Technological advances have brought with it a wide variety of hardware options on the