Calendly is a third-party tool that may be used for office hours when the intended audience is not just students in a faculty member’s class. The Free version allows for only one active sign-up set (Calendly calls it an event). If you are supporting office hours for multiple faculty, each office hour set would need to be on a separate Calendly account. The alternatives are to purchase the Premium version ($8/month) or use different e-mail addresses, one for each set of office hours.
How to Create Office Hours
Once an account is created click “Event Types” on the top bar, then click “+ Add Event Type”.
There are two types of events, “One-on-One” and “Group”. For traditional office hours (where only one student can meet with a faculty member at a time) click the “Create” button to the right of “One-on-One”.
Once the item is created, the first step is to give it a name and location. You may also include optional text/directions for students (such a “bring laptop” or “bring your paper”). You may give an optional ending to the URL. The default URL will be calendly/[your e-mail address]/[name of event]. If you were to use the premium version, you could give different events different colors to distinguish them. Click “Next” to continue.
Creating Time slots
The first step in creating time slots is determining how long time slots will last. This is how long the student would meet with the faculty member.
The next step is deciding availability. This means how far in advance students can sign-up for office hours. The default is 60 rolling days, which means on any given day, a student can sign-up for a slot 60 in advance.
Click “Edit” to see other options:
- You may change the period of rolling days. For example if you wanted students to be able to sign-up for slots only a week in advance, you would change the rolling days value to 7.
- You may change the availability to date range. This would create a static end date that does not change over time. You can use this option to set a date for the end of the semester, this would be standard behavior for office hours.
- You may change the availability to Indefinitely. Note that this means indefinitely, slots would continue to be available even after a semester has ended. This would not be standard behavior for office hours.
Dates and Time Ranges
The next step is to actually pick the dates and time ranges. Note that the default is 9am-5pm every week day:
Pick the first day of the week you would like office hour slots to be available on. For the remainder of this example we will create office hours for: Tuesdays and Wednesday, 1:00PM – 3:00PM, 30 minute slots.
First, click on the 9am-5pm slot for Tuesday. Then, change the time to 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Note we are just choosing the range for now, the 30 minutes slots will be divided up later. After the time is changed click “Apply to..”
You will now see a list of the days of the week to apply this time range to:
This will allow us to apply the 1:00pm – 3:00pm time range to Wednesday as well.
Click done to complete, the week view should now look like this:
The next step is to remove slots for Monday, Thursday and Friday. There should be no office hour time slots for those days.
To remove an entire day click on the default 9am-5pm time slot, then click “Make me unavailable on [Day]”. The image below shows removing the default time slot from Mondays.
After removing availability for Thursday and Friday, the week view looks like this:
The only time ranges are Tuesday and Wednesday 1pm-3pm.
Finally, scroll down the page and click the blue carrot icon to open up the Advanced Settings section.
The Advanced Settings are as follows:
- Show availability in increments of. This determines how often a time slot is available, for office hours this should be equal to the time slot length.
- Max number of this event acceptable per day. This option lets you limit how many of the total time slots may be taken on a given day. Leave this field blank to allow all time slots to be available to students.
- Minimum Scheduling Notice. This option can be used to prevent students from signing up for a slot moments before it happens. The example below prevents students for signing up for a slot 4 hours before a slot.
- Buffer Event. This option would add buffer time between slots.
Click “Next” to complete creation. You should now see a screen like this below:
Make sure the text says “…is ready to accept events” and the event type is labeled “On” in green.
How to Manage Office Hours
When you log into Calendly and click “Event Types” on the top bar, you will see the single office hour item as such:
To edit, click the gear icon to the far right of the screen next to the “ON” button. If you updated to the premium version you may have multiple office hour events.
Click on “Dashboard” on the top bar to see a list of upcoming slots taken by students. Note, slots that are not taken will not be shown.
You will also get an e-mail notification with information regarding to the student who signs up for a slot.
To edit an Office Hours Event, click on the gear icon and then click “Edit”.
When editing events you have the following options:
- What event is this? You may change the name of the event or the location. You may also include instructions for the student.
- When can people book this event? You may change or remove individual time slots from specific days. Note that you cannot change the length of a time slot for a specific day.
- Invitee Questions. You may pose additional questions for the students to answer when they sign-up for a slot. The default is simply name and e-mail address.
- Invitee Notification. You may customize the notification received by a student when they either sign-up for a time slot of if that time slot is canceled. This is not available in the free version.
Editing Time Slots
When looking at the calendar, click the date text itself to edit the time slots for that date.
Clicking on the date will bring up a screen with two options:
- Set availability specific to April 26, 2017. Override the current range for Wednesdays by creating a unique time range just for this date.
- Mark Apr 26 unavailable. Remove all time slots from this date.
When setting the availability for a given date, click “+ New interval” and then enter the time. In the example below, the standard 1pm-3pm on Wednesday’s is being replaced by only 1pm-2pm on April 26th. Note that the time slots will still be 30 minutes long. Other options include:
- + New interval. Add a second interval later in the day.
- “Switch to ‘All Wednesdays’ availability. Revert the time slots for this specific day back to the original Wednesday schedule.
- Mark [selected date] unavailable. Remove all time slots for this specific date.
After the April 26th had it’s interval changed to 1pm-2pm, it appears with a black border and text to distinguish it from the standard time slots.
Remember to click “Save and Close” to save changes.
Once the office hours event is created, you will need a way to share it with the students. To do this click “Event Types” in the top bar to see the list of event types. Click the gear icon for the selected office hour event, and then click “Copy Link”. The url will be copied to your clipboard, you may now paste it in Canvas our any other web platform.
When a student clicks on the given link to signup, they will see a selection of dates to chose from:
When clicking any of the dates (by clicking inside one of the circles), the student will see a list of times available during the selected day:
A student may click on any of the time slots to pick a time:
Once the student clicks “Confirm”, they will be taken to the confirmation page. Here they will enter their Name and E-mail address and click “Schedule Event”
Shortly after submitting, the student will receive an e-mail confirmation with options to add the event to their google, iCal or Outlook calendar.