This guide contains information about creating and distributing Google Calendars at the Clinical Academies. It aims to help standardise how calendars and timetabling information are shared via Blackboard, and explain how to edit and manage calendars. There is also a section at the bottom of the document that explains how to upload non-Google timetabling information (such as groups or specialised individual timetables) to Blackboard.
This first section concerns setting up your calendar(s), including logging in with your University of Bristol account, and how to request University accounts for your colleagues who access student timetables.
Management and Access
New Google Calendars themselves are created, and stored centrally by University of Bristol IT Services. Since these calendars have been created in the University of Bristol ‘domain’, users who require editing access to calendars (i.e. to edit or delete events rather than just viewing them) will need to log in with a University of Bristol account. As mentioned above, colleagues who joined after August 2017 or have had honorary accounts renewed after August 2017 will need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to organise access.
If you have not needed to log into Google Services at UoB before, you may need to set up a specific Google Services password for your University account. You can do that by visiting this page: https://pwr.isys.bris.ac.uk/cgi-bin/uob-passwd.pl
Other ‘personal’ Google account holders (email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org) can still ‘View’ the Academy calendars, but will be unable to make changes even if they are added as administrators.
Requesting Honorary Status forms for calendar contributors:
If you, or a member of staff does not have a University login and requires one, they can complete an Honorary Status form (click here to visit the HR website) which will grant them a University login, email address and access to the University Staff Remote Desktop. Completed forms should be sent to Gayle Hanbury in the Health Sciences Faculty Office: email@example.com
Logging in to your University Google account and checking your password:
Advice on University of Bristol Usernames and Passwords: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/it-services/advice/iam/usernamesandpasswords.html
To change your University network or Google password, visit this link: https://pwr.isys.bris.ac.uk/cgi-bin/uob-passwd.pl
Adding other staff to your calendars
Google Calendar sharing permissions and events are managed primarily by Academy Administrators, and also the Academy IT Officer. To find out how to add other staff to edit your calendars, visit this Google help page https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/37082?hl=en and click the first link, “Share an Existing Calendar”. Please remember that ‘personal’ Google account holders will not be able to add or edit events- they must hold a University (@bristol.ac.uk) account.
There is a naming system that should be followed for calendars. There should be an Academy prefix before any calendar, as this allows all Clinical Academy calendars to be grouped together in the University management system.
Academy-Unit/Year – which may be abbreviated to:
e.g. SWIN-JMS | Swindon Academy – Junior Medicine and Surgery
Logging in to Google Calendar
There are two ways of logging in to your University Google account, the first is to simply log in directly through the website: https://calendar.google.com
Open your web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome), type in calendar.google.com into the address bar, and hit enter. You will be prompted to enter your University of Bristol ‘Google-specific’ credentials. The previous paragraph explains how to set up your Google-specific University password.
Your ’email’ should be entered as firstname.lastname@example.org (rather than email@example.com)
The alternative is to log in using your ‘normal’ University credentials through the University of Bristol Calendars web link, which you can bookmark to make the process more convenient for you.
Overview (click image to enlarge)
I’ve tried to break down each part of the interface so you can appreciate what each ‘section’ does. If you have access to a calendar, it is definitely worth having a look through the different views and experimenting with adding and editing events, as each view has its own pros and cons. The following section contains some tutorial videos, which explain how to create and manage events within the Week and Month views.
Working in Week View
To quickly add an event in week view, you can click on the appropriate ‘cell’ and drag it down from the time you want the event to start, to the time you want the event to end. You can also create ‘all day’ events by clicking in the ‘day’ header part of the calendar as shown in the image below:
This video explains more about adding events in week view.
Working in Month View
Month view is useful if you are organising a term’s worth of events in one sitting. It is especially useful if you want to create ‘repeat’ events or timetable in events that run across multiple weeks. To create an event in Month view, just click on the day you want to make the event. Watch the video below to find out more about quickly creating events in month view.
Duplicating events is the Google Calendar equivalent of ‘copy and pasting’. You might want to create the same event but move it to a different time and day. See the example video below.
Google Calendars should be shared in Blackboard via their HTML (web) link. This can then be easily added to students’ own personal calendars regardless of the platform or method they choose to use to access it.
Creating the Web Link
Please note, you will need edit access to the particular Blackboard Course you need to update. To request access you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org – please let us know what you need access to and a brief explanation.
In Blackboard, navigate to the unit where you want to link the calendar. Each unit should have a ‘Timetables’ section near the top of the course content menu on the left. Click into this section. You should see a little sign in the top right saying “Edit Mode” – this should be on in order to make changes.
The image below is an example of what will be seen when you click on an HTML link to a Google Calendar. You can see a summary of the events by Month (which can be changed) and also subscribe to the calendar by clicking the icon as shown below.
As of Feb 2019, Blackboard courses for students in Years 3-5 are organised into units (Students beginning MBChB after September 2017 will be using a new year-based Blackboard course, starting in Year 1).
These Unit courses include (but are not limited to):
Year 3: Junior Medicine & Surgery (JMS), Musculoskeletal Diseases, Emergency Medicine and Ophthalmology (MDEMO), Pathology & Ethics. (NB this will be phased out in September 2019 replaced by a single Year 3 Course in Blackboard)
Year 4: Community Oriented Medical Practice (COMP) 1 & 2, Reproductive Health and Care of the New-born (RHCN), Psychiatry, Perioperative Medicine and Critical Care (PPC).
Year 5: Preparing for Professional Practice (PPP), Senior Medicine & Surgery
In order to build and maintain a level of consistency for students, timetabling information should be available to access within the ‘Timetables’ section in each unit’s Blackboard course. (see screenshot below as an example)
File and Calendar Formats
Non Google-based timetables (e.g. those based in Word, Excel etc.) or other relevant information should be released in PDF format, as it is easily readable by the majority of modern devices.
Using PDFs also avoids leaving potential tracking changes or other comments viewable in the source file. You can easily save files to PDF in newer version of Microsoft Office by selecting it from File > Save As > ‘Save As Type’ and changing the default Office file format (e.g. docx, xlsx) to pdf.
If you aren’t familiar with Blackboard, have a quick watch of the video below which breaks down the process of uploading a document.