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Modern Scheduling with Microsoft Bookings

Appointments, Conferences, Presentations, and More with MS Bookings

Weinberg College IT Solutions (WITS) began partnering in Spring 2020 with academic departments and programs to offer Microsoft Bookings as a new online appointment scheduling system. Bookings’ solid integrations with Outlook made it an automatic contender to replace any existing third-party calendaring systems. Due to Bookings’ information flow, WITS moved swiftly this spring to pilot the system with the Middle Eastern and North African Languages Program (MENA) and the German Department for all of their student advising appointments.

WITS now promotes the system for widespread use throughout the College because of its robust feature set and reliability. Franziska Lys, Director of Undergraduate Studies in German and Director of the MENA Languages Program praises Bookings and indicates she would “highly recommend it.” She adds, “I love having the links in my signature on email (and also all over our German webpage) and students can just make an appointment without having to exchange emails with me.” According to Lys, students are enjoying it, too: “As to students, they love it. I send all the first years to the Bookings calendar, and they all thought it was so easy to set up a meeting with me.”

Northwestern IT is currently distributing Bookings licenses widely. Because Bookings is part of a packaged suite of Office365 tools that Northwestern purchases from Microsoft anyway, Bookings can be used within any department or program for FREE.

Bookings Offers Value and Great Features

Bookings is not only a good value (yes, it’s FREE to you), it’s also a great tool. WITS enthusiastically endorses Microsoft Bookings for several reasons:

Features for Online/Remote Advising

A comprehensive tool for both in-person and online advising, Bookings is an asset for any department in 2020. For online/remote advising, Bookings locations can be configured to be a personal Zoom room. In appointment confirmation and reminder emails, Bookings will send students the link and directions on how to get into a staff member’s advising Zoom session. This visibility of the Zoom link reduces back and forth communication between students and faculty. Bookings can also automatically create a Microsoft Teams meeting for any advising appointment or other meeting scheduled in Bookings. Microsoft Teams and Bookings work hand in hand.

COVID-19 Contact-Tracing and Fall 2020 In-Person Advising

In Fall 2020 and beyond, when faculty and staff are set for in-person advising and contact tracing is necessary for tracking Covid-19 exposure, Bookings can provide easy ways to track who was where when and with whom. Hooking into the Outlook calendar of a department’s staff and keeping track of student appointments by email, NetID or other identifiable information makes it a snap to do contact tracing.

Adapting Bookings for Virtual Conferences

Bookings is not just a tool for advising. Bookings can be adapted for scheduling virtual conferences. Bookings can gather attendee registrations, manage communication of the Zoom or Teams links of conference sessions, and allow non-Northwestern participants to get in on the action. With Bookings, it’s all easy and free.

For More Information

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