Sakai Tips and Tricks: Use ‘Sign-up’ to schedule office hours, meetings and presentations with your students

Asking students to sign-up for office hours, meetings, presentations or group projects can be a hassle. Some faculty pass around sign-up sheets in class, or even tape them to their office doors. Others might try using tools like wikis – setting up a page that any student can edit and asking students to enter their names. Several Duke faculty, who are teaching this Fall with Sakai, have found a way to improve and simplify the sign-up process with Sakai’s Sign-up tool.

The Sign-up tool can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some scenarios:

  • Use the Sign-up tool to allow students to sign-up in advance for office hours. You can use the tool to break up the total time you have available into individual slots that your students can sign-up for. You can even set up recurring hours weekly or monthly.
  • Professor Sumi Ariely (Duke Global Health Institute) schedules her students’ in-class presentations by setting up multiple time slots within the allotted class time to allow a fixed time for each presenter (see the screenshot below.) Professor Midge Bowers at the School of Nursing will use the sign-up for case presentations in her course Nursing 461 Care Management of Cardiovascular Disease next semester.

  • Use Sign-up to allow students to form their own groups, choose interesting discussion topics, or pick research projects.
  • Instructors can better estimate how many students would attend a review session by setting up a meeting with no limit on the number of participants who can sign-up. This is useful in choosing a room of adequate size for the session.

Other cool features of the Sign-up:

  • Auto-reminder: send email to remind attendee(s) of an event
  • Instructors receive email notification when a student signs up or cancels an appointment
  • Students can join Wait List
  • Students can add a comment during sign-up
  • Publish to class Schedule/Calendar

Watch this 2-minute video (created by Yale University) to see examples including:

  • scheduling office hours with the Sign-up
  • a student’s view of the Sign-up
  • an instructor’s view of an active office hour list.

Learn more about Sign-up:

  • Instructions on creating events/meetings for Multiple slots, Single slot, and Announcement
  • Instructions for students to sign-up for an event. The screenshot below shows a student’s view of the Sign-up.