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Schedule Management

Add or Edit: Schedule Options

In Schedule Management (which you'll find under the "Schedule & Staff Management" section of the Welcome menu), selecting ADD A NEW SCHEDULE at the top will take you to the "Add a New Schedule" form where you can add a new schedule. Similarly, selecting EDIT to the right of a schedule's name in the overview will take you to the "Edit an Existing Schedule" form where you can edit the settings associated with an existing schedule. Both forms are identical with the exception that the "edit" form shows the existing settings for the schedule.

The resulting form is broken up into five sections--Introductory Settings, Schedule Options, Client Scheduling Limits, Schedule-Related Emails, and Non-Standard (A/B) Schedules. As with all control panels, be sure to hover over the blue question marks within the control panel in order to find suggestions and more information about each configuration option.


Schedule Options

These are the settings that appear in the second area when editing or adding a schedule. They control schedule-wide tools (such as the waiting list and file attachments) and the appearance of and access to the schedule.

Schedule Management Schedule Options View


DISPLAY THE SCHEDULE...: This setting determines how WCONLINE displays the schedule.  We strongly recommend setting this to WITH CURRENT DAY ON TOP.  That setting makes WCONLINE much easier for clients to use as the current day (or today) is always at the top of the schedule.  If you would rather that the schedule display with Monday on top, set this to WITH MONDAY ON TOP.  Keep in mind that, if set that way, clients will have to scroll through several past and unavailable days before finding availabile openings.


USE WAITING LIST: If you set this option to YES, WCONLINE will add a link below each day on your schedule that reads "WAITING LIST: [DATE]" (where [DATE] is the date under which the link appears).  If a client wants to be notified when an appointment is canceled, they can select that link and fill out the resulting form to join the waiting list.  Optionally, clients can elect to be notified of openings only with a specific staff or resource or between specific times.  Administrators can click the same link (or use the Master Listings Report) to manage the waiting list.  

When an appointment is canceled (and assuming that the appointment time has not passed), WCONLINE will email all clients who are on that day's waiting list.  If a client wants to reserve the time slot, they can log in and, as long as someone else hasn't already reserved the slot, can make the appointment.  If you've set USE TEXT MESSAGING  to YES in Global System Settings and if a client has opted in to receiving text messages, then their waiting list notification will go out via text instead of email.  The content of the email and text waiting list message is set in the Schedule-Related Emails section of Schedule Management.

If you have set up OPTIONAL ADVANCED TWITTER INTEGRATION in Global System Settings, additional options here will allow you to select YES AND "TWEET" CURRENT DAY OPENINGS or YES AND "TWEET" CURRENT/NEXT DAY OPENINGS to have waiting list notifications show up in your Twitter feed.


SLOT SCHEDULING ONLY: If this schedule is used ONLY for asynchronous eTutoring appointments (where a student typically reserves a slot, uploads a paper, and receives written feedback) or for non-time-based scheduling (such as periods or slots), then set this option to YES. In all other cases, set this option to NO.

Example of a Slot Based Schedule

When set to YES, WCONLINE will replace the times displayed on the schedule with slot numbers (i.e. 'Slot 1,' Slot 2', etc.). This will let clients sign up for a slot instead of a specific time.  To set the specific number of slots available, set your scheduling increments to '1 hour' and your available times to the maximum number of slots you want in a given week. For example, to have eight slots available per day, set your available times to 9am to 5pm. Then, add staff or resources in Staff and Resource Management and the number of slots that they're individually available for each day using Starting Availability Management.  Finally, note that you can change the word 'slot' as displayed on the schedule to anything (such as 'period') using "Language Options" available at the top of Global System Settings.


Focus Selection on the ScheduleSELECT STAFF OR RESOURCES BY FOCUS: By default, clients see all staff and resources who are available on your schedule.  If you would like, you can set WCONLINE to allow clients to narrow the schedule view by selecting a focus.  Once enabled, clients will select from a list of focuses (or classes, or specialities) that you define that will appear at the top of the schedule.  Once they select a focus, they'll see only those staff or resources who are available for that selected focus.

