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How do I record appointments with my academic advisees in Moodle?

As an academic adviser, you have a virtual office (in the form of a course space) in Moodle that allows you to manage appointments with your academic advisees.

To begin, go to your Moodle Dashboard and click on your virtual office. This should appear as a course with the title ‘[your name] Virtual Office’. Your academic advisees will be already enrolled on it, so you don’t need to add them.

You can use your virtual office to offer appointments that your advisees themselves can book via Moodle or use it as a space for yourself to log appointments on their behalf and keep a record.

Adding the Scheduler activity

  1. In your virtual office course, turn editing on.
  2. At the very top of the course, click Add an activity or resource.
  3. Choose Scheduler.
  4. Change only the following settings:
NameType Book an appointment with your academic adviser.
Role name of the teacherType Academic Adviser.
ModeChange the first dropdown menu from 1 to Unlimited.
Guard timeTick Enable and choose at what time before the appointment students shouldn’t be allowed to change or cancel their appointment with you. Example: if the guard time is enabled and set to 2 hours, then students will be unable to book a slot that starts in less than 2 hours time from now, and they will be unable to drop an appointment if it start in less than 2 hours. If you prefer to allow students to change their booking at any time, then don’t enable this setting.
Default slot durationEnter the default duration of an appointment with the student (e.g. 30 minutes). Later, when you schedule individual appointments, you will be able to overwrite this setting.
NotificationsChoose Yes or No depending on whether you would like Moodle to email when an advisee books/cancel an appointment.
Use notes for appointmentsChoose Both types of notes.
Figure 1. Settings that you need to choose in the Moodle Scheduler.

You don’t need to change any of the other settings.

Scroll down and click Save and return to course.

Note

You don’t need to set up a new Scheduler activity every time you wish to offer appointments to your academic advisees. You need to create the Scheduler once and add all your bookable slots in that same Scheduler.

I want my advisees to book appointments themselves

Adding recurring appointments

Recurring appointments are slots that you offer to your advisees at specific dates and times, e.g. every Tuesday from 2pm until 4pm, and your advisees can book 15 or 30 minutes within that time period.

To set up recurring appointments:

  1. Click on the Scheduler activity you created in your virtual office.
  2. Click Add slots.
  3. Select Add repeated slots.
  4. Change only the following settings:
DateChoose the date on which you will offer your appointments.
Repeat time slots untilClick Enable and choose until when you will be offering slots for appointments. Example: if you select the end of the academic year (August 2022), then Moodle will create bookable appointments each week until August 2022.
Add appointments onTick the days on which you will be offering slots for your appointments. For example, if you offer 2-hour slots every Monday and every Friday tick Monday and Friday. Moodle will create slots only on the days you selected.
Time rangeChoose the time range during which your advisees will be able to book a slot with you. Example: you could be offering a 2-hour slot between 2-4pm and your advisees will be able to book 30 minutes within that time period.
Divide into slotsChoose Yes.
DurationChoose how long each bookable slot will be. Example: you could be offering a 2-hour slot between 2-4pm and your advisees will be able to book a 15- or 30-slot within that time period.
Maximum number of students per slotChoose how many students will be able to book each (15/30-minute) slot. If you prefer to see only one student per slot, then type 1. If prefer to have group appointments, so more than 1 students can book the same slot, then type 2 or more.
LocationType the location where your appointments will take place. If it’s a physical room, type the room number, building name and campus name. If the appointment takes place online, paste the Zoom or Google Meet link here.
Email a reminderOptional: if you would like Moodle to email students a reminder of their appointment with you choose On the morning of the appointment.
Figure 2. Settings to configure when adding recurring appointments to the Scheduler.

Once finished, click Save Changes.

Moodle should have created multiple bookable slots within the time range you specified above.

Adding one-off appointments

One-off appointments are bookable slots that don’t occur on specific dates and times. For example you could be offering some bookable slots in Week 4, then again some more slots in Week 11.

These are also suitable if you would like to have a record of an appointment with the student that wasn’t planned and should have been booked as such. You can add this to your scheduler after you met your advisee as a one-off appointment.

To set up one-off appointments:

  1. Click on the Scheduler activity you created in your virtual office.
  2. Click Add slots.
  3. Select Add single slot.
  4. Change only the following settings:
DateChoose the date on which you will offer your one-off appointment and the time that your appointment will start.
DurationChoose how long slot will be, e.g. 30 minutes.
Maximum number of students per slotIf you are setting up a one-off appointment with 1 student, type 1 in this field. If you are setting up a one-off appointment with a group of students, then type the number of students you are expecting to book this slot.
LocationType the location where your appointment will take place. If it’s a physical room, type the room number, building name and campus name. If the appointment takes place online, paste the Zoom or Google Meet link here.
Email a reminderOptional: if you would like Moodle to email students a reminder of their appointment with you, then tick Enable and choose the date that you would like Moodle to email them.
Figure 3. Settings to configure when adding one-off appointments to the Scheduler.

Once finished, click Save Changes.

Moodle should have created a slot that your academic advisees are able to book.

