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Zoom migration and attendance tracking for 1:1 weekly student-mentor calls

Springboard is migrating from Skype to Zoom as our default video conferencing platform for 1:1 weekly mentor-student calls, on December 1st!

Zoom will enable us to track the attendance of students and mentors automatically and accurately. Please be sure to keep logging notes about your call so that we can keep track of student progress.

The most commonly cited limitation of Zoom reported by surveyed mentors is that the in-call chat in Zoom does not save and accumulate into a running history as is the case with Skype. We’re happy to report that we’ve also found a solution to this issue using Zoom’s running-chat feature, which is very similar to that of Skype.

To get started:

  • Download and install Zoom (if you are not already a Zoom user)
  • Create a user account (if you are not already a Zoom user)
  • Try a practice call to get familiar with the interface (if you are not already a Zoom user)
  • Explore the running-chat feature and get accustomed to using it

How to join the call on Zoom with your mentee:

There are two ways to join the call, and both options will work to ensure the call is recognized by our system.

1. Click on the “Start call on Zoom” button on your mentor dashboard (see below),

OR

2. Join the Zoom call using the link from your Google Calendar event as well. 

Tracking attendance and impact on mentor pay:

Springboard will be paying mentors based on the mentor call payment logic below.

A call will be compensated if any of the following conditions are met:

  • If the Zoom call took place, meaning both mentor and student joined the call and overlapped in time.
  • If the student did not show up within 10 minutes of the scheduled call start time, and the mentor was on the Zoom call at the 10-minute mark of the scheduled call.
  • If the student canceled the call less than 24 hours before the scheduled start time.

Calls will not be compensated if any of the following conditions are met:

  • The mentor did not show up
  • The mentor canceled the call
  • The mentor joined a call on time, but did not wait until the 10-minute mark to give the student a chance to show up, and left.
  • The student canceled the call more than 24 hours before the scheduled start time

To shed more light on how this would work, here are example situations and how they map to the call counting for mentor pay purposes:

Other important considerations and example cases:

  1. If you and your student agree to hop on a scheduled call up to 2 hours sooner/later, there is no need to reschedule the call from the dashboard, and the system will automatically recognize that your call took place for payment and attendance purposes (as long as you both overlap on the Zoom call)
  2. If a student asks you to reschedule less than 24 hours to the scheduled call time and you cannot accommodate a rescheduling, then please reply to your student ASAP and let them know so that they can cancel the call and don’t show up to the call. You will still be compensated for this call because the notice was less than 24 hours.
  3. If a student asks you to reschedule more than 24 hours before the scheduled call, then please try to accommodate the rescheduling to the soonest time you’re both available, but if not possible, then the call should be canceled because it is certain to not take place. This canceled call will not be compensated.
  4. If your student asks to dial your phone instead of using Zoom because their connection is bad, then you should join the Zoom call and share the dial-in number so that the student can join from their phone. Alternatively, you can hop on the Zoom call normally and just turn off your video feeds if the connection permits. Either approach would work for attendance tracking purposes. 
  5. Always join the call through either the Zoom link on the associated calendar event or through your mentor dashboard. Do not reuse the Zoom link from a past call. TLDR; this is important since the Zoom integration generates a unique link for every call to enable attendance tracking for each call.
  6. If for any reason you believe that a call status was not captured correctly, you can still log the call manually (see below) and email us so that we ensure your call is accounted for correctly. Please note that logging the call manually on its own will not suffice for it to count in your pay correctly - you will need to let our team know so that we can manually add this call to your pay.

The running-chat feature:

One feature that many mentors liked about Skype was the running-chat, which saves call logs, message history, shared files, and links after you end a call. Zoom has a similar feature (see GIF below), but it is a bit less obvious to access and use. You can use Zoom’s running-chat feature, which is different from the in-call chat (the one that is not saved after the call ends) with your mentees if that’s helpful. This is only a suggestion, so feel free to use this or whatever other mode you and your mentee(s) prefer.

FAQs

  • Do I have to use Zoom? Me and my student like Skype/WhatsApp/Hangouts
    • Yes, using Zoom is essential for our team to be able to track attendance, ensure your student is attending calls and you are paid correctly.
  • What if Zoom doesn't work, what's the plan B?
    • If Zoom is down, please agree with your mentees on the use of an alternative platform until Zoom is back online. Please, exceptionally log your call manually on your mentor dashboard and email the mentor operations team at mentors@springboard.com to ensure that the call counts correctly towards your pay.
  • Is the migration to Zoom happening for calls other than weekly 1:1 calls?
    • Just weekly 1:1 calls with the student’s main mentor. Other call types such as on-demand mentoring calls, mock interviews, etc. are not part of the migration. You are welcome but not required to use Zoom for those other call types.
  • What if we reschedule the call, will the system still know that we attended?
    • Yes, the new call event will be treated as a normal call with its own Zoom link.
  • Do I still have to log my calls in the dashboard every week?
    • You are still expected to log your call notes, feedback, and attendance in the Weekly Calls tab in your mentor dashboard after your student calls. This will ensure the internal Springboard teams have access to valuable information about student progress or flags from week to week
  • What should I do if I can’t access the dashboard to start the call? Can I just save the link and access it that way?
    • You can still access the Zoom link through the calendar event on the personal calendar associated with your Springboard email. If that doesn’t work, please contact your mentee and agree on an alternative platform to use until the issue is resolved. After the call, please manually log in your attendance on the weekly calls tab of your mentor dashboard.
  • Do I have to pay to use Zoom?
    • No, the free version suffices.
  • How can I merge my calls from the dashboard to my own calendar?
    • The calls should sync automatically with the calendar associated with the email address you used to create your Springboard.com account.
  • Does merging calendars work on calendars other than Google calendar?
    • Merging calendars works on Google and Outlook calendars. If your email is on a platform that does not support a calendar, you may be able to create a Google account to sync your calls to an external calendar. Otherwise, you can simply rely on the calendar on your Springboard.com account.
  • Can I join the call directly from Zoom?
    • This would not be possible. Each scheduled call with its unique Zoom link will appear on your mentor dashboard calendar and personal calendar, but not on Zoom.
  • How can I make sure my payments are accurate with this new system?
    • To register your attendance, please always use the Zoom link associated with your student calls. You will still receive a summary of your monthly pay with call details. If you notice any discrepancy, please contact our team at mentors@springboard.com.
  • I had already prepared for a call that was canceled 24hs+ in advance. Why is Springboard not paying me for this call?
    • As discussed with a few mentors, the work done in preparation for a cancelled call does not have to be done again for the next one. The prep time is not lost and can be used "in advance" of the next call.
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