Google Calendar Guidance

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.

For any support or advice about this process please contact: James Lepoittevin, Academy IT Officer | 0117 92 888 23
[Faculty of Health Sciences TEL Team]

Contents

Calendar Administration

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.

Important Notice

As of August 2017 the University of Bristol has begun the process of adopting Microsoft Office 365 to slowly replace services running on the Google Apps platform, including calendar and email. All ‘personal’ staff email and calendars now operate through Microsoft Outlook, although the Google Calendars system for Academies remains present, with limitations.

New members of staff or staff whose honorary access is renewed should contact [j.lepoittevin@bristol.ac.uk] and copy in their local Academy Manager or Administrative team to request access to Google Calendars in this transition phase. In July 2019, Google Calendars will be replaced with a very similar system operating within Microsoft Outlook, and specific instructions for accessing those services will be available closer to the time.

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 j.lepoittevin@bristol.ac.uk 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 (someone@gmail.com rather than user@bristol.ac.uk) 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: gayle.hanbury@bristol.ac.uk

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.

Calendar Names

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

Editing Google Calendars

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 username@bristol.ac.uk (rather than first.lastname@bristol.ac.uk)

Google Calendar Login Screen

Google Calendar Login Screen

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)

This screenshot shows the main components of the Google Calendar interface.

This screenshot shows the main components of the Google Calendar interface.

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:

Click in the 'header' area of the calendar to create an all day event

Click in the ‘header’ area of the calendar to create an all day event

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

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.

Sharing Google Calendars in Blackboard

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 cfme-elearning@bristol.ac.uk – 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.

Edit Mode in Blackboard

Edit Mode in Blackboard

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.

Add a Google Calendar
Clicking on a link that looks like this will prompt you to add that calendar to your account.

When you see this shortcut you can add the calendar to your account.

An example of a calendar viewed via the HTML link in a web browser.

An example of a calendar viewed via the HTML link in a web browser.

Timetables in Blackboard

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)

bbscreen

Example timetable screenshot for COMP2 at Bath Academy

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.