How do I make my virtual office visible to students?

Important

Once you have set up your slots, make sure that your virtual office in Moodle is not hidden from your academic advisees. Your advisees will need to be able to access your virtual office in Moodle to be able to book appointments via the scheduler.

To make your virtual office available to students, you need to unhide the course. Learn more: How do I release my course to students?

Your advisees will see your virtual office in their Moodle Dashboard because they are enrolled on it (via Banner).

You can also make them aware of it by putting a link to your virtual office in your email signature.

How do I record which of my advisees attended?

If your advisees have used the Moodle Scheduler in your virtual office to book appointments with you:

  1. Go to your virtual office space in Moodle.
  2. Click on the Scheduler activity.
  3. Tick the box next to each advisee that attended the appointment.
  4. If an advisee booked the appointment but didn’t attend, leave the box next to their name unticked.

How do I add comments for appointments with my advisees?

  1. Go to your virtual office space in Moodle.
  2. Click on the Scheduler activity.
  3. Click on the name of the advisee that you would like to add comments for.
  4. Are you adding comments visible to the student?
    Then type your comments in the field Notes for appointment (visible to student).
  5. Are you adding comments visible only to you?
    Then type your comments in the field Confidential notes (visible to teacher only).

How do I free up slots for cancelled appointments?

In cases where your academic advisees booked a slot via the scheduler in your virtual office, but can no longer attend:

  1. They can cancel the booking via the scheduler, by clicking on the Scheduler in your virtual office and then on the Cancel booking button.
Figure 4. Cancelling an appointment as an academic advisee.
  1. You can cancel the appointment on their behalf and free up the slot so that it can be booked by another advisee. To cancel the appointment:
    1. Find the appointment you wish to cancel in the scheduler
    2. Click the Revoke appointment icon on the right-hand side, in the Action column. This will free up that slot without you having to recreate it.
Figure 5. Revoking appointments in the Moodle Scheduler.

Note about revoking group appointments

If you click Revoke appointment against a group slot that includes two or more academic advisees (for example, because one of them emailed you that they can no longer attend), you will be cancelling the appointment for the whole group, not just for that one advisee.

Once you revoke an appointment, Moodle will send an automatic email to your advisee that the appointment has been cancelled.

I want to log appointments on behalf of my advisees

If your advisees have used other means to book an appointment with you (e.g. via email or Google Calendar) or they have just dropped in without booking, you will still need to log the appointment on their behalf and keep a record.

Logging an appointment on behalf of a group of students

  1. Click on the Scheduler activity you created in your virtual office.
  2. Click Add slots.
  3. Select Add single slot.
  4. Change only the following settings:
DateChoose the date on which the appointment took place and the time that your appointment started.
DurationChoose how long the appointment was.
Maximum number of students per slotType how many students attended the appointment and make sure that Enable is ticked.
LocationType the location where your appointment took place. If the appointment took place online type either via Zoom or via Google Meet.
Email a reminderMake sure that the word Enable is unticked.
Figure 6. Settings to configure when logging appointments on behalf of a group of students.

Next:

  1. Scroll to the section Appointment 1.
  2. In the search field, start typing the name of one of the student who attended the group appointment and select their name from the dropdown that appeared.
  3. Tick the box next to Seen.
  4. To log another student who attended the group appointment, click Add another student.
  5. Once the screen refreshes, scroll to the section Appointment 2.
  6. In the search field, start typing the name of another student who attended the group appointment and select their name from the dropdown that appeared.
  7. You will need to repeat steps 4-6 for as many students attended the group appointment.
  8. If you wish to add comments for each advisee: type the comment in the respective field below each student.
  9. If you wish for your comments to be visible to your respective advisee, then type your comments in the field Notes for appointment (visible to student).
  10. If you wish for your comments to be visible visible only to you, then type your comments in the field Confidential notes (visible to teacher only) below each respective student.

Once finished, click Save Changes.

Logging an appointment on behalf of a single student

  1. Click on the Scheduler activity you created in your virtual office.
  2. Scroll down to the section Schedule by student, where you should see a list of all your advisees.
  3. Find the advisee you are logging an appointment for.
  4. On the right-hand side of their name, click Schedule
  5. Select Schedule in slot.
  6. Change only the following settings:
DateChoose the date on which the appointment took place and the time that your appointment started.
DurationChoose how long the appointment was.
Maximum number of students per slotType 1 and make sure that Enable is ticked.
LocationType the location where your appointment took place. If the appointment took place online type either via Zoom or via Google Meet.
Email a reminderMake sure that the word Enable is unticked.
Figure 7. Settings to configure when logging appointments on behalf of a single student.

Next:

  1. Scroll down to the section Appointment 1.
  2. Tick the box next to Seen.
  3. If you wish for your comments to be visible to your advisee, then type your comments in the field Notes for appointment (visible to student).
  4. If you wish for your comments to be visible visible only to you, then type your comments in the field Confidential notes (visible to teacher only).
  5. Click Save Changes.
Updated on October 12, 2021

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