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New and Changing: Updates from AIT

Posted October 31, 2016 by Academic and Institutional Technology
Tags: Training

Calendaring Standards Promote Efficiency

Scheduling a meeting can be difficult, especially across departments or when a large number of attendees are required. To date, many staff and faculty at Wheaton College use a variety of methods to find a time to meet, including online polls, phone calls to attendees, long email chains, and even printed schedules.

This lack of unity regarding scheduling and calendars often causes confusion, overlapping meetings, double-booking, and wasted time.

"It's important for an institution to have consistency in the technology tools it uses," said Wendy Woodward, Chief Information Officer (CIO). "When that consistency is missing, people use tools that might not work well together and end up wasting time and resources."

In order to address this lack of consistency, the Senior Administrative Cabinet (SAC) recently approved the Campus Calendaring and Communication Policy, which specifies a standardized set of calendar and communication tools and includes provisions for campus-wide training.

"The College provides collaboration tools to staff and faculty to facilitate efficient and effective communication and collaboration," the policy states. "To fully capture the efficiencies these tools provide, the Administrative Application Advisory Committee (AAAC), the CIO and SAC strongly encourage staff and faculty to exclusively use these tools [Outlook and Skype for Business/Lync] for institutional calendaring, email, and instant messaging."

According to Woodward, the new policy aligns with the Technology Guiding Principles which were adopted in 2015 to provide a clear vision for technology-related decision making.

The policy includes the appendix "Best Practices for Scheduling Your Day and Setting Appointments Using Outlook," a document that provides a starting point for staff and faculty members who might be unfamiliar with using Outlook to manage their schedules. Furthermore, AIT will provide focused professional training for staff and faculty in order to facilitate adoption of the policy. This training will be provided through Tech Talks and ThunderCloud Training video courses.

Woodward is confident that the new policy will be a success. "Implementing Outlook and Skype for Business [Lync] as our institutional standard will allow faculty and staff to communicate reliably and effectively across the College."

The Campus Calendaring and Communication Policy, which you can read in full here, will go into full effect on January 1, 2017. New to Outlook? Get started on using your calendar with this recommended ThunderCloud Training video course.