Tech Talk Recap: Troubleshooting Online Appointment Scheduling Issues

28 October 2021

TECH TALK SESSION

When we asked attendees what kinds of content they wanted to see covered during our weekly Accudemia Tech Talk segment, one of the most popular requests was “troubleshooting.” They wanted to see popular issues that users run into while interacting with Accudemia, and how to resolve them. So this week, Support Specialist Jorge Rodriguez explained several common reasons students might encounter roadblocks during the appointment process and common root causes. We hope that by knowing some of the reasons why a student may have difficulties during this process, and how to fix them, users will be able to address the issues themselves, bypassing Accudemia Support and saving them a great deal of time and energy!

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, 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!

Check Max Students for Tutor's ShiftMax number of students set for a tutor's schedule
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!). 

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 than 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.

External calendar notifications from Outlook to AccudemiaCheck the Office 365 Calendar Sync
We recently released the exciting ability for Institutional Accudemia clients to connect staff’s Outlook 365 calendars to Accudemia. This means that when set up, your staff members will be able to control their appointments on their Outlook calendar, and any changes in time or cancellations will be reflected on their Accudemia calendar automatically (and vice versa).

Another great aspect of this new feature is that if a staff member puts a meeting on their calendar that is not related to Accudemia (say a doctor’s appointment or another meeting), it will be reflected in Accudemia as off time, 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. If your account has the calendar integration set up, 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.

Check Tutor to Student Restrictions
As we mentioned in last week’s Tech Talk, restrictions can be a great way to customize your students’ Accudemia experience. But it’s important to understand how it can affect availability for your students. When this 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! Of course, you can always contact us with any questions if you aren’t sure of the issue, or how to resolve it.

Join us next time!
Engineerica Systems is pleased to present our Tech Tip segment recap for 10/26/2021 for the weekly Accudemia sessions. Held every Tuesday at 1 pm EST, Accudemia clients can join a session to learn about a quick, useful topic from one of our Support Specialists. Each week, we’ll follow up Tech Tip Tuesday with a blog recapping that week’s topic. If you’re an Accudemia client and would like to join us for the next session, just visit
https://www.engineerica.com/accudemia-weekly-sessions/.