Keeping 'open' office hours instead of scheduling appointments is usually not the most efficient manner for college and university professors and instructors to meet with their students
Scottsdale, AZ (Vocus) September 21, 2010
Most college and university professors and instructors will schedule office hours each week to meet with their students this fall semester, just as they've always done. Few, however, require appointments, as they rely on a “first-come, first-serve” policy that’s oftentimes inconvenient to both them and their students. On some days, they may not meet with any students, thereby wasting hours of their valuable time. Additionally, some students may be reluctant to wait for the next available slot and simply leave.
This dilemma is easily remedied with Appointment-Plus online scheduling software.
A leader in college scheduling software solutions since 2001, Appointment-Plus gives college and university professors, instructors and departments the online tools they need to improve and automate their office scheduling, such as: online student self-scheduling, whereby they can view available meeting times and book their appointment at their own convenience, 24 hours a day; automated e-mail and text message reminders sent prior to a scheduled appointment; and robust recordkeeping and reporting capabilities for storing meeting notes.
Professors, instructors and their staff can easily customize their Appointment-Plus online scheduler to reflect their office hours and when they’re available to meet with students. They can quickly block off unavailable times and also require students to schedule their appointments in advance, such as within eight hours of their appointment. Because of its versatility, a department can establish one account and allow an unlimited number of professors and instructors to set up and manage their office appointment schedules.
“Keeping ‘open’ office hours instead of scheduling appointments is usually not the most efficient manner for college and university professors and instructors to meet with their students,” says Bob La Loggia, president and founder of StormSource Software, the developer of Appointment-Plus. “Our scheduling software lets them easily and quickly incorporate an appointment-scheduling process that’s advantageous to them and their students.”
Among colleges and universities that utilize Appointment-Plus for their scheduling needs include:
- Georgetown University
- Harvard University
- Ohio State University
- Penn State University
- University of Michigan
- Yale University
Appointment-Plus is a Web-based application accessible from any Internet connection, which benefits not only students wishing to schedule their appointments online, but also to professors and instructors that manage their schedules from outside their office or from different on- and off-campus locations. Users can open their scheduler in PDAs, smartphones such as iPhone and Droid, and other mobile and WiFi devices, such as the iPad.
If incorporating the student self-scheduling function, professors and instructors can easily direct students to their online scheduler with an Appointment-Plus-provided button link on their Web site. Departments can also interface the scheduling software with their current Student Information System (SIS) or portal, allowing students to access the online scheduler without having to log into a separate Web page.
Appointment-Plus eliminates the need to manually enter appointment and booking information into a book, spreadsheet or electronic calendar. Once scheduled, the system can automatically send e-mail and text message reminders to the students. Appreciated by students, these automated reminders can help cut the “no-show” rate by 50 percent.
Because it’s Internet-based, Appointment-Plus doesn’t require costly hardware or program installations. Additionally, the professor, instructor or department does not need to own or operate a Web site to use Appointment-Plus. Pricing starts at $39 per month with no long-term contracts, along with free set-up assistance with a dedicated coach.
“For some, the tediousness of scheduling student appointments makes it a less appealing alternative to ‘open’ office hours,” La Loggia adds. “Let Appointment-Plus help you make better use of your time and your students’ with an easy-to-implement, automated appointment-scheduling solution.”
To learn more about Appointment-Plus and how it can improve your office-scheduling procedures, click here.
About Appointment-Plus: Appointment-Plus supplies over 4,000 clients throughout the United States, Canada and 10 other countries the tools they need to efficiently and accurately schedule appointments and sessions, book rooms, accept registrations and many other services. The flagship product of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based StormSource Software, the online application has scheduled over 50 million appointments since its launch in 2001. Users of the service include colleges and universities, Fortune 500 companies, healthcare agencies and facilities, federal and local governments, freight and delivery services, and small businesses such as such as tutors, instructors, medical offices, spas, health clubs and massage therapists.