Many faculty host open office hours, but are still looking for ways to have individual student appointments to discuss grades, course performance, or other confidential matters. Arranging individual appointments often involves several email exchanges and can be time consuming. To reduce administrative effort and enable students to self-schedule appointments directly on your calendar, consider using the Google Calendar appointments feature as a self-service tool. You can layout the times you are available for appointments, share the calendar link with students who are looking for an individual appointment (or post it directly in your course or syllabus), and let students select the times that work for them. Some faculty choose to populate appointments for the full semester, or just 1-2 weeks in advance to maintain flexibility. This allows students to see your availability for individual appointments, which reduces overall communication traffic, and you can then work directly with those select few cases where availability does not align.

By using Google Calendar appointments, you can have the technology work for you. And by using the Zoom for GSuite add-on — a useful tool for scheduling, managing, and customizing meetings — your Zoom dial-in details are integrated into the appointment scheduling process, further reducing the steps for you and your students to connect.

Creating a Google Calendar Appointment

Creating a Google Calendar appointment is very similar to creating an event. Within your Google Calendar, follow these steps: 

  1. Click on the time you prefer to create an event. 
  2. When the event options pop up, change the format from “Event” to “Appointment slots.”
  3. Click “More options” to set your preferred appointment duration, the length of your appointment slot, and how often these slots will repeat (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
  4. Like a normal calendar event, you can add a description and invite guests to your appointment slots

Integrating Zoom With Your Google Calendar

The Zoom for GSuite add-on enables you to easily schedule Zoom sessions from within your Google Calendar or Gmail account, a useful tool for setting up office hour appointments and meetings in general. Instead of creating meetings from the Zoom desktop client, the GSuite add-on allows you to:

  • Automatically add Zoom meeting details to your Google Calendar invitation. 
  • Customize meeting preferences such as create password, enable join before host, enable waiting room, and more.
  • Schedule a Zoom meeting from any email, automatically adding the topic, attendees, and attachments based on the subject, recipients, and sent documents in the email.

Even if you don’t use Google Calendar appointments, consider integrating Zoom with your Google Calendar to make scheduling, managing, and customizing meetings easier. If you currently use the Zoom Scheduler Google Chrome extension, U-M ITS recommends that you uninstall the extension from your web browser and use the Zoom for GSuite add-on instead. 

The goal is to help students know when you are available for individual appointments. They can self-select times that work for them, and the Zoom meeting technology is at your fingertips for every appointment. To get started using the add-on — including install instructions and helpful screenshots — click here. For more information about hosting remote office hours, visit our Faculty Resources page here.

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