When anyone thinks about scheduling for schools, they think about students and classes. It’s up to the administration to think about all the other scheduling that takes place – or the province of a school secretary to keep all appointments straight and ensure all aspects of school life are managed. As if they don’t have enough to do. This is why custom features for education can be invaluable to keep things ticking along.
Schools and other training and education institutions are so much more than scheduling classes, it’s organising resources, coordinating timetables, and then there are the students. It has often been said (by teachers) that schools would be far easier to run if it weren’t for the students. However, since students are the entire point of education, they had better get used to the idea that they take a lot of organisation and scheduling.
SimplyBook.me can be the best option for many educational scheduling needs, from admission interviews to scheduling classes and managing resources. There are a lot of different scheduling requirements that perhaps have little to do with education and more to do with communication and collaboration.
So this week, I’ll take a deep dive into the most popular custom features for education clients use for their booking systems.
Top Custom Features for Education Environments
While we try to ensure that the basic scheduling functionality of the booking system is there as standard, education and training in schools do require a significant number of features to work as you would want them to. So these are some of the most popular custom features for education environments that help to schedule and manage training businesses.
Whether you provide a particular niche type of training or a broad range of subjects, service categories make it easier for clients to find suitable classes or education for their needs. You could provide computer coding and programming training in multiple computer languages. In that case, you may decide to separate your educational activities by different computer languages, or maybe by experience level, i.e. beginner, intermediate or advanced.
On a different level, you may have a teaching institution with numerous subject types, like a school or college. In that case, it makes it much easier for your students to choose their classes and courses by subject matter, i.e. languages, sciences, humanities, arts, etc. At the same time, you could also choose to opt for the expertise level of the subject matter. That could mean whether you offer basic understanding, iGCSE, A-level, Diploma, Bachelors, and so on.
Either option allows the clients and students the freedom to search in the correct section for the studying they want to do.
Whether you have a training business with multiple locations or a school, college, or university with campuses across the city, the multiple location custom feature will help your students and learners to find their most convenient learning centre.
Alternatively, you may service different areas but provide the same training. Your business could provide on-site training to companies, in which case, clients would choose by location. However, clients may select which site has the most appropriate availability if your business has multiple training centres.
Sometimes, your availability and scheduling rely not on your teachers, trainers or tutors but on your available resources. For example, you may have 12 driving instructors working diverse shift patterns, but you only have 10 dual-control cars available. Technically, you perhaps only need ten cars for your usual schedule of driving lessons.
However, let’s look at a hypothetical situation. A private personal security company wants to put their 12 newest hires through an advanced evasive driving course all at the same time. Technically, you might have 12 instructors free with those teaching skills, but you only have 10 cars. By ensuring that you cannot book a session without the corresponding related resources, you will never find yourself in a situation where you have to explain why you have the people but not the tools to fulfil the job.
The same situations can apply to anything from specific classrooms (labs, kitchens etc.) to books and tools. A still life class without enough easels or a computer class without enough computers would not do much for your reputation.
You might think of memberships in an educational environment as strange, but not so much. If your classes, courses, training seminars or whatever you teach can survive and bring profit to your business, what could you achieve by offering membership access?
Most frequently, memberships work for education and training courses that don’t have many physical constraints on the number of students. Online training courses where physical presence and tools are not an issue will make money whether 10 people or 100 people enrol on the courses. So if they register on one course and pay €300 but pay €500 for a membership and enrol on three, they will save money and get a great deal, but in essence, it will cost the training institute no more money.
Memberships work brilliantly for both learners and educational businesses. Encouraging both the learners to stretch and expand their minds while also increasing revenues for the educational institute. Some examples of academic training businesses include Alison, Coursera, and Masterclass.
If you have classes or courses that are very much in demand, the best way to ensure your schedules stay full and potential clients get the best access to them is to use a waiting list.
The waiting list custom feature allows potential students to register their details in case a spot becomes free, either by cancellation or you add another place to your course. Maybe you add an extra easel to your materials, a new pole to your dance studio, or perhaps change your lessons to a larger classroom to accommodate more desks.
Whatever the reason that new spots become available in your training sessions, allowing your potential students to grab one that pops up means that you almost always have the ability to keep your educational provision at maximum capacity and profitability.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in; having easily identifiable emails is a crucial business practice. Not just with the email address from which the emails originate but also their appearance. Customising emails from your education business should always feel like someone familiar.
Learning something new or expanding your expertise is often a very personal and important decision. Clients and students want to feel comfortable knowing who they are exchanging emails with and that they are being taken care of. Generic templates with little design or attention to detail feel unprofessional.
Daily reports are invaluable to many businesses, but when you have multiple sessions and classes encompassing numerous students, having a detailed overview is critical for managing your workload. Moreover, managing different tutors, trainers and teachers mean a massive amount of data needs to be organised.
Daily reports can help keep track of daily revenues, workloads, and performance. You can also keep track of cancellations and rescheduling.
With the emergence of more online education, accredited training, and even work, the ability to upload files has increased. Documents that prove valid access to government-funded learning, identity, previous experience, and much more are a requirement. There is also a need to upload completion certificates for students who have completed courses, test results for modular exams, and other related forms and files.
For the travelling educator, there is no better method of keeping on top of your schedule than an app that lets you organise, manage and view your training bookings on the go. The best part is that every trainer and provider has their own login and has only the data they need for their appointments.
For area or department managers, there is an option for them to have admin or supervisory access to all appointments. So if there is a sickness issue, the manager can rectify the situation with access to all the client information. The “client” could be a company wanting training for their staff, a 1-2-1 training session, or a class of eager students.