A Student's Guide to Equipment Booking Software
Connect2 is an online booking solution that enables students to make advanced bookings for any resources that the university or college may offer. Being an online system, connect2 is accessible 24/7 from any device that has an internet connection including your laptop, PC, smartphone or tablet. The URL to the connect2 system is usually provided somewhere easily accessible, like a web page on the University’s website or the student portal.
Connect2 is an online system, which is accessible from any internet-enabled device and from any location. It's as simple as visiting any website. The URL to connect2 can be provided on student information or departmental web pages, the VLE – or you can simply ‘Google it’! Once you navigate to the system, enter your student ID and password to log in, as you would to access a PC in the Library or any other online student resource.
Connect2 will be set up so that you’ll be able to see what you have access to and can book. This will be based on your course, year, module or whether you’ve had the necessary induction or training required for using an item.
From a searching and booking perspective, connect2 has been designed to work in a similar way to a shopping website. If you’re familiar with Amazon, you’ll be instantly familiar with connect2! There are category searches, search filters, text searches – or you can simply browse the catalogue of equipment you have access to. There is also a ‘frequently booked with’ feature, so if you’re looking at a 5D camera for example, connect2 will suggest optional accessories you might want to book with that camera (tripod, lens etc).
Connect2 uses a guided, step-by-step booking process so that making bookings is quick and easy from the very first time you access the system. Once you’ve identified the equipment you want to book, add the items to your ‘shopping cart’ and click Create Booking. You will be able to select an available time and date to both pick up and return the items. Connect2 will then take you through a few short steps to complete the booking process.
Connect2 uses live real-time availability and automatically applied booking rules so each booking you make will be confirmed immediately. You won’t need to wait while we check everything is OK with your booking, Connect2 does this instantly for us! Occasionally, high value equipment may have an additional approval process, but these tend to be exceptions. Generally your bookings will be confirmed right away.
Once a booking has been made you will receive a confirmation email containing the details of your booking. You will also receive collection reminders leading up to the booking start time, and return reminders during the lead up to the end of your booking.
The time selection page in connect2 displays a calendar for the current week to show availability and any bookings that already exist for a resource. Details of any usage allowances and restrictions are all shown clearly on the time selection page under the How Long Can I Book For? link, so on this page you’ll know both when you can book and how long for.
Rules on booking length are also visible when you view a resource before adding it to your shopping cart.
Again any restrictions in this area will be shown under the How Long Can I Book For? link on the calendar page. The booking rules for each resource are determined by your institution’s policies and will vary in terms of both permitted time in advance and length of bookings.
You may be able to make recurring bookings, but again this depends on your institution’s policy. If you are able to make a recurring booking, you will see a 'recur' button on the time selection page that allows you to easily make the recurring booking.
If you have booked a physical resource that requires you to pick up an item, visit the collection desk shortly before the booking start time and they will check the item out for you. You MUST bring your student ID card with you, as this will be used to identify you and will also be scanned to search for your booking in connect2. You will need to return the item on time (allowing for any possible queues at the desk) at the end of your booking so that your item(s) can be checked back in ready for the next person to use.
If you have booked a room and you know where it is located, go straight there – some institutions may require you to record that you have arrived for your booking.
No, using connect2 removes any need for paper forms. During the booking process you will agree to certain terms and conditions of the booking, and all of your information and booking details will be recorded in connect2 and available for authorised staff to access. You can leave your pen at home!
Staff can automatically apply time pads between bookings, so there is always sufficient time to clean or quarantine items between users.
No problem, if you’ve not yet collected your booking you can edit the booking and add additional items through connect2. If you realise this when you’re at the store collecting the equipment, we can add items to your booking at the counter, but remember we can only do this if the items are available.
If you have booked a physical resource that requires you to pick up the item and check it out and you arrive late, you may find that your booking has automatically been cancelled so that someone else is able to borrow it. Always try to arrive on time for your booking and inform staff if you are running late.
If you have made a booking and realise that you no longer need it at the booked time, you can use connect2 to edit the booking by selecting a new time or date, or to cancel the booking (if permitted by policies in place). Otherwise, you should contact a staff member as soon as possible and request that they do this for you.
If you have an overdue item you will receive an overdue notification from connect2, and your ability to make any further bookings will be automatically suspended. You may also receive a late return fine so it's important you return items as quickly as you can. It's also possible that your account is suspended for a period of time after your items have been returned.
A late booking is flagged up to store staff and they are able to see if it affects any other bookings due to be collected that day.
An account area in connect2 lists all your active bookings. You can reach this information from the connect2 homepage, which also provides a count of your active bookings. If you wish to access your booking history, you can click through within your account area to see all previous bookings and to copy a booking if you wish.
If you realise that you no longer need a booking or that you can't make it at the booked time – depending on your institution’s set up - you may use connect2 to edit the booking by selecting a new time or date, or to cancel the booking.
If these options have been enabled, you can edit or cancel the booking by visiting your account area in the connect2 online system. You can view a list of all the bookings you have made and select the booking you wish to edit or cancel. You will have the option to edit/cancel the booking and will be sent a confirmation. Alternatively, you should contact a member of staff as soon as possible and request that they do this for you.
Connect2 can automatically cancel a booking as a ‘no show’ if it’s not collected by a certain time. You should note however that each ‘no show’ incident is recorded in connect2 and repeated missed collections may impact future booking privileges.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to make a booking if you have an item late for return or an outstanding fine to pay for a previous late return. Your institution will have their own policy on whether you will be able to login to connect2 if you have fines to pay.