Best Practices: Managing Virtual Drop-In Appointments

Tawnya -

We have a couple different workflows to help you manage drop-in appointments remotely via Handshake: using the standard appointments flow with virtual links, and setting up an event. See below for more details! 

Using Appointments for drop-ins

Begin by ensuring that staff have set up drop-in appointment blocks in their user settings.

Create or update office locations of each staff member hosting appointments and career services staff accounts with a video meeting link. Links are now clickable in the appointment, as of 3/23/20!!

Create or update appointment mediums to add a video or phone call and update appointment blocks to only support virtual options.

Note: if you update location and medium, you should not need to update any of your appointment types.

 

Setting up an event for drop-ins

When managing virtual drop-in appointments via Handshake, we recommend creating an event. The event could be titled something like "Office Hours", and you can include in the event description that you'll be hosting drop-ins during this time. Students can register for the event and show up on a first come, first serve basis. You can market this to students via Emails in Handshake, or pin the event for students as well. 
For more information on creating an event, refer to Creating an Event
Click each link for more information on emails or pins in Handshake. 

Using a waiting room 

One thing we've seen other schools have success with is utilizing the waiting room feature of your video meeting platform. For example, here at Handshake we use Zoom's waiting room: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115000332726-Waiting-Room.
WebEx may also have a similar feature as this. 
This allows you to create a meeting and send the link to students, who can then join the meeting anytime and will be placed into the waiting room. Once it's time for the session to start, you can pull students out of the waiting room one at a time into a meeting. 

Processing check-ins

If you'd like to check students into the drop-in appointment event, you could have another tab/window open with a check-in kiosk launched (with "keep me logged in" enabled). When you pull students from the waiting room, ask the students for their emails, then input their email into the check-in kiosk. This would also let you record the appointment like you would normally do in person, and complete it later.
This will then place the student in the waiting room where you can then assign who is taking the drop-in appointment.
For more information on engaging with students remotely, check out Maximizing Digital Engagement via Handshake!
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