Today Doodle released a calendar connector that works with Apple’s iCal.  This means that Doodle can now interface with iCal, Outlook, Google, Exchange, and Lotus calendars.  I tested this today with my iCal and I think it has a lot of potential.

Doodle can be used in a number of different ways.  At its most basic it is an online polling application but it also allows for event scheduling and has a MeetMe portion where others can schedule appointments with you.  It’s a great tool because the user/student doesn’t have to have a Doodle account to complete a poll or schedule an appointment.

Uses for Faculty

Appointment Scheduling:

Once you connect Doodle to your calendar it becomes a powerful and efficient tool for faculty.  If you use the CofC Exchange calendar then other faculty and staff can easily schedule appointments with you, but unfortunately students cannot.  In addition, many faculty use iCal or Google as their primary calendar and not Exchange which makes it difficult for Exchange users to schedule with you.  By using Doodle’s MeetMe and connecting it to your calendar of choice you can allow anyone, whether on campus or off, to schedule an appointment with you.  Doodle only shows that you are “busy” but doesn’t show what you’re doing.

Scheduling Tip:  To create set timeslots where students can schedule appointments don’t link your normal calendar to Doodle.  Instead, create a secondary calendar that shows you busy for all the times that you do NOT want appoints scheduled and link that to your MeetMe page.  This way students can only sign up for specific time slots.

 

Event Planning:

MeetMe is a great way to allow scheduling for yourself but occasionally you need to find a meeting time for a group of people.  This can easily be done via the Schedule an Event tool.  This tool allows you to name several time slots and have your participants vote on the time or times that works best for them.  You can then easily see which has the most responses and add that to your calendar.

 

Polling:

Lastly, Doodle allows you to create quick and easy polls that you can use in your class.  These polls can be used to obtain all types of information from your students from demographic information to demonstrating conceptual understanding.

 

Doodle is free and easy to use so take a look at it.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.