When you think about a digital attendance solution, you may think about its effect on how daily attendance is taken. Students check in on their mobile app simultaneously, allowing instructors to start teaching right away because they don’t have to call out students’ names or pass around a sign-in sheet. While digitizing attendance does make daily attendance a breeze for both students and instructors, its effects extend far beyond just the first few minutes of class and can be felt in many aspects of your organization.
Knowing When Your Students Are (Or Aren’t) In Class
First, your registrars will have increased oversight over your student attendance health. Because attendance data is collected through technology instead of waiting on manual data uploads on the part of instructors, registrars will have access to attendance instantly after it’s collected, letting them know which classes your students are attending in real-time. Even in cases where students are completing hours at an offsite location, registrars will know as soon as possible which students are absent and need outreach.
Real-time data allows for timely intervention, which drastically increases schools’ chances of helping at-risk students stay on track. Seeing students through to graduation and helping them be placed in their desired careers is ultimately the goal for both students and schools. By digitizing attendance, schools are increasing students’ chances of achieving their goals by knowing immediately which students, if any, need more support to make sure they earn their credential or degree.
Ensuring Policy Is Being Followed
Next, digitizing attendance will not only give you insight into student behavior, but it will give you insight into instructor behavior too, allowing you to see if they’re actually following school policy in regards to attendance. Digital attendance will give you answers to questions like: are instructors starting class on time? Are they handling tardy students according to policy? Are students receiving adequate breaks throughout the day? Being able to verify that your instructors and program coordinators are indeed following policy and that students are receiving the instruction time that they’re supposed to will help you monitor if your programs are operating as they should. Digitizing attendance may even uncover potential areas of improvement in terms of policy that you weren’t previously aware of.
In addition to monitoring whether or not instructors are behaving according to policy, digitizing attendance will help improve your compliance by accurately proving students are getting the correct hours and by creating electronic instead of paper reports.
Traditional attendance taking methods, like verbal roll call or sign-in sheets, aren’t always 100% accurate when reflecting how long a student was in class because they rely on rounding when recording time and assume consistent academic honesty. Do your instructors report their students’ time down to the minute, or is a student who walks in at 8:07 getting credit for being there at 8:00 because it’s easier to report and round to the hour? For students who arrive late and check in on a sign-in sheet, do you know that the time they report getting to class is accurate or are you trusting them to be honest and self-report when they miss class time? Through digital attendance tracking, which tracks students’ time down to the second, schools can be confident that their students are receiving and completing the hours they’re paying for instead of missing out on hours per module due to inaccurate and inefficient time tracking processes.
Finding Records In The Cloud With Ease
One of the best things about electronic reports is that, unlike paper reports, they don’t take up any physical space. No longer do administrative staff have to rummage through storage rooms full of old documents to find the records they’re looking for because now, those records are stored in the cloud. Cloud storage grants anyone with the appropriate account permissions access to data without having to physically be on campus. Plus, finding old attendance data in the cloud is incredibly easy — all it takes is a simple search query. In the case of an audit, having electronic attendance records will spare you and compliance officers the headache of locating documents for review.
Storing records in the cloud also offers schools a safer option when it comes to protecting data because it eliminates the risk of documents getting misplaced or damaged. Relying on paper documents is inconvenient and risky. If your school is affected by a natural disaster, for example, your paper documents are at a high risk of being damaged. But storing data in the cloud ensures that your records won’t be destroyed, stolen, or misplaced. And if you do decide to bring a paper version of the records to an audit, you can easily access the data at any time and print it out. Knowing that their data is secure in the cloud offers administrators peace of mind when handling attendance records.
As your school grows in student population, expands to other locations, or adopts other technologies, using electronic data through digitally tracking attendance will facilitate the growth of your school in the coming decade.
Taking The First Step To Digital Attendance
More efficient document processes, improved compliance, and increased student retention are all possible through digitized attendance tracking. If these are priorities for you and your school in the new year, consider adopting a digital attendance solution. To find out how digitizing attendance will specifically impact your schools’ operations, scheduling a personalized demo with a CourseKey team member below.