How to create a shareable calendar for your course

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Do you want to communicate upcoming course events with your students in an easy way? Whether you prefer using Google Calendar or Apple Calendar, follow my step-by-step guide to create a shareable calendar that will effectively communicate upcoming course events. I cover how to add events and how to create an “add to calendar” link to share with students so they can add the events to their own calendar apps. Providing this for your customers will help them stay up-to-date and be prepared for each event in your course or group program. So keep reading to learn how you can use your favorite calendar applications to create and share a calendar – for free!

Creating a Shareable Calendar Using Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a popular calendar application that is free to use. Here’s how to create a shareable calendar using Google Calendar:

Setting up a new calendar

  1. Go to Google Calendar and sign in with your Google account.
  2. On the left-hand side, click the “+” button next to “Other calendars.”
  3. Select “Create new calendar.”
  4. Name your calendar and add a description if desired.
  5. Click “Create calendar.”

Adding course events to the calendar

  1. Click on the date and time you want to add an event to.
  2. Enter the event details, including the title, date, time, and location. Make sure to select the correct calendar to add the event to.
  3. Click “Save.”

Generating a link to share with students

  1. Click on the three dots next to your calendar name. 
  2. Select “Settings and sharing.”
  3. Under “Access permissions for events”, make sure to check the box to make the calendar available to public.
  4. If you get the shareable link from the button in this section, it will give you a link that only other Google Calendar users can use.
  5. To provide the calendar to all students no matter what calendar they use, scroll down to the “Integrate calendar” section.
  6. Copy the link that’s listed in “Public address in iCal format.”

You can now share this link with your students so they can add the event calendar to their own calendar application.

Creating a Shareable Calendar Using Apple Calendar

Apple Calendar is a calendar application that comes pre-installed on Macs and iOS devices. Here’s how to create a shareable calendar using Apple Calendar:

Creating a new calendar

  1. Open Apple Calendar.
  2. Click on “File” and select “New Calendar.”
  3. Name your calendar.

Adding course events to the calendar

  1. Right-click on the date you want to add an event to and click New Event.
  2. Enter the event details, including the title, date, time, and Zoom link.
  3. Click “Add.”

Generating a link to share with students

  1. Right-click on your calendar name.
  2. Select “Share Calendar”.
  3. Check the box next to “Public Calendar” and click Done.
  4. Right-click your calendar again, and select “Copy URL to Clipboard”.

You can now share this link with your students so they can add the events to their own calendar.

Using an Add to Calendar link generator

If you have a small group of students (at the time of writing, 20), you can also use the free plan of AddEvent.com to create a free Add to Calendar button. If you’re sharing the calendar with a larger group, you would need to sign up for a monthly or annual plan to use AddEvent’s add calendar button. The above options to create shareable calendars directly from your calendar tool are always free, no matter how many people subscribe to your calendar.

Sharing a single event

If you’re only sharing a single event, it may be easier to just create the event and copy the invite link for it instead of sharing a full calendar.

Adding the calendar links to your course materials

Include your “Add to Calendar” link in an email or on your course website so students can easily access it. If you can, add calendar links that can be used in any calendar applications your students may use. Google Calendar provides you with both a link to share with other Google Calendar users as well as a link to an ICS file, which can be used with any other calendar tool.

Apple Calendar provides you with a webcal link. Some course platforms may not allow linking to those links, in which case you can set up a redirect on your website so you have a regular link to use in your course platform, but it automatically redirects to the actual webcal link.

How to set up a redirect to a webcal link in WordPress

In WordPress, I like the free plugin Pretty Links to set up redirects. Once installed, go to Pretty Links in your admin area and click Add New. Simply paste your webcal link in the Target URL field, and create a pretty URL that you can use to share.

How to set up a redirect to a webcal link in Squarespace

In Squarespace, go to Settings > Developer Tools > URL Mappings.

In the URL Mappings field, put your nice URL, an arrow, the webcal link, and 301 like this:
/yourURL -> webcal://longlinkgoeshere 301

Sharing the calendar link

You can use the link you’ve generated from your calendar application like any other link, such as adding it to an email or creating an “Add Calendar” button inside your course or on your website.

When students click the link to the shared calendar, their preferred calendar tool should open and either automatically add the calendar or prompt them asking whether they want to add the calendar.

Tips for Effectively Communicating Upcoming Course Events

Once you have created your shareable calendar, it’s important to effectively communicate upcoming course events to your students. Here are some tips:

Using clear and concise language

When adding an event to the calendar, make sure to use clear and concise language so students understand what the event is and why it’s important.

Providing context for each event

Include any necessary details about the event, such as the link to the Zoom room and what topics will be covered.

Reminding students of upcoming events

Send reminders to your students a few days before each event to ensure they don’t forget.

Encouraging students to add the calendar to their own devices

Remind your students to add the calendar to their own devices so they can stay up to date on upcoming events.

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I'm Anouska

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