BlogSarah NewmanHow to Choose an Attendance Tracker for Higher Ed

How to Choose an Attendance Tracker for Higher Ed

Today's academic landscape requires more lecture preparation and student engagement than ever before. As such, the need has arisen for educational tools that can provide instructors with the insights they need to create the most educational curriculum possible while simultaneously incentivizing students to make the most of their classroom experience. 

To that end, attendance tracking software has proven a valuable asset in improving student engagement and has also streamlined attendance-taking procedures such as pop quizzes and attendance sheets. While some concerns have been raised regarding the use of attendance trackers endangering student privacy, non-intrusive attendance management software does exist. Moreover, it can also offer insight-rich data on student performance without infringing on privacy. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an attendance tracking software for your classroom. 

Efficient and effective 

To date, most attendance tracking took place manually in the form of attendance sheets, in-class polls, or pop quizzes. Such processes not only consumed valuable class time but could easily be manipulated, as students could ask friends or classmates to sign attendance sheets or submit homework for them. Outside-the-classroom events such as attending guest speakers' lectures or tutoring sessions were often overlooked, further giving an inaccurate portrayal of a student's actual engagement. 

Attendance tracking software provides an efficient solution to all these problems, as digital alerts replace the need for manual attendance taking. When a student logs in to the attendance tracking app on their phone, the data is automatically sent to the instructor's attendance records, removing the need for tedious data entry on the part of the instructor. Students may also sign in to tutoring sessions and speaking engagements, allowing them to obtain attendance points for these events as well. With these improvements in attendance tracking software, faculty are enabled to focus more on informative curriculum design and less on time-consuming attendance management. At the same time, university and college students are held to a higher standard of accountability regarding their engagement and rewarded if they meet that standard. 

Insightful yet non-intrusive 

Many attendance management systems involve an integrated network of Bluetooth-connected trackers that connect with the app on a student's phone to record their presence in the classroom. When a student's phone comes into proximity with one of these trackers, a signal is generated by the tracker, and they are recorded as being present. Although such systems are extremely effective at monitoring a student's motions both in the classroom and across campus, many have expressed concern that such technology infringes upon a student's right to privacy, and could lead to further desensitization to digital oversight. Unlike some attendance tracking systems, Involvio uses campus WiFi to trigger a prompt to student’s phones without storing any data and a QR code recognition system which ensures that student privacy is respected. 

With so much being asked of higher education instructors today, any tool that can give faculty members deeper insights into student engagement and enable them to focus their attention on giving students the quality instruction they need is a highly valuable resource - and one that administrators cannot afford to neglect. AttendanceKit does just that by easily and effectively incentivizing student attendance without infringing upon their privacy. Improving student attendance has been clearly shown to enhance academic performance, and with such benefits on the table, the usefulness of attendance trackers to that end makes it a must for a successful higher ed classroom today. 

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