The Scheduler module helps you to schedule one-on-one appointments with all your students. You specify the periods during which you are available to see the students and the length of each appointment. The students then book themselves into one of the available timeslots. The module also lets you record the attendance and grade the appointment.
Quick Start for the Moodle Scheduler
This lesson shows you how to quickly make your first Moodle scheduler, so only the basics are described. Like any other first attempt, your first Moodle scheduler will probably be more for learning than using, but after you've finished it, you'll be able to choose which features you want to learn more about.
- You must have teacher access to a Moodle course.
- Teachers and students must be enrolled in the course.
- The Moodle scheduler must be installed, since it is not part of the core Moodle package.
Creating A Basic Scheduler
- Click the "Turn editing on" button.
- Click the link "Add an activity or resource."
- In the box that appears, choose "Scheduler" and click the "Add" button.
- A web page will appear called "Adding a new Scheduler." Type in the name of the scheduler, which can be changed later.
- Scroll to the bottom of the webpage and click the "Save and display" button.
- A webpage will appear with the name of your scheduler at the top. Click the "Add slots" link.
- A drop-down menu will appear that allows you to add repeated slots or a single slot. Click the link to add repeated slots.
- Options will appear to add time slots. For this lesson, the slots you add can be real or fictitious, for practice. All time slots must occur in the future, and the start time must be before the end time. The simplest option is to:
- Click the "Start time" menu and choose a time that is one hour from now.
- Click the "End time" menu and choose a time that is one hour after the start time.
- Scroll to the bottom of the webpage and click "Save changes."
After these steps, a basic scheduler will appear. To learn more, view the scheduler as a student or explore the options below.
- Teacher screens
- Student screens
Features and Defines
The Scheduler module allows two behaviours relative to appointing, depending on configuration settings. When set to "one only", a student can propose a unique appointment. When set to "one at a time", the student may propose one appointment, and will have to wait to be seen, before being able to make a subsequent appointment.
A slot may accept an unlimited number of students (say, when scheduling for open meetings), or only one (face-to-face meeting), or may be set to accept a predefined number of students.
Moodle Module standard implementations
The module performs complete backup/restore within the course context. Slots are considered as module scope information, while appointments are considered as user related data.
Messages and notifications
An optional notification service sends messages to teachers and students on certain changes:
- To teachers, when a student books or cancels an appointment,
- To students, when a teacher declines an appointment. (Note, no message is sent when the teacher deletes the slot instead.)
This can be enabled or disabled on each Scheduler's settings page.
Scheduler also sends reminders of upcoming appointments to students, if the teacher has selected this on a per-slot basis.
Further, teachers can use a web form for manually sending invitations or reminders to students who did not yet make an appointment.
Behaviour with groups
Scheduler has two different group-related features, both of which can be enabled independently on a per-scheduler basis:
- Restriction to groups: Students can schedule appointments only with teachers in their group,
- Booking in groups: Students can schedule an appointment for the entire group at once.
Restriction to groups is controlled by Moodle's usual Group mode feature (in "Common settings"). Setting "Group mode" to "Visible groups" or "Separate groups" will mean that students can see, and book, only slots which are offered by a teacher with whom they are in a common group. Additionally, in "Separate groups" mode, teachers won't be able to see slots outside their group unless they have permission to access all groups.
Booking in groups means that each student of the group can make an appointment for the entire group, i.e., when they click the "Book slot" button, they have the option to assign the entire group to that slot. In order for a student to schedule a group, they will have to belong to at least one group in the course. In the special case where the student belongs to several groups and they wish to make an appointment within a group, they will not be able to make the appointment until the student has been seen (one-at-a-time setting) or at all (only-one-time setting). With "Booking in groups" enabled, teachers will also be able to assign an entire group to a slot at once.
Note that irrespective of the group features, slots always remain assigned to one teacher and zero or more individual students, and are not as such tied to a group.
Scheduler will, in some situations, warn the user if they are creating scheduling conflicts, i.e., two appointments for the same person at the same time.