Insight: Working the Nuances of the Appointments Module

 In Advising, Best Practices

Insight Tips & Tricks: “Working the Nuances of the Appointments Module”

Our clients who use Insight, Symplicity’s all-encompassing solution for student advising, love the extensive functionality of its Appointments module. Staff members rely on this module to schedule, manage and keep track of their appointments, and students use it to schedule appointments from their end as well.

There are many intricate details the Insight team has taken into consideration to ensure maximum convenience for users. Below are two features of the Appointments module that you may not be aware of, but should definitely know about.

Feature #1: Automatically Generated Appointment Lengths

Most likely, there will be different types of appointments your office conducts with students: advising appointments, counseling sessions, academic resource meetings, and possibly more. That being said, there is a good chance that each type of meeting will have a different required time length. You can set up Insight to ensure that each of these meetings are scheduled automatically for that specific length of time (in minutes – e.g., 30 minutes for advising appointments, 60 minutes for counseling sessions, etc.)

This can be done with a system setting located under Students > Appointment Scheduling called “Activate Type Based Appointment Lengths.” This allows you to designate a specific length of time for each meeting type in the picklist “Students: Activity: Appointment Type Manager.” Now whenever that appointment type is selected by either a staff user or student, the specified length of time will automatically be applied to the appointment.

Feature #2: Limit Access to Appointments by Groups of Users

The Appointments module also comes with the ability to limit the access of appointment types by groups of users. This tool would be useful, for example, in a scenario where an office holds academic advising appointments alongside student counseling sessions. Advisors adding notes to the academic advising appointments might make comments that are semi-private, but notes added to the counseling sessions will naturally be much more sensitive. In this situation, an Insight manager would most likely want to ensure that those counseling appointments are hidden and inaccessible to other Insight staff users.

The system setting to make this possible can be enabled under Students > Appointment Scheduling and is called “Limit Access to Appointments by Users’ Groups Memberships.” Once this setting is enabled, another system setting will appear just below it allowing you to map which specific groups of users in Insight are allowed to create/access the different appointment types.

To view the different groups of users, navigate to Tools > Users/Groups. There, you’ll find a tab of “Users” that lists all of the current and active users of your system. Then there is a second tab of “Groups” that allows you to group the users and assign user rights to each group. This allows you to have more separation in regards to who can edit or view which appointment types in the system.

With these invaluable tricks, you can maximize efficiency and control within Insight and ensure that your office is getting the most out of its powerful capabilities.

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