11 Reasons To Switch To A Mobile Attendance Solution
Smartphones are more than just devices for communication — they’re involved in nearly every aspect of our lives, including checking our bank statements, organizing our calendars, keeping up with the news, conducting research, and practically anything you can think of. Our smartphones have become an extension of our bodies and keep us connected to the world at all times.
Their capabilities offer many advantages to businesses and have even paved the way for new businesses to emerge, like ride hailing apps, user friendly stock trading, and app-based education technology. For schools, smartphones offer opportunities to improve aspects of school operations and the student experience. One of those opportunities is daily attendance management.
To help you decide whether to make the switch to app-based attendance, we’ve outlined 11 advantages of mobile attendance solutions that deliver incredible value to students, instructors, and administrators alike.
1. Accurate And Precise Data
Because our phones are built with accurate clocks, using them to track attendance can yield extremely accurate and granular data. When a student checks in or out of a class on their phone, the software can record exactly what time it was – down to the second – when the action occurred. By having access to such granular time data, schools are able to better enforce attendance policy. Plus, schools who don’t allow rounding will start getting more honest data about when your students are in class.
2. Integration With Existing Systems
Top of the line mobile attendance solutions can communicate with the technology schools already have in place, namely their LMS and SIS. A large part of increases in efficiency stem from bypassing manual data entry on the part of instructors and admins and having the data collected populate other systems. Without integration, having different pieces of technology in place to handle different parts of student data can cause more manual work on the part of administration just to keep records up to date.
3. Reveal How Well Your Policies Are Being Followed
By receiving granular data from each class, administrators can gain insight about individual classroom processes. That includes if instructors are starting and ending class on time, if they’re handling tardy students according to policy, or if the ratio of instructors to students is within regulation. This insight will help school staff detect and address issues of policy across their campus, which in turn will help each class at each campus remain in compliance. Many times, leadership has a policy in place that they assume staff is following, but the actual practice doesn’t fully reflect the policy. With this insight, admins can monitor if classes are functioning as intended.
4. Simple Externship Attendance Management
Mobile attendance solutions allow schools to set up geofences around externship sites where students need to complete practical hours. Students check themselves in and out of externship sites, eliminating the responsibility for someone at the site to monitor and report student time. Instead, students’ mobile devices share attendance data immediately with registrars and program coordinators, allowing them to see in real-time when students checked in to which externship site. This process gets rid of schools’ extensive back and forth communication with externship sites to report and validate student hours, helping maintain a good relationship between the school and site.
5. Ensure Students Receiving Credit Are Physically Present
Some methods of attendance collection can be subject to academic dishonesty. First rate mobile attendance solutions, however, can use soundwave verification to make sure only the students who are actually in class get credit for being there. When it comes time to take attendance, the instructor plays an inaudible tone that the students’ devices pick up on. Because sound waves cannot travel through walls, sound technology is a foolproof way to validate that students are indeed in the classroom.
6. No Extra Hardware Installation
Since mobile attendance solutions run on software, not hardware, there’s nothing extra for IT or building operations to install in the classrooms. Instead, the software uses the technology instructors already have in class — their desktops, laptops, or phones — and a stable wifi connection.
7. Compatibility With Multiple Devices
Because mobile attendance solutions are usable on almost any mobile device, no student will be held back from checking in and out on the platform. No matter if a student owns an Android or iPhone, a recent model or one from 5 years ago, tablet or iPad, the software is compatible with a wide variety of devices. You don’t have to stick to antiquated attendance methods out of fear your students won’t have the right technology to use more efficient solutions.
8. Preparing Students For Career Expectations
Shifting the responsibility for handling attendance to the students helps them build career ready habits. Through clocking in and out of class themselves, students are preparing for how their time will be tracked once they enter the workforce, where they’ll be using an online system to track hours instead of signing their name on a sheet at the start and end of their shift.
9. Early Detection Into Student Progression
By digitizing attendance, registrars are able to see class attendance records in real-time, meaning they can know immediately if a student is in class or not. Traditionally, pen and paper processes, (or any process that delays the data sharing to registrars) can cause delayed outreach to at-risk students. By the time the administrative staff do reach out, it may be too late. Equipped with real-time insights, school staff can intervene with students before they become at risk, and help keep them on track to graduate. Plus, real-time insights can help staff calculate LDA reports with fewer complications.
10. Easy Record Adjustments
No longer does school staff have to locate the record, adjust the paper sheet and update the record in the system. With mobile attendance records, staff members can make adjustments with a few clicks and the record will automatically update in system with an accompanying note or flag that indicates a record was altered. Plus, through mobile attendance software, staff can make bulk adjustments that change the record of multiple students at once. In the case that an instructor wants to award each student five extra minutes, they can do so in a matter of seconds, instead of having to update the records manually.
11. Access Attendance Data Anywhere
Mobile attendance solutions share attendance data via the cloud, allowing any authorized user to access it over the internet. In the case of students that have classes in the evening that start after school staff have already left the office, registrars are able to see in real-time if a student has shown up or not while at home. This is especially helpful when registrars are monitoring at-risk students, saving them a hectic morning of hunting down instructors to verify if the student was actually in class when they were supposed to be.
Taking Advantage Of Mobile Attendance
The progress of mobile devices over the past decade make them extremely powerful pieces of technology that are optimal for managing attendance. And because just about every student brings these devices with them to class, leveraging them to track student time and attendance is incredibly practical.
Schools across the country are already enjoying streamlined attendance processes. To get an in-depth demonstration of what taking attendance using mobile devices would look like at your school, schedule a demo with a CourseKey team member below.
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