The module for configuring and creating appointments is a major feature in Accudemia, in this article we review some issues that can arise and their solutions.
1 - Check Tutor Availability
This is the most common issue students and staff will see while making appointments. If a student comes to you and reports that they are unable to make an appointment, check the tutor’s availability first. Make sure there is a block of time available for the time the student wants, which covers the start and end time the student wants, which matches the Service/Courses selected by the student, and which fits within the appointment lengths allowed by your center’s settings. Although it may seem like a no-brainer that students will not be able to make appointments for times that tutors are not available, you’d be surprised how often it comes up!
2 - Check Max Students for Tutor's Shift
When building a tutor’s schedule, it’s important to indicate how many students can make appointments with the tutor at any time during a given shift. There’s no right answer; it will depend on your center’s policies and procedures (but make sure you do set one, or an unlimited number of students will be able to make appointments!). Sometimes that max number would have been reached therefore preventing new students from taking the appointment, in this case, your tutor could increase that max or ask the student to schedule a new appointment at a later time.
3 - Check Service and Subject Area/Course Settings for Tutor's Shift
Similar to the above issue, if a student isn’t able to make an appointment for a time the tutor should be available, for a course that the tutor should be able to assist with, double-check the settings for that tutor’s shift. For each shift, you can specify which services or courses the tutor can assist with during that time, which may be different from the courses or services they normally assist with at the center. This feature is normally used during workshops, SI sessions, or other times when the tutor is expected to help with a specific set of courses and/or services. It’s worth checking whether the shift the student wants has been erroneously (or correctly) marked for a specific set of courses.
4 - Check the Office 365 Calendar Sync
When staff member integrates their 365 with Accudemia, any appointment they set in 365 affects the availability in Accudemia, and students will not be able to book appointments during that time. While this can be an advantage, it can also cause confusion, if a tutor or support staff member didn’t realize an item on their calendar would be marked as off time in Accudemia and did not intend to be unavailable during that time.
It’s worth double-checking the tutor’s calendar, as well as making sure they know if an item on their calendar should not be marked as off time in Accudemia, to set it as “Free” in Outlook 365. To see these external Offtimes in your Accudemia:
- Click on your name, then click on the "Connect to Outlook 365" menu item:
- Now here click on the "View Synced events" button to view the list of events that will be blocked from the tutors' availability:
5 - Check Tutor to Student Restrictions
When the Tutor-Student feature is activated, students will only be able to make appointments with tutors or staff members to whom they are assigned. If students aren’t aware of this, they may believe they aren’t able to make appointments at all. In rare cases, they may have experience working with a staff member who works in multiple areas, and who they may be permitted to see in one area but not the other. So if your area makes use of attendance restrictions, double-check that the student is aware of the staff member or members they can meet with, and what those staff members’ schedules are.
It’s frustrating for students when they are unable to make appointments. Oftentimes, these issues are not due to any errors with Accudemia, but with some common but not often thought about issues. By understanding these common roadblocks, you’ll be better equipped to diagnose the issue yourself, which will result in quicker resolution and happier students!