Sep 09

Planning Meetings the Web 2.0 way

It often happens that you are organizing a meeting between a number of people (maybe some of which are in your organization, and maybe some aren’t), and you need to find a time slot that will work for everyone. This can be a very annoying task using email, and sometimes more than one email are required to each person. If you are lucky enough to be in an organization where everyone is using some sort of resource tracker like Outlook, then you could just look it up, but I’ve found a much more general way to do so. It’s called WhenIsGood.net.

WhenIsGood is a Web 2.0 app that is super easy to use. You don’t even have to create a user name or password. Just go to the website and click “Get Started”. This will take you to a very easy to use grid of times to select possible times for the meeting (that work for you). You then enter the name of the meeting, and click continue. At this point it assigns you a code, call it a password, that is necessary to see the results and to make any changes. Write this code down, and then click continue again. Finally it gives you a link to send out to all possible participants! That’s it! When you want to see the results, go back to the home page, click on results, and enter your code.

This is a program that is of my favourite type: it does one thing and does it well. It doesn’t try to add every bell and whistle on the planet and makes it in to bloatware, but rather focuses on doing the think it was designed to do, and doing it well. I am very impressed with it, and will probably use it again in the future.

Possible Uses in Education

  • Planning meetings with TAs, Markers, or other assistants to your teaching.
  • Planning office hours (in a small class setting).
  • Planning appointments with students, including exam review sessions.
  • Planning tests (again in a small class setting).
  • Planning meetings with colleagues to meet and discuss course issues, or to get together and work on making a test or exam.
  • Get students to create one if they want to make an appointment with you, providing the times they are available, and you can reply giving when would work for you.
  • Planning lunch or coffee with a colleague to discuss teaching and/or get some advice.

Here is a video I found showing the basic operation. They recommend in the video that you log in, but you don’t have to at all. You just get more features if you do so.


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