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New and Changing: Updates from AIT

Posted August 12, 2020 by Academic and Institutional Technology
Tags: Department News

Introducing Microsoft Bookings

Effective Date: July 1, 2020

Microsoft Bookings is now available for all faculty and staff. Bookings is an online and mobile app scheduling tool that can facilitate scheduling of appointments for your advising and departmental needs. Bookings integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Wheaton College’s institutional calendaring tool.  With Bookings, you or a coordinator can create a public-facing web page that allows constituents to book an appointment and have it directly posted to the faculty or staff member’s calendar.  It also provides reminders to the attendee.  This product allows for students, alumni, parents, prospective students, and others to schedule appointments.  

Remember, during the COVID-19 event, we are seeking to think “virtual first!” when it comes to meetings.  But for those meetings that must happen face-to-face, (each face wearing a face covering, of course!) this is the best solution for scheduling.  Microsoft Bookings is now the officially supported student appointment scheduling tool for virtual (highly recommended) or in-person meetings. In our desire to protect students by preventing them from standing close to each other in a line, we want to have them book all their in-person meetings ahead of time.   

Bookings works a lot like Calendly but provides more flexibility.  If you are currently paying for a Calendly license, this would be a better (and free!) solution for you.  You can easily embed a link in Schoology or your operational web pages. 

Using Bookings, you can set up office hours or other appointment specifics such as available times, duration, lead and cancellation times, and notifications.

Key Benefits and Features

  • Bookings provides a web page which you can link from your web site, from within Schoology, or sent via email.
  • You can create default hours and appointment lengths and select faculty or staff that will support the appointments. Bookings will automatically offer appointments only when there are available times based on the faculty/staff Outlook calendars.
  • You can automate the appointment reminders and offer self-service cancellation and rescheduling via the online calendar.
  • Bookings makes it easier for people to schedule and manage appointments with you.
  • Bookings provides a web interface so students, alumni, parents, prospective students, and others can make an appointment when they don’t have access to your calendar.
  • This Self-scheduling feature is especially useful for people who have predictable slots or times they wish to make available to constituents.

Impact on College Community

  • We will seek to use one solution for our booking needs across campus.  You should already have Bookings available to you.  If not, you can request Bookings to be available when you log into your email at https://outlook.com/wheaton.edu, by contacting the AIT Service Desk.

You can learn more about Microsoft Bookings from our series in Wheaton Answers.  If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).