When using Google Calendar it is possible to take a block of time (for example 45 minutes), further split this block into time slots (say 3 slots of 15 minutes) and then make these slots of time bookable. The blocks of time can be repeated so that they appear weekly in your calendar. Google Calendar produces a page that can be shared with the people who may want to book your time. From this page people can see your availability and click on slots to book them. If somebody books a slot you are emailed and the appointment is added to your (and their) calendar.

This service is called ‘appointment slots’ by Google and they provide a support page for the service.

I am trailing the use of this service with my DP geography class to further support them in seeking advice about assignments, discussions about course content, progress and concerns. I guess it is a bit like ‘office hours’ in higher education. I will also make these slots available to my Extended Essay students. My students know they are welcome to come and see me when they want but this ensures I am in the office and have enough time to provide the support they need. If no student books a session - no problem - I can just get on with some of the other tasks associated with my teaching and management roles. I have set up three of these 45 minute blocks during the week and do not expect all 9 slots to be booked each week. Requesting that a student books an appointment is a firm action but it allows them to choose the best times for them from a series of times I have suggested.

To create ‘appointment slots’ go to Google Calendar on your laptop. Typing calendar.ecolint.ch is a quick way of doing this. Ensure you are in day or month view and click roughly where you want the block of time.

A dialogue box will open where you can confirm the start and end of the block of time. You will see a button titled ‘appointment slots’. Click this - decide how long each of the slots of bookable time with it.

Creating an event in Google Calendar


Setting the duration of an appointment slot


If you click ‘advanced’ you can also get an extended dialogue box where you can add a location and do things such as set the block of time to repeat.

Setting an appointment block to repeat

Once you have created the block of time and the slots Google Calendar will provide you with a link to page that shows your availability. This page can be shared with your students (or colleagues) via email, ManageBac or Google Classroom.

Adding details to a block of appointments