AppointmentPlus for Online Scheduling of Meetings
Because most employees are working remotely and most students are learning remotely, the option for walk-in appointments is no longer possible. To best serve our students (especially for the duration of the pandemic), we purchased (using the President's budget – thanks!) an online scheduling solution named AppointmentPlus. This solution enables students to schedule meetings with us for the services they specifically need help with.
All students (no login is required) have access to AppointmentPlus to schedule appointments with Advisors or student support staff for the following services:
- Course Registration (15m)
- Financial Aid (30m)
- IT Help Desk (15m)
- Student Advising (30m)
- Tutoring (45m)
- Student Accounts (30m)
After doing this once, the student's account information is saved in AppointmentPlus and for any subsequent appointment requests she can login using that saved information (see example request).
The IT staff created accounts for all full-time faculty and several key student support staff. These accounts are assigned the role of Advisor. The username is your full New River email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your password is given to you in your welcome email from AppointmentPlus.
How Does it Work?
There are two new buttons on the portal landing page that take users to AppointmentPlus. One button is for students (Book Now) and one is for Advisors (see screen capture). The blue Book Now button also appears on many of the WWW pages that current and future students typcially access.
When students need assistance with any of the services previously listed above, they click one of the blue Book Now buttons (on the portal landing page or on one of the WWW pages) to request a meeting with the appropriate Advisor (see Book Now). If a student is requesting a meeting with you, you'll receive an email from:
Appointment Notification sent by AppointmentPlus <email@example.com>
That message (see an example message) should prompt you to login to AppointmentPlus to review the meeting request and to communicate with the student about how you'd like to conduct the meeting (you can simply schedule it as a phone call or you can use Zoom).
Instead, you could also go to your Outlook calendar to view the appointment and make any changes or reply to the Requestor. For this to work in Outlook, you must first install the plugin for Outlook to synchronize AppointmentPlus with your Outlook calendar. The plugin from AppointmentPlus is called SYNCIT and you need to download it to your computer, run the installer for it, and then configure it using the THESE DIRECTIONS.
Here's the download link:
Download the SYNCIT Plugin for Outlook
AppointmentPlus is NOT integrated for Single Sign-On, but we've manually created accounts for more than 50 Advisors (full-time faculty and some support staff) and we created a password for you when we created your account. Look for an email from AppointmentPlus with this information and if you can't find it, please contact our Help Desk and we'll share your password with you.
How do I block off times to show I'm busy and not available for appointments?
If you maintain your Outlook calendar to show your busy and free times, then all you need to do is install and configure the plugin that synchronizes AppointmentPlus with your Outlook calendar. You can also login to AppointmentPlus and apply one of the Templates (created by Tamara Rahal) to block off portions of your calendar.
Can I modify or change an appointment?
If you need to cancel or modify an appointment, you can do it by logging into AppointmentPlus or from within Outlook (just right-click it and choose Edit/Cancel to make changes or cancel it while leaving a note for the Requestor) (see example screen). For this to work in Outlook, you must first install the Outlook plugin mentioned previously so your two calendars are synchronized.
What should I tell students about how to use AppointmentPlus?
Please encourage students to use AppointmentPlus to schedule meetings if they need assistance for any of the services we offer.
- Tell them where to find the Book Now buttons and how to use them to get assistance.
- Office hours for each Advisor are shown in AppointmentPlus so that students may view the schedules and request appointments.
- Not all students know Advisors by name, so each Advisor is listed with a campus code prefix to assist students in choosing the appropriate service area Advisor.
- When students create an appointment request, they must provide some information to identify themselves. We strongly encourage them to use their New River (a) name, (b) username, (c) and email address. They can even use the same password to help them remember it. After doing this once, their account information is saved in AppointmentPlus and for any subsequent appointment requests they can login using that information (see example request).
- To allow Advisors time to respond to appointment requests, we have configured AppointmentPlus to not allow same-day appointment requests. The soonest an appointment can be requested is for the next business day (weekends are marked as unavailable). This next-day service allows Advisors to receive and process appointment requests in a timely fashion.
- Emails from AppointmentPlus initially go to your Junk folder. You should right-click one of these messages and then choose Junk and mark it as Never Junk.
Where can I get more information about using AppointmentPlus?
If you need any assistance with AppointmentPlus, please view the online tutorials or contact our Help Desk (304-929-6725).
When you login to AppointmentPlus, you'll find links to a Getting Started Guide and video tutorials that show you how it works. They are located at the top of the screen after you login.
You can also connect with our Help Desk using the blue CHAT button that appears on many of our web pages. If we're aren't online, you can submit your information and we'll create a trouble ticket and get back with you as soon as we can (normally same or next day).
We hope you have a great fall term and that you find this new online scheduling solution helpful. Feel free to share your feedback with us. We'd love to hear from you.