MS Bookings

MS Bookings is an Office 365 app that allows people to book appointments online directly onto your calendar.  Although the terminology is aimed towards small businesses, the app can also be used for other instances that require the booking of appointments online.  One specific use, for SVSU faculty, could be to offer MS Bookings as a way for students to schedule online appointments during set office hours.  These instructions focus on setting up Bookings, as a faculty member, for students to reserve online office hours.

Other ways to offer online office hour are to use:

  • an open Teams meeting link.  Create a Teams meeting link in the Teams app, Canvas Integration or Outlook Calendar.  Copy the link that is created for the meeting and re-use the meeting unlimited times for a month.  Create a new meeting for each month of the semester.  The link can be placed within a Canvas announcment, syllabus or other page or in your Outlook Signature.
  • Canvas Scheduler.  Canvas has a scheduler built into the calendar, but it does not allow you to create Teams meetings like Bookings does.  Here is the Canvas Guide page that shows you how to use the Canvas Scheduler:  https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12920-how-do-i-add-a-scheduler-appointment-group-in-a-course-calendar

Watch a previous MS Bookings workshop recording

View Microsoft's Bookings Support page

View Bookings feature updates

Open MS Bookings

  1. Log in to an Office 365 app like Outlook on the Web.
  2. Use the waffle shaped, app launcher to select All Apps and then Bookings.
    Use the waffle shaped, app launcher to select All Apps and then Bookings.

Introduction to Creating Office Hours in Bookings

There are a couple of different approaches you can take if you are setting up Office Hours for multiple courses.  You need to decide if you want to offer the same Office Hours to every course, or if you want to offer a different set of Office Hours to every course.

  • If you want a different set of Office Hours for each course, create a new "business" for each course.  This will create a unique "booking page" link that you will post into each of your Canvas courses. 
  • If you want the same set of Office Hours for every course, create multiple "services" within one "business".  Students from all courses will see the full list of "services" when visiting a single "booking page".

Note that for each approach, the appointments are placed in your Outlook Calendar.  Whenever you have appointments in your Outlook Calendar, including appointments made by the Bookings app, those times will not be available within the "booking page".  Your Outlook Calendar is the master calendar that provides open times to the "booking page".  If you have an appointment in your Outlook Calendar, that time is considered as busy and so not available within Bookings.

Terminology Used in MS Bookings

  • Business - For our purposes, we will consider Businesses as individual courses or semesters.
  • Services - These will be appointment/consultation lengths (5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc) and these could also distinguish course names if you decide that is something you need and if you are offering the same set of Office Hours for every course.
  • Booking Page - This is a page that students will be linked to to reserve an appointment time with you.
  • Staff - It is possible to connect more than your own calendar to the Booking Page for students to make appointments with.  If you are co-teaching or if you have TAs, you may choose to add additional "Staff" to your Business.

Create a Business for Each Course

If you have decided that you want a different set of Office Hours for each course, you will create a Business for each course.  You will then switch between courses when editing the settings for each course and copying the links for each Booking Page.  If you have decided to host the same set of Office Hours for every course, you can skip this step and begin creating Services.

  1. Use the drop-down arrow next to the Business name under the Business Logo.
  2. Choose New Bookings Calendar.
  3. Type a name for the Business, i.e., ART 101 FA20.
  4. Repeat for all courses.

    Use the drop-down arrow next to the Business name under the Business Logo. Choose New.

Switch between Businesses

  1. Use the drop-down arrow next to the Business name under the Business Logo.
  2. Select the course name from the suggested list.

    Use the drop-down arrow next to the Business name under the Business Logo. Choose Open. Type a name of a Business that was already created. Select the course name from the suggested list.

Enter Business Information for Each Course

  1. Open the Settings Category
  2. For each course, you will use the menu on the left, working from the bottom of the menu up.  Select Business Information.

For each course, you will use the menu on the left, working from the bottom of the menu up.  Select Business Information.

This is an example of the information you can enter for each course.  Use the expand arrows to show/hide information in each category.  Note that entering Business hours here has no effect on times that students can reserve appointments with you. Restrictions on times for Office Hours can be made within the Service option explained below.

This is an example of the information you can enter for each course. 

Add a Service

A default Service is created for you.  You can delete that Service once you have created at least one other Service of your own.

  1. Select the Services option, from the menu, on the left.
    1. Note the three functions availalble:
      1. Add a Service.
      2. Edit an existing Service.
      3. Delete a Service.
  2. Choose Add new service.

    Select the Services option, from the menu, on the left. Note the three functions availalble: Add a Service. Edit an existing Service. Delete a Service. Choose Add a Service.

     
  3. Note the list of categories on the left side of the Edit service window. 
    Publishing Options - Yes, you want this service to appear on your booking page so students can see it and make the reservation.

