Scheduling Appointments

Scheduling appointments with students to discuss papers can be a frustrating process.  The two time-honored methods -- passing around a sheet during class or posting a sheet on the door -- have obvious problems.  Some students aren't in class the day the sheet goes around and, anyway, the students who sit in the front of the room get the best times. 


Here is another area where classroom management software can be a huge help.  Many packages have a scheduler option, so you can create slots when you are available to meet and students sign up online. This is helpful for both students and instructors - no more using class time to fill out a list, many fewer emails are passed back and forth as you try to pin down a time, and students can reschedule on their own. And, in TΦ101's experience, students seem less likely to miss appointments when it is on their classroom management calendar.

After reading about the experience of first-generation students in college, TΦ101 has been experimenting with meeting individually with all students in their introductory courses. These meetings are short, around 10 minutes, held in the first three weeks of the semester, and seem to be helping in building rapport in the classroom more quickly. We know that first-generation students are less likely to interact with faculty, both inside and outside of class. We also know that faculty interactions are a predictor of student success in college. While this technique might not be possible in all situations, given the importance of faculty-student interactions, it's worth thinking about what instructors can do to improve the quantity and quality of these interactions.


Kezar, Adrianna, and Dan Maxey. "Faculty matter: So why doesn’t everyone think so." Thought & Action 2014 (2014): 29-44.

Kim, Young K. & Sax, Linda J. Research in Higher Education (2009) 50: 437.

Updated E. Esch October 2019