Question

Outlook, Calendar Attachments, and Calendar Links

  • 14 August 2021
  • 9 replies
  • 154 views

Userlevel 1

Hi all - I’m new to Docebo, but not new to LMS and workplace learning. I’d like to know how others handle calendaring for ILT / VILT events. I’ve set up my first VILT in the system, an 8 week course that meets every Friday. I’ve set it up as a course with one session and 8 events.

Upon successful enrollment, learners are sent a notification that includes a calendar attachment. When the user opens the calendar attachment, it creates a new calendar in Outlook called Untitled. The 8 events are saved in the Untitled calendar as 8 separate events. Here are the issues that I’m trying to resolve:

  • The event is in a new calendar and not in the learner’s calendar so the time is not blocked out. The user must copy it or invite themselves to the event.
  • If the event time changes or is cancelled, the user’s copied calendar entry does not update.
  • The workarounds appear to have users add their Docebo My Calendar as an add’l outlook calendar (this resolves the sync issue) and invite themselves to each event to which they’re enrolled. Alternatively, we can have a coordinator invite folks to each event and update everyone if something changes.

Anyway, it all seems more clunky than I expected from a system that’s supposed to manage events like these. I’d like to know how others manage this for ILT / VILT.


9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi @keiishida this is an issue with the desktop version of outlook...the attachment should work fine in web mail applications like Google. You can try these steps to avoid creating multiple calendars...not the most elegant solution but it seems to work for most:

  1. Click Save As to save the attachment to your desktop (or other location)
  2. In Outlook, select File, select Open & Export, and then select Import/Export.
  3. In Import and Export Wizard box, select Import an iCalendar (.ics) and click Next.
  4. Select the saved file from your desktop (or other location) and click OK.
  5. Select Import. The items are automatically imported into your calendar.

We logged a ticket on this issue a while back and Docebo replied that they cannot control the behavior of the receiving application therefore no fix would be implemented...perhaps this may change with the revamp of notifications expected soon.

Userlevel 1

Thanks @lrnlab!

I can’t see explaining those other steps cleanly without 1) users doing it wrong, 2) not doing it, or 3) complaining about all of the steps!  The easier workaround might be for users to open the file in the outlook web app. That appears to work, so that nugget of info you provided is very helpful!

How do you handle when a change is made to events? Is that another email notification?

I’m disappointed to hear that response from Docebo considering so many other systems handle calendar events better. I suppose it’s not that much of an issue considering outlook desktop isn’t used by many people <eyeroll>.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi @keiishida yes there is a separate notifications for ILT changes called, ILT Session Changed, that you can configure to send out nay updates. There is also one for deleted sessions if that can also be of use to you.

Userlevel 1
Badge

Hi @keiishida.  Thank you for posting this and so clearly identifying the current behavior.  I just came across this behavior recently as well.  I agree that this is very clunky and am struggling with how to help learners since all other ics invites I have received DO NOT behave this way in the Outlook desktop application.  I believe Docebo needs to address this and not expect a 4-5 step process for learners to add learning events to their calendars.

 

Userlevel 1

Please put this in the idea portal because you are so right (and not the only one facing this issue).

Cheers,

Tim

Badge

We have struggled with this ourselves. The majority of our ILT/Webinar courses are multi-day. It works like a charm as long as the session is 1 day or less. We got the same disappointing answer from Docebo when we put a ticket in as well. I will vote for the idea!

Userlevel 4

I fully agree that Docebo should be sending “normal” calendar invitation/update/cancellation messages that any program could process for users correctly.

 

In our test we have found out that to get acceptable results it’s better to use the short-code [calendar_attachment] instead of [calendar_sync_url].

When calendar attachment is used, a person can open it in Outlook desktop, and then, despite only one event date is presented, when they click Save & Close, all events are added to their calendar.

 

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I am not sure what I am doing wrong. When I open it asks if I want to save as a new calendar and if I say no it doesn’t open. If I say yes it adds another calendar…

 

Userlevel 4

@tonya.clark I’m on Mac, and this might be working differently on Windows… I see that some Outlook users are facing similar issues. There are some workarounds available on Microsoft’s forum - https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/icalics-files-creating-new-calendar-instead-of/60ee1860-4654-4487-943f-8e9146791ea7?page=1

 

@Docebo - please provide an option to send calendar invitations instead of attaching .ics files!

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