    Select one of the categories and complete the information as you feel it applies to your Office Hours.
    1. Service Name - Examples names as follows
      1. ART 101 FA20 - 5 minute online meeting
      2. ART 101 FA20 - 10 minute online meeting
      3. ART 101 FA20 - 15 minute online meeting
      4. ART 300 FA20 - 5 minute online meeting
      5. ART 300 FA20 - 10 minute online meeting
      6. ART 300 FA20 - 15 minute online meeting
    2. Description - Type additional details if needed
    3. !!! Default location - Use the slider to Add online meeting !!!  This will add a Teams meeting link to the appointment automatically.  If this option is not selected, a meeting link will not be created or sent.
      1. Type "Online" into the Default location field to clarify to students that the meeting will occur online.
    4. Default Duration - set the duration that you want the reservation to be set for.  Match the duration time to the name of the service that you typed above.  The 10 minute reservation should have a set duration of 10 mintues.
    5. Buffer time - This is a personal preference.  If you would like a break in between each meeting, set a buffer time.  Or, you can just let your student know when their appointment starts that you need to step away for a minute to get a drink of water, etc.
    6. Let customers manage their appointment - There is an option that will allow you to create an appointment for a student if they are unable to create one on their own.  Turn this option on if you would like them to have the ability to cancel or reschedule an appointment you make for them.
    7. Maximum attendees - for individual appointments, this should be set to 1.
    8. !!! Default price - Select "Price not set" so a fee does not display for the appointment!!!  These are considered "Services" by the Bookings app. Price not set will give no indication that a fee might be associated with appointments.
    9. Notes - These could be notes about this appointment for yourself, or if you are adding additional "Staff", like TAs, these notes would be viewable to them as well.

      Complete the information as you feel it applies to your Office Hours. Service Name - Examples names as follows

       
    10. !!!Availability - Set the hours your students should be able to make appointments with you for the current Service/Course you are working with!!!
    11. Default Scheduling options - Turn off the slider next to "Use the default schedulilng policy".
      1. Time increments - set if you want start times for appointments to be available on the hour, on the quarter hour, half hour, etc.
      2. Miniumum lead time - set how close to the start time of an appointment, you would like appointments to be able to be scheduled.
      3. Maximum lead time - set how far in the future you would like appointments to be able to be scheduled.

        Service Information Screen 5
         
    12. Staff - Allow customers to choose a specific person for the booking - this option could be used if you are co-teaching a course or if you have TAs that are covering office hours for you.

      Service Information Screen 4
       
    13. !!!Custom Fields - Add comment, question or drop-down fields that students fill out upon making a reservation!!! 
      Create Custom Fields in the main Bookings menu first, then select which ones you want to use while editing the service.
      These fields can be required if preferred.
      Service Information Screen 2
       
    14. Reminders and Notifications - Choose how far in advance you would like a reminder sent prior to the meeting.  Add additional information you would like included in the reminder.  Remove all reminders if this is not a feature you want to use.  Add additional reminders if you want to send multiple with different time frames.
    15. Email Notification
      1. Check the box notify business box to be notified when an appointment is created.
      2. Check the send a meeting notification to send a calendar appointment, in addition to a confirmation email, to the student.
    16. Enable text messages - note the warning about possible, future charges to SVSU.

      Service Information Screen 3

Add Staff

Click the Staff option, from the menu, on the left.  Typically, there will just be yourself listed under staff, but you can add additional staff if students should book appointments with other people at SVSU.  This could be the case if you are team teaching a course or if you have TAs covering office hourse for you.

Click the Staff option, from the menu, on the left. 

 

Manage Customers

Click the Customers option, from the menu, on the left. Each time a new student creates an appointment with you, their information is stored in the Customers tool.  This is a personal preference, but you may choose to occasionally come to the Customers tool and delete student names from the list.  It is not required that you to do this.

Click the Customers option, from the menu, on the left.

 

Share the Booking Page Link

  1. Click the Booking Page option, from the menu, on the left. 
  2. Click Save and publish.
  3. Click the Copy button to copy the link to the Booking Page.
  4. Paste the link where your students will see it, i.e. Canvas, Email, etc.
    1. Things to tell your students.  This is some text you can copy/paste and then edit to suit the needs of your syllabus.
      1. My office hours will be online for this semester.  Please use the reservation calendar, at this link, to reserve appointment times with me.  A link to an online Teams meeting will be sent to you when you make the reservation.  To make a reservation, follow the instructions on the IT knowledge article at https://svsu.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1949/Portal/KB/ArticleDet?ID=113861 
      2. This is a screenshot of the Booking Page.

        This is a screenshot of the Booking Page


         
  5. Review the options on the Booking Page tool by, using the expand arrows, for each tile, to show or hide options, and make adjustments as necesary.

    Review the options on the Booking Page tool and make adjustments as necesary.
     
    1. Business page access control - check boxes to limit who has access to book appointments with you.  

      Business page access control. Booking page access control - check boxes to limit who has access to book appointments with you.  
       
    2. Customer data usage consent - mainly used for business who may "sell" or share customer data that is collected while booking appointments.  This likely doesn't apply to your office hours.

      Customer data usage consent - mainly used for business who may "sell" or share customer data that is collected while booking appointments.  This likely doesn't apply to your office hours.
       
    3. Default scheduling policy, Email notifications, Staff and Availability - settings shown here will be used as the default schedule if custom schedules are not set in the Services tool.

      Scheduling policy, Email notifications, Staff and Availability - settings shown here will be used as the default schedule if custom schedules are not set in the Services tool.
       
    4. Customize your page - choose a theme for your page and turn logo on or off

      Customize your page - choose a theme for your page and turn logo on or off
       
    5. Region and time zone settings - Eastern times will be used if it is the default time zone for your Business, when this box is checked.

      Region and time zone settings - Eastern times will be used if it is the default time zone for your Business, when this box is checked.

Book an Appointment for a Student

If a student is unable or unwilling to book their own appointment, create an appoinitment for them in the Calendar tool.  Click the New booking button and complete the required information (name, email, date, time) for the appointment.

If a student is unable or unwilling to book their own appointment, create an appoinitment for them in the Calendar tool. 

 

 

Details

Article ID: 111241
Created
Thu 7/2/20 2:45 PM
Modified
Wed 2/23/22 3:03 PM

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