Enabling the focus tool requires two steps.  First, you must set this option to YES or REQUIRED.  Both options will cause WCONLINE to display a list of focuses at the top of the schedule.  If set to REQUIRED, non-administrators will be forced to select a focus in order to make an appointment, and those joining a group appointment will be required to select the same focus as the first member of the group.  After setting this option here, you'll then need to define the list of focuses for each of your staff and resources via the FOCUSES option in Staff and Resource Management.  Finally, note that you can change the focus selection prompt as displayed on the schedule using "Language Options" available at the top of Global System Settings.


OPT-OUT OF SURVEY EMAILS? If enabled in Module Setup: Surveys, WCONLINE will automatically send survey invitations to clients who have had an appointment.  If this option is set to YES, then WCONLINE will not send survey invitations for appointments made on this schedule. This is useful if you have a schedule that is used for other purposes than student conferences or consultations.


DISPLAY STAFF OR RESOURCES ON THE SCHEDULE...: By default, WCONLINE displays the list of staff and resources in alphabetical order on the schedule.  Occasionally, this can lead to clients making more appointments with the staff or resource that appears first alphabetically than with other staff or resources on the schedule.  Setting this option to IN RANDOM ORDER will result in staff and resources being displayed in random order (and in an order that changes every time the schedule is refreshed or viewed).  This prevents clients from choosing the same staff or resource simply because the staff or resource appears first alphabetically.  If you would prefer that clients see the list in random order but that administrators see the list in alphabetical order, set this to ADMINS: ALPHABETICALLY; CLIENTS: RANDOMLY.


HOW MANY DAYS TO DISPLAY ON THE SCHEDULE DISPLAY?: By default, WCONLINE displays seven days on each "page" of the schedule, and you can easily move forward and backward in seven day increments using the "PREVIOUS" and "NEXT" links at the top of the schedule.  For extremely large schedules (typically with 100 or more staff and resources working every day), displaying the schedule one day at a time can make viewing the schedule and finding an appointment easier.  To accomplish this, set this option to SHOW ONLY ONE DAY AT A TIME.


Attach a File on Appointment FormALLOW FILES TO BE ATTACHED TO APPOINTMENTS:  If you want clients to be able to attach files to their appointments, set this option to YES.  If set to YES, REQUIRED, then clients will be unable to schedule an appointment unless they attach a file when making the appointment. Clients can upload files by filling out the "file attachments" section on the appointment form either when initially making an appointment or when editing one of their existing appointments.  Once enabled, you can set a variety of file upload-specific settings in Global System Settings (such as the types of files accepted by your center and whether or not file attachments can be added at any time).


EXCLUDE FROM LOCAL TIME SCHEDULING LIMITS?: If you SET CENTER'S LOCAL TIME in Global System Settings, WCONLINE will automatically gray out time blocks on your schedule as the starting time passes locally. This prevents clients from making appointments for a time that has already passed. Since administrators can make appointments at any time, this does not impact administrators.

If you would prefer that non-administrators be able to make appointments at any time (rather than for just times that haven't passed), then set this option to YES.  This will also disable time-based scheduling limits (such as using LIMIT SCHEDULING AVAILABILITY in Schedule Management's "Client Scheduling Limits" to prevent clients from scheduling appointments a specific number of minutes before the appointment's starting time). 


SCHEDULE DIRECT ACCESS CODE: By default, clients are presented with a list of schedules on the login page and select from the appropriate schedule when they log in. If you use a single WCONLINE site for multiple centers and if you want to direct clients from your website to a specific schedule, then you can enter a "short code" here for this schedule. Once entered, create your links to this schedule as http://[WCOURL]/index.php?scode=XXXX' (with 'XXXX' replaced with the short code entered here and with [WCOURL] replaced with your full WCONLINE URL (such as demo.mywconline.com)).

