The Appointment System for Terra Dotta Study Abroad provides an online option for students to proactively access staff availability and create appointments based on a time and date that best suits both schedules.
This article covers the following topics related to the Appointment System:
- Access and Permissions
- Managing Availability & Date Overrides
- Managing My Appointments
- Scheduling an Appointment
- The Appointment System is designed to work with the Site Builder for Terra Dotta Study Abroad enabled. In order to best benefit from these updated appointment interfaces, you will want to use the Site Wizard to get started. This will allow you the option of pulling in existing staff pages. After the Site Wizard is published, you will automatically begin using the Site Builder - and admins and students alike will see the updated appointment interface.
- If you are not yet ready to enable the Site Builder, then the "My Appointments" section of the Navigation Menu in the Admin Console will only appear for a user if they have a staff page that has been created and saved in the Admin Console > Site Builder > Pages section. However, students will still see the classic staff public pages and the classic appointment system interface when requesting appointments.
- If you have the Site Builder enabled and have a staff page, then the "My Appointments" section will appear in your Navigation Menu. There is not an option to remove this feature.
The "My Appointments" section of the Admin Console's Navigation Menu will only appear to a logged-in staff member when they have a public staff member page. From this "My Appointments" menu, an admin will be able to access the Appointment Scheduler which is used to manage availability and view appointments. Note that a staff page must be published in order for it to be public-facing and appear to site users.
A staff member can configure their availability for appointments via the Appointments Scheduler. Click on the "My Appointments" menu in the Navigation menu and select the "Availability" tab.
Configuration and Display
After selecting the "Availability" tab, use the "Configuration and Display" section that appears to designate the length and time for your appointments as well as set instructions. The following fields appear:
- Appointment Length: Set the duration of each appointment. Hard-coded options include 15, 20, 30, 60, or 90 minutes. By default, this length is set to 20 minutes.
- Availability Start Date: This is the date on and from which you are available to take appointments.
- Availability End Date: This is the last day on which you will be available to take appointments.
- Appointment Form Instructions: Provide text to inform site users of any information you would like for them to know or follow as part of the appointment scheduling process.
After your updates have been made, click "Save" to preserve your changes.
Within the "Availability" tab, there is an "Availability" section which can be used to set your weekly hours. Each day of the week appears, beginning with Monday through Sunday. To enable availability for a specific day:
1. Check the box to the left of the week day.
2. From the interval section that appears, use the "From" and "to" fields to indicate the block of time during which you will be available. For example, if I check Wednesday, I can set my availability to be from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
More intervals can be added for a week day by clicking the "+" icon. In this way, your availability for Monday each week might be 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
To remove an interval, click the delete icon.
With the example above, if my appointments are every 20 minutes from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM, then the last available appointment time for a student would be 9:40 AM.
Set Your Date Overrides
Sometimes an exception might arise in your schedule which could mean you need to adjust your availability for a specific week. When your availability changes, it is possible to take action in the "Date Overrides" section of the "Availability" tab.
- If you need to create a date override on a day when you already have appointments scheduled, you should first cancel these appointments. After this action has taken place, then proceed with setting your date override.
Let's imagine that you have configured your availability for the remainder of the year; however, you will be taking a week of vacation in the near future. You can set a date override in your schedule to remove availability for this week of vacation without disrupting your overall availability with these steps:
1. Click the "Add Date Overrides" button.
2. Use the calendar to locate your week of vacation as this will be the period of time during which you will create a date override. In my example, that week is for August 8-12, 2022.
3. Enter a subject/reason as a note to indicate why you've created an exception.
4. From the calendar, click each day of the week to which you want to apply a date override. In my example, I will be on vacation the entire week of August 8. Therefore, I will select August 8, 10, 11, and 12 as these are days on which I want to override my current availability.
After I select each date, a date card appears next to the calendar with a list of all of the possible time blocks during which someone could schedule an appointment for that day. By default, all time blocks for the day will be selected because in the majority of cases, if you are out of the office, it is for the entire day.
- If you only need to apply a date override for specific time blocks on a date, then click on the time block that you want to modify. In my example, I will need to leave work early August 8 only, so I do not want to schedule appointments after 9:30 AM on this date. When I click on the time block for 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, I can uncheck the time for 9:00 AM. This preserves my availability for the 30-minute period of 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM on August 8. It also means that all of the other time blocks for August 8 remain unavailable.
- To summarize: Unchecking the box next to a time in this case means that you preserve that availability, and it will appear to site visitors as an option to select for an appointment. Leaving a box checked means that you override that time, and it is not going to be available to site visitors.
4. Click "Save" to preserve your changes.
If a date override has been created, then it will appear in the "Date Overrides" tab with a notation of the the date, time block, and reason.
Modifying Date Overrides
If you have set a date override for a specific date and need to cancel or edit your changes, this action cannot be taken from the "Dates Overrides" display page. You will need to click on "Add Date Overrides" and select that date again, this time unselecting all time blocks so that overrides no longer apply. Then click "Save" to preserve your changes.
From the "My Appointments" tab of the Appointments Scheduler, any available appointments will be listed. Filters can be applied to narrow or expand the scope of returned results. By default, the filter of "Today" will be applied so that the listing of appointments will be for those beginning from the current day.
Appointments are organized first by the date for which they are scheduled, then by their appointment time. Each appointment can be expanded to view the following details:
- The applicant's email and message.
- Link to the applicant's information.
- Link to reschedule the appointment.
- Link to cancel the appointment.
When a student views your office's public site page, they can access the staff page menu and click a link to request an appointment with the desired staff member. If the student is not logged in, they will be prompted to do so first before being routed to the staff member's appointment request page.
Appointment Request Page
A staff member's appointment request page is organized into three columns of information as follows:
To the left of the page, the student sees to whom the request will be sent, the length of the appointment, the time zone in which the appointment time is being scheduled, and the appointment form instructions.
In the center of the page, the student is prompted to select a date and time for the appointment. A calendar widget appears making it easy for students to locate their preferred timeframe.
To the right of the page, the selected date appears along with available time slots from which the student can choose to schedule their appointment. After a time is selected, a "Confirm" button will appear that must be clicked before the student advances to the next step.
Appointment Request Email
For the final step of scheduling an appointment, the student is presented with the date and time of their appointment, the duration of the appointment, and a short email editor. The subject line of "Appointment Request" is pre-populated, and the student is prompted to enter a short message to the staff member. When the student is ready, the click the "Schedule Appointment" button to send their message.
After the "Schedule Appointment" button has been clicked, the student is navigated to a confirmation screen that lists all of the relevant appointment information they viewed during the request action. They are also notified that a calendar invitation has been sent to their email address.
From this page, an applicant can navigate directly to their application home page.
The staff member is sent an email using the notification email template of "Admin Appointment Reminder".