A system for parents to book tutor/subject appointments online. The OPERA System makes it easier for parents to make subject evening appointments with their child’s teachers by:
- showing each teachers availability throughout the evening
- meaning they do not have to rely upon their child to make arrangements
It reduces the workload for teachers by:
- allowing parents to book their own appointments.
- reducing the need for teachers to chase students and/or contact parents direct.
It also allows the school to monitor attendance in a quick and effective manner seeing which parents attend and subjects are well attended.
Produced using Cakephp and the rapid application development cake bake feature, complications were caused by surprisingly complicated relationships between staff, classes, students and parents. For the inter‐linked web of relationships custom MySql statements using complex multiple joins were required. The feedback from parent and staff users has been 100% positive. The school now intends to use the system for all parent evenings and has offered to promote it to other schools.
This is the third application developed for the school, in addition to a Course Management system (Joomla Component) and Behaviour Management System (CakePhp).
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find Parent Access Codes?
Login as a teacher and go to students and find the student, click view and then selectguardian. You should now be able to see their access details.
Viewing and Making appointments for a particular student.
Follow the instructions for finding Parent Access Codes as above. Click on LOGIN and pick the event. You should now be able to view appointments made or go through the creation process on behalf of the student.
Can I make a manual appointment?
You can manually set appointments if there is a student you would particularly like to see.
Login as a teacher and view your appointments. Click Set adjacent to the time and select student’s name from the drop down and the class if its appropriate. (Learning Coordinators can use this feature to make their own appointments).
I want to cancel an appoinment
As per making manual appointments you can use the SET feature to cancel existing appointments.
Click SET adjacent to the appointment you wish to cancel and pick blanks for both fields. Click save and the appointment will be removed.
How can I see what appointments have been made?
There are a number of ways you can review the appointments made. To view Student/Parent appointments see the instructions for parent access above. Access as a teacher is not limited so from the home page you can view each teacher’s appointment schedule. To view the attendance register go to Events and select the event you are interested in. Now click Attendance and view all students from this cohort. (Warning: The current data lists Yr7 and Yr12 as 2011 cohort so they all appear in the list).
Parents have fed back that when they click check and save on the appointments it “doesn’t do anything”
When parents first go to the appointments page they will not be able to click on the Check and Save button as there is nothing to save.
Once they have selected some appointments we must check they are still available and save them so they cannot be booked by others. This is what Check and Save does. If it successfully returns data then the appointments become green and then they can click Finish and Exit although this is not essential as Check and Save does the work.
Parents are saying they have not received a confirmation email
The confirmation email gets sent when they click finish and exit. A first check is that it has not been placed in their SPAM folder by mistake.
The configuration of the server and council/school networks can adversely affect the performance of this feature but if parents log back in they can see the appointments they have made as ticks.
The appointment window is very wide
The width of the scrollable window is determined the number of time slots and the size of the font. The short subject codes (which the student should know!) reduce the window width significantly and the font size is optimised to be readable but not too small.
Can I create new records?
If you are an admin user who can add and delete entries (risky) then you can create new students and users. Currently the relationships between students, guardians, classes and teachers must be uploaded in bulk but single students and or users can be added.
Adding Students, Guardians and linking them together.
Since Version 2.05 this can be done through the normal login channels by:
- Add the student via Students > New (this step can be skipped if the student already exists
- Add the guardian via Guardian > New (this step can be skipped if the student already exists
- Go to the guardian view and select Link With Student, find the student from the drop down and click Submit. It will be easier to do this if you know the students UPN number available from Students and Students > View.
- Once you have clicked submit the page will reload and you should be able to view the student at the bottom of the page under Related Students
Dropping the link between Students and Guardians
It is also possible to drop the link between Students and Guardians via the Guardian > View page by scrolling to the bottom of this page and selecting Drop. This will not delete any appointments that have already been created for this student. They will need to be manually deleted by either the teacher or guardian concerned.