Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Office Hours by Appointment
(using Google Calendar)

One useful function of our Fordham Gmail accounts is the Calendar’s ability to offer appointment slots that students can click on to reserve. It’s great for office hours by appointment or for scheduled one-on-one consultations.
We've recorded a two-and-a-half-minute slide presentation, which you can watch here:

Slightly longer video tutorials for appointment slots are easy to find, such as this one from the academic computing people at Vassar College:

Appointment slots are easy to set up:

  1. In Google calendar “day,” “4 days,” or “week” view, click where you’d like to create appointment slots.
  2. Click on the “Appointment slots” link at the top of the dialog pop-up.
  3. By clicking on the “edit details” link at the bottom of the pop-up, you can adjust the time, adjust the length of individual appointments, and fill in any necessary details.
  4. Also on the “edit details” page is the link to the calendar’s appointment page. Distribute this link to students.
  5. Save and you’re done!

Each calendar has a single unique link for all appointments, whether you create them for tomorrow or six months from now. You can add more slots later, without needing to update the link. You might include this link in your syllabus or in your email signature.

Since it’s a very long url, you can use a url shortener to make one that’s easier to re-type. Road test the shortened url to make sure that it works with secure web pages. Google’s shortener ( should work. It seems that Fordham’s own ( does not.

In the calendar’s settings pages you can choose whether the appointment is accepted automatically or submitted for your review. If you choose the latter, make sure you set the calendar to email you when someone has taken a slot.

Using their Fordham accounts or their own Gmail accounts, students click on the slots they want, automatically adding the appointments to their calendars. If a student deletes an appointment, that appointment slot automatically becomes available again. If you delete an appointment slot, with a single click you can have the calendar inform anyone who has already signed up. If you delete the entire range, you may also need to delete any individual appointments that have already been made.

Unless you make your calendar public, students cannot see who has signed up for which slots, only which slots remain available. If your calendar is public, appointments taken by students will also be public and will show their names. If you’d like to keep that information private, you can do so by creating a private calendar in your account specifically for appointments.

Do you use Google Calendar for teaching? Tell us how!

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