Institutions of Higher Education must record their students’ attendance. Attendance recording methods are a key tool for finding declining student performance, and therefore anyone at risk of dropping out.
In order to follow-up on attendance in a timely way, implementing software that adapts to the institution’s attendance policy and is also easy for teachers to use is key. Below we discuss how they work.
Attendance monitoring applications in Higher Education
In order to discuss attendance management, we must discuss the use of the term “attendance” as it is used by institutions of Higher Education in their classrooms. An article on Jisc highlights this characteristic as a fundamental consideration for incorporating this technology..
The Oxford English Dictionary states that the primary definitions are the following:
- Attendance based on attention: This implies involving the mind and making effort. Higher Education institutions translate this terms as “commitment” to learning.
- Community: This means being present at an event in which the individual relates to the group in terms of a resource or procedure, e.g. concerts, legal summons, or seminars.
- Service: Waiting for the actions or decisions of a superior.
Therefore, which technologies do institutions of Higher Education need for getting maximum commitment out of students? This kind of search will prevent wasting community members’ time. Another article on our blog discusses why oversight regarding attendance and grades are key for achieving student success.
The Daily Texan published the comments of the instructional designer at Moody College of Communications Mary Crawford stating that she is “in favor of technologies that let teachers and technicians dedicate more time to student learning instead of spending their time on tedious administrative tasks.”
Four ways to monitor attendance
It is very important for records to be precise and reliable, making technology an ally in protecting this information to prevent doctored attendance sheets.
Teachers can rely on software to record attendance, encourage participation and monitor students who are having difficulties. At the same time, it can also function to keep a record of class content and instructors can add comments on how students viewed the material.
We delve into a few of the ways that technology has been developed for facilitating attendance-taking below.
- Manual check-in
This one is the closest to paper records, while being trustworthy and reliable. The user must register attendees one-by-one using a list that had already been entered into the system.
- QR Code
The professor projects the image of a QR code on the whiteboard for students to scan. The image is captured and processed by the cell phone to mark students present in the system.
Bluetooth technology using small devices installed at strategic points in the classroom can detect the presence of students and send that information to the system.
- Facial recognition
This consists of detecting facial patterns of students who had been previously loaded into the software to record attendance.
There are a number of ways to record attendance and save a lot of class time. Prior to choosing the software that best fits their needs, it is important for institutions of Higher Education to set out what level of importance they give to attendance and the policies to be employed for its control and measurement.