings will sync with your outlook calendar, and provides a clean interface for using signing up. See our documentation for more details.

Summary Table

Option Visibility Supports Multiple Appointment Groups Supported by Harvard Allows for Recurring Dates Allows for Auto Slot Splitting  Ability to Add a Student  Ability to Remove a Student  Allows for Multiple Admins  Cap Slots Per Semester
Canvas Class(s) Only Yes Yes No Yes No***  Yes  Yes  Yes
OpenScholar Custom Yes Yes Yes No**  No  No  Yes  No
Calendly World Yes* No Yes Yes  Yes  Yes  No  No
Doodle World Yes No Yes No Yes  No  No  No****
SignUpGenius World Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No  No
Bookings World No Yes  Yes  Yes  No  Yes  Yes  No

*The free version of Calendly only has one appointment group, multiple appointment groups require upgrading to premium which includes a fee.

**OpenScholar has an unusual set up. You create a time slot (say 1:00 – 1:30PM) and then make it recur over several days. You then do the same thing for the next time slot (say 1:30 – 2:00PM) and so forth.

***You cannot add a student directly, but there is a work around. You can use the Test Student in Canvas to take a slot, and thus block students from taking it. See documentation on how to do that.

****The only option is a cap of one per semester.