Accudemia: How do I create an online sign-in station?


In Accudemia, administrators can create remote sign-in stations/online kiosks that students can use from their own computers, tablets, and phones to receive online assistance. This article explains how an administrator can create a URL link that can be sent to students and allow them to sign into their online sessions. Enabling these features requires two tasks to be completed.

First, the feature needs to be enabled on a college level. This simply means that it will be usable across all centers within the college, like the Math center and the Reading Comprehension center. These centers can also disable this feature for themselves if necessary, and it won't affect others. For example, if the Science center disables this feature, it won't stop the Math center from using it.

Second, the sign-in link itself must be manually created.


Enabling the feature

1. Go to Administration > Control Panel.

2. Open the Virtual Sessions module and select the college scope.

The college scope will be the name of the college, itself.

3. Scroll down and check the "Enable virtual session options for administrators" box.

The option to also allow tutors and advisors the ability to create remote sign-in links is here. To do so, check the "Allow tutors/advisors to create a sign-in link for remote sessions" box.

4. Click the Save Changes button at the top right corner of the screen.

This is the same process to enable/disable this feature on a center-based level. To do so, repeat steps 2 and 3, but instead of choosing the college as a scope, select a specific center.
1. Go to Center Attendance > Virtual Sign-In.

2. Click the Create Link button.

There is also an optional video on the Virtual Sign-in Setup page that will help explain the process further, though it isn't a needed step for the purposes of this article.

3. Select the center that will be using this virtual link.

Remember that specific centers can disable the virtual sessions option for themselves (see the note in the previous step 4). Only centers with the virtual sessions option enabled will appear on this list. In this example, the "Marketing and Math Center" (highlighted in the screenshot below) has been selected.

Because these links connect to a specific center, new sign-in links will need to be created for every center that utilizes online assistance, like online tutoring.

4. Setup the Virtual Sign-in options.

Follow the steps below:
  1. Section 1 - Write instructions for students to follow so that they can begin signing in.

  1. Section 2 - Choose the predefined options this link will offer for the Service, Subject Area, Tutor/Advisor, and Instructor (if needed). For example, if this link was designed for a specific tutor who specializes in statistics, type in “Tutoring” under Service, “Statistics” under Subject Area, and the tutor’s name under Tutor/Advisor. If this is done, students who click on the link won't be given options for these questions. The link will only offer tutoring sessions for statistics under that specific tutor. 

    Alternatively, if the choices are all left blank, when students click the link, they will be given the options to choose specifically what they're looking for. This would offer less control on where the links lead, but also make them more versatile so fewer links would need to be created.

  1. Section 3 - Write out final instructions in the first textbox before students join a session. This can be a reminder to remain respectful or to keep mics muted unless called on. Copy and paste a meeting link (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) into the "Connect Link" box. This is the link students are going to click on to join their online sessions.

    Alternatively, by checking the "Use tutors Connect Link when available (instead of the link above)" box, Accudemia will automatically search the tutor's profile for a meeting link. If there is one on their profile, students will be sent to that link. However, if there is no link on the tutor's profile, Accudemia will default to the link pasted into the "Connect Link" box. For instructions on how to add meeting links to tutor profiles, click here.

    Finally, decide whether students will have the ability to join on their own in the waiting room by checking or unchecking the "Allow students to join while in the waiting line" box. Then set an expiration time limit for the link.

Checking the "Use tutors Connect Link when available (instead of link above)" box is highly advised. Tutors can update the links on their profiles, and this ensures that students will always be sent to the correct meeting room. However, it's also advised to use the "Connect Link" box as a backup link just in case the tutor's profile doesn't have a link. This backup link could be as simple as a webpage containing instructions on what to do if the session doesn't start (the tutor not having a link), or it could send students to a more public help room that multiple tutors have access to.

5. Review all the options, then click the Create Session Link button at the bottom of the page.

6. When the session link appears, click the Copy button.

This link can be distributed to students in various ways. Some of the more visible options are the school website, email campaigns, and Accudemia's Home Page, so students can find the virtual links quickly.

UPDATE:  You can now set the "Drop-in Times" and "Drop-in Exceptions" in Accudemia so these links are not always available 25x7.  In fact, at least setting the "Drop-in Times" per center is a must now or the links will not work.  Click here to learn how.