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Posts Tagged ‘Easiest method of to taking class attendance’

Easiest method of taking student/class attendance

Saturday, May 19th, 2012
If you are a teacher or a professor, you would know what a headache it is to capture & manage attendance records. So what will be the best method of taking attendance of a class of 50 students? How much time will it take? Well that depends on the technology that gets implemented. There are three possible options that I would like to discuss here: biometric, RFID, Mobile App. Lets look at them in details from all angles possible.
Before proceeding ahead lets clearly state the requirement under which we are going to evaluate these technologies.
  1. Increase teaching time in class by minimizing/reducing time required for roll-call
  2. Implement software platform for storing captured attendance records & book-keeping
  3. Prevent possibility of students marking proxy attendance of absent fellow classmates
  4. Solution shall be as cheap as possible
Devices installed at the door of the class:
RFID Antennas, Finger scanner, Face scanners and be installed on doors of each classroom. Cost per device can be approximately 9000-12000Rs.

Advantages:

  • No roll calling, the system keeps log of who came into the class and who left out of the class, automatically.
  • No extra time of teacher is needed for taking attendance
  • Biometric devices can bar proxy attendance

Disadvantages:

  • RFID – Possibility of proxy attendance. Students can carry multiple cards in their pocket or bags.
  • Bio-metric processing can be time consuming and there will a line in front of the classroom door for sure.
  • Installation setup and networking add up to the cost
  • Frustrated students can try to damage these devices installed devices

 

Hand-Held Devices for Attendance:
Hand-Held devices using advanced technologies like “Near Field Communication (NFC)”, “Magnetic Strip Reader”, “Biometric – Face Detection”. Cost per mobile device can be approximately 10000-14000Rs. Availability & Cost of NFC devices will be fully governed by the fact that how popular RFID cell phones become.

Advantages:

  • No roll calling,
  • RFID: Only tap the card against the mobile device and that’s it,
  • Face-Detection: Hold the device in-front of the face,
  • Magnetic Strip Reader: Swipe the iCard like a debit card and attendance is marked

Disadvantages:

  • NFC & Magnetic: Possibility of proxy, when the mobile device is passed to students for marking their own attendance.
  • NFC & Magnetic: To prevent proxy attendance institute can ask a peon walk through the class along with the device, to keep a check on attempts for proxy attendance.
  • NFC & Magnetic:  Peon roaming in class can be a distracting situation for students as well as teacher
  • NFC & Magnetic:  WiFi/WAP enabled mobile phone are expensive & there is no assurance of they being popular hence cheaper
  • NFC & Magnetic: Time required for taking attendance (class of 50 students) is at least 8-10mins
  • NFC & Magnetic: iCards with RFID are required and then there is process of pairing students with the RFID tag
  • Face-Detection: Time taking and cumbersome process, 15-20 min could be needed for taking attendance of a class.

 

Mobile App for Teachers:
Each teacher or a group of teachers share a mobile phone. Incoming or outgoing call will be barred on this phone. Only data plan has to be active. If campus is wifi enabled, phone can be purchased accordingly without SIM card. Cost per device approximately 2700Rs. 

Advantages:

  • Cheapest & Simplest Solution
  • Least possibility of proxy attendance as control is in hands of the teacher
  • Time required for taking attendance (class of 50 students) is 5mins at max

Disadvantages:

  • Process of taking attendance is by roll calling in the class

Other possibilities those we considered and discarded because of feasibility or operational issues are: ‘Students with Laptop’, ‘Students with WIFI enabled cellphone’, ‘mobile app for students’, and ‘Blue-tooth system for detecting student cellphone’.

 

Conclusion:

Mobile App for teachers is by far the best possible solution in findings of DigitalEDU, till now. Second best process can be NFC based, depending on the scope of implementation. The search for best method is still ON @ our end if you have any inputs you can contact us or reply to this blog.


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