New system put in place for scheduling academic advising appointments

Students can schedule advising appointments through Archivum’s mobile app. ORACLE FILE PHOTO.

With the start of registration for summer and fall classes, students will have a different experience when scheduling advising appointments.

Archivum is an internal, homegrown system developed by IT that replaced the old scheduling program, eScheduler, in February. It was first used by the College of Arts and Sciences and was later adapted for all other USF academic colleges.

From a user-experience standpoint, Archivum will allow students to view all their appointments history while displaying all forms, notes and documents used during each session.

Advisers will be able to have access to see each student’s academic standing and general records in only one tab, opposed to eScheduler where they had use multiple tabs to get different information regarding the student’s academic progress.

According to Melissa Irvin, assistant dean of advising and analytics, the new system was developed to increase visibility and connectivity between students and advisers before and after every advising appointment.

“We are trying to increase visibility and the connectivity between the advising community from different colleges and the students,” Irvin said. “With Archivum, other advisers from different colleges can access the student’s plans and collaborate between one another without having to have lots of phone calls and emails exchange.”

Students will also have the opportunity to schedule advising appointments through Archivum’s mobile app, where they will have the option to opt-in to the text message reminders about their future appointments. According to Irvin, the reminders will help reduce the number of no-shows without notice.

“Currently, 66 percent of students opt-in to the text message reminder,” Irvin said. “This is definitely a great feature that will help students remember appointments that are being underutilized. It is only used for the appointment reminders and not for anything else, so students won’t get a bunch of messages if they opt-in.”

The previous advising system, eScheduler, was first launched in 2006. After several students complained about lack of accessibility and system difficulties, IT started pitching the idea of Archivum in 2016, according to Irvin.

Before becoming available to all USF students, Archivum went through a testing period during the fall semester involving more than 609 students from the Colleges of Business and Behavioral and Community Sciences. IT used this testing period to collect feedback from students on their user experience and functionality.

According to Irvin, Archivum is currently available for undergraduate students only. However, they plan to include graduate students on their long-term plans.  

“The idea was to bring features that would add value and increase the student accessibility when scheduling their advising appointments," Irvin said. "What we had before was not a good product because it was very unreliable due to age and consistency. With Archivum, it will improve the access and collaboration between students and advisers from other colleges with more transparency."

"That access and transparency will improve the quality of the service and the ability to make sure that all students receive academic advising service.”