Emily Carr University of Art + Design is a world leader in education and research. Encouraging experimentation at the intersections of art, design, media and technology, ECU merges studio practice, research and critical theory in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment. Founded in Vancouver in 1925, the university has 2000 students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs, and thousands more taking workshops, certificate programs and individual courses. Their faculty and alumni are internationally recognized as award-winning creators and thought leaders who have significant impact on both the cultural sector and the economy.
Emily Carr has been operating with Yocale’s online scheduling and student relationship management system since the beginning of 2020. Before embracing Yocale’s technology, one-on-one appointments, lab, workshop and studio reservations, and resource bookings were limited. Bookings were made and managed through traditional channels such as phone, email, online request forms and walk-ins. These manual tasks were delegated to the administrative teams within the appropriate departments.
The team at Emily Carr University was looking to implement an online and centralized calendar for two purposes: to allow incoming students to book one-on-one appointments with program advisors and for offering current students the ease to reserve their working times for labs, workshops and studios. Emily Carr was seeking a scheduling system where the scheduling efficiency would be simple and seamless, while meeting safety protocols during Covid-19.
As Emily Carr offers many different creative programs. Staff needed a sophisticated way to create bookable times for each of the resources within busy lab, workshop and studio production environments. The end result was easy to book resource time slots for students, easy to manage calendars for staff, and simple and clear trackable stats for management.
On the academic advising side, the institution can send students intake forms to complete prior to scheduling meetings with advisors, in an electronic format. Receiving data fast with the ability to automatically (and securely) store information on a cloud based student based portal, provides easy-to-access data.
The end goal for Emily Carr was first and foremost to enhance and simplify the student experience when scheduling advisor meetings or booking work session times in various labs, workshops and studios. Adding simple calendar management for staff members to get a clear picture of their personal schedules (advisors), or the program resources (program managers) was also a desired goal with Yocale scheduling. Lastly, the ability to gain clear insights into the booking activities of the students, or programs was the final piece in making Yocale a success for Emily Carr. Some high level stats they saw include:
Prior to Yocale’s automation, our client was using a more manual method for resource scheduling, appointment bookings, student management, and screening applicants for the initial registration process.
Before implementing online scheduling, students were unable to reserve time in labs, workshops and studios online or after hours and be proactive in preparing for their work sessions in advance. In addition, scheduling appointments with advisors as incoming students required more back-and-forth communication to secure appointments.
On the academic advising side, advisors were unable to manage appointments, reschedule or cancel with efficiency, mainly due to the use of stock calendar apps or pen and paper.
Appointment Management and Data Centralization:
Managing existing student appointments was also a challenge in regards to having a quick way for either students or staff to quickly have access to the existing appointment and make necessary changes. With this said, not having all these appointments in a centralized location where certain program or staff members could see the appointments across different lab, workshop and studio areas was also a challenge that made each area into an isolated entity versus being all shared under one location.
With the obvious challenges arising from the covid-19 pandemic, our client needed to be able to have certain requirements in order to achieve safety protocols. For example, setting booking and capacity limits for lab, workshop and studio resources, having students complete digital covid-19 symptom assessment forms if necessary.
By adopting Yocale’s calendar management, student access to online booking, resource bookings, data collection, and analytical insights were enhanced and modernized.
We are proud to present that Emily Carr conquered their challenges with the help of the following 7, solution-based features:
- Configurable Online Booking Widget – Personalized booking links were added throughout Emily Carr’s website. This helped deliver satisfaction as students were able to book with staff, advisors and into various resources through direct booking links with simplicity and ease. Today, by offering online scheduling, students have access to a real-time view of advisor availability and resource offerings online.
- Student Management – A centralized student management system securely stores (and beautifully) displays students’ profiles in a single view. One-click access to previous form submissions, booking history, notes and more. Staff have quick access to a central area for all relevant information relating to the students who book into their areas.
- Resource Based Booking – The university’s labs workshops and studios operate based on resource restrictions, that is, students can only book work sessions based on availability of resources. Incorporating smart-matching technology to account for space and equipment availability, resource based bookings became easier to schedule and manage.
- Unique URL – Simple, customizable, direct booking links were added to staff member’s email signature fields, or for each area’s resource booking page. Students were able to one-click and book with advisors and students with program resources, all with one click. This led to smoother bookings, and overall, more bookings.
- Dashboards and Insights – What gets measured gets improved. Today, Emily Carr can view status updates of booking volumes in real time for better decision making. The capability to view popularity of labs, workshops and studios or which advisors are actively engaged within any given time interval – whether the last 20 minutes, or last 6 months.
- Google Cal/Outlook integrations – Having a centralized calendar where all other external calendars can be linked and synced helps to improve the accuracy of creating and managing appointments. With the Google and Outlook calendar integrations, Yocale can sync advisors and staff members calendars to help prevent advisors or resource double bookings.
- Student Self Management Tools – Students benefit from user-friendly tools including 24/7 resource reservations, direct access to advisors’ availability, and efficient channels of communication. Automated email and SMS appointment notifications were used to help boost student punctuality. Additionally, students’ ability to manage their own bookings or reservations helped lead to fewer overall no-shows.
- Overcoming Covid-19: Using Yocale, Emily Carr has full control in limiting resource capacity to meet Covid protocols while gaining autonomy of resource reservations by students. These digital measures contribute to safer operations while offering a peace of mind for students.
By incorporating smart technology, Emily Carr’s vision to create an easier self-booking process for students, a more structured student management and self management system was successfully implemented.
As a result of Yocale’s automation, booking lab, workshop and studio time online, and resource management are easier to oversee. On the academic advising side, advisors are able to coordinate their time and schedules more efficiently with accelerated access to student profiles to reference.
More importantly, up-to-the-minute, quantitative data became attainable. Within the first 6 months of Yocale’s integration, Emily Carr experienced a positive increase within the following areas:
Upon automating Emily Carr’s resource reservations and student management database, students have the ease and convenience of self scheduling lab, workshop and studio bookings and advisor appointment times. Staff members can access students’ online records in a single view and track information more efficiently. This provides transparency for advisors as well as simplicity for students.
In addition, management staff have access to analytical insights, resource booking trends, popular days or times and better metrics to understand student bookings. Access to real-time data provides clarity of programs that are in high demand. More importantly, ECU overcame challenges introduced by covid-19 via automation, electronic screening, and limiting class capacity.
In conclusion, smart technology reduces the need for manual and repetitive tasks, resulting in more bookings from students, less administrative work for staff and greater transparency into the student booking activity at the university.