I've overseen student scheduled appointments in TutorTrac, AccuSQL/AccuTrack, and STAT (in-house system).
In each case we strongly encouraged students to make and modify their appointments and provided a receptionist anytime we were open for assistance. Students could schedule and modify their sessions online or through one of the kiosks in our
Center. Receptionists would assist with any questions. Students could also cancel scheduled sessions up to 11:59 p.m. the day before an appointment. Thereafter, they needed to contact one of our reception staff at least two hours prior to the appointment to
avoid it counting as a no-show. With three no-shows, students lost their appointment privileges for the term but were still welcome to visit on a walk-in basis as tutors are available.
TutorTrac will allow you to monitor cancellations and can be programmed to block students from making appointments with 3 no shows. (You can override no-shows if desired. My policy was that students with three no shows needed to meet privately
with me as the director or our associate director to discuss the importance of keeping their appointments and to let students make their case for why they should be eligible for one override for that semester.) Our reception staff retained responsibility
for ensuring that students who canceled after midnight and before the two hours saw their records changed internally so that they were not listed as a no-show.
It's been awhile since I used TutorTrac, but I seem to recall that students could use their school email and password to log into the system. Double check with Redrock on this point, though.
In terms of preparation, I would say you need to be a little more fastidious about making sure there are no contradictions in the system in terms of when somebody is available, especially if they work in multiple capacities for you such as SI
leader and tutor, so that they're not simultaneously listed for the same period. Separate profiles for these staff by role helped.
Also, we found it helpful to make a single page handout with screenshots giving people brief but clear directions on how to make and modify appointments in the system. This information went out to students by email, was posted on our website,
was given to academic skills counselors or coaches to encourage students to use the system, and distributed during class visits and other marketing opportunities.
Taking this approach is one I highly recommend because:
- it puts the onus on students to schedule/modify appointments.
- it allows students to browse different tutor profiles, ideally with a photo, to figure out with whom they might be most compatible. (You can put an opening message on the login screen for TutorTrac letting students know where to look for bios.
of your tutors on your website, for example, so they can learn a bit about each person's background, interests, and even hobbies.)
- as previously noted by another poster, it also substantially frees your reception staff to do other projects for you.
The only drawback that comes to mind, presuming the system is functioning properly, is that students can become frustrated if they are unsure of how to navigate the system or are not finding what they seek and it's after hours. The handout I
mentioned earlier with directions for scheduling and modifying appointments can significantly reduce those issues, though. Be sure to include on the sheet contact information in case of problems. Also place it on your website and the login screen for TutorTrac.
Debbie Malewicki, M.A.
Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions, LLC
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Cell: (475) 238-5635
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We’re in the process of exploring the option of allowing students to schedule their own appointments in TutorTrac. Currently, appointment scheduling is centralized and completed via our office personnel.
Are there any institutions that allow students to schedule their own appointments? If so, can you provide some feedback regarding your experience with this (i.e. pros/cons)? Also, how do manage cancellations and schedule changes?
CSP Student Tutorial Services
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