If a valid short code is used in the URL, WCONLINE will only provide clients with a single schedule choice on the login page. The short code can also be used with Single Sign On to direct students to a specific schedule by adding '&scode=XXXX' to the end of the backdoor.php string.  Note that short codes can contain letters and numbers only and cannot contain spaces. The schedule also has to be available to everyone. If multiple available schedules have the same short code, those schedules will all be displayed to the client on the login page.


ENABLE ALTERNATING TIME BLOCKS CUSTOMIZATION?: In almost every case (and unless you set up a schedule that looks similar to the picture below), this option should be set to NO.  Typically, when creating a schedule, you'll use AVAILABLE TIMES and SCHEDULE INCREMENTS in Schedule Management and MINIMUM and MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE APPOINTMENT LENGTH in Staff and Resource Management to define the increments displayed on your schedule and the minimum and maximum length appointments that clients can make when making an appointment.  For example, if you have one hour appointments, you would most likely set your schedule increments to "one hour" and the appointment lengths both to "one hour."  Or, if you have thirty minute and sixty minute appointments, you would most likely set your schedule increments to "thirty minutes," the "minimum" appointment length to "thirty minutes" and the "maximum" appointment length to "one hour."

If your schedule requires a smaller increment (such as "15 minutes") and if your staff require longer appointments (such as forty-five minute appointments), then you could use this customization to ensure that the starting and ending times as displayed on the appointment form match the exact forty-five minute openings that a staff or resource is available, without any need to adjust times and regardless of where an individual clicks in an open span of time (such as clicking at 2:15pm to make a 1:45pm-2:30pm appointment).  You could also use this customization if you wanted to schedule 15 minute breaks, for example, between defined appointments.  

Alternating Time Blocks ExampleTo set this customization up, first set your increments above.  Then, set this customization to YES.  Next, add staff or resources in Staff and Resources Management.  If you want to define specific appointment slots within a larger period when a staff member is available, then you'll need to add the staff or resource twice (as in the second day displayed in the above screenshot).  Finally, create the alternating time blocks or schedule the breaks between appointments when adding staff schedules in Starting Availability Management.  Once done, clients can click anywhere in the specific appointment block to open an appointment form with the starting and ending times preset to match the predefined openings that you've created.


Schedule Management

SECTION 1: Schedule Management Overview

SECTION 2: Add or Edit: Introductory Settings

SECTION 3: Add or Edit: Schedule Options

SECTION 4: Add or Edit: Client Scheduling Limits

SECTION 5: Add or Edit: Schedule-Related Emails

SECTION 6: Add or Edit: Non-Standard (A/B) Schedules

SECTION 7: Holiday and Closure Management

SECTION 8: FAQ (Email Delivery, Blank Schedules, Setup, and More)

WCONLINE Product Manual

The product manual is available completely online. Choose a chapter from the list below or use the search tool to perform a keyword search.

CH 1: Welcome

GENERAL INFORMATION

CH 2: Data Collection & Forms

CH 3: Access, Access Levels, and the Schedule

CH 4: Synchronous Online Meetings

WELCOME MENU/CONTROL PANELS

CH 5: Update Profile & Email Options

CH 6: Client & Record Management

CH 7: Schedule Management

CH 8: Staff and Resource Management

CH 9: Starting Availability Management

CH 10: Blackout Times Management

CH 11: Announcement Management

CH 12: Mass Email Tool

CH 13: System Data Export

CH 14: Report: System Statistics

CH 15: Report: Master Listings

CH 16: Report: System Utilization

CH 17: Global System Settings

CH 18: Form Setup: System Forms

CH 19: Module Setup: Early Alerts & Flags

CH 20: Module Setup: Survey

CH 21: Module Setup: Time Clock

FAQs

CH 22: Frequently Asked Questions

This manual applies to the current version of WCONLINE® and is constantly updated as new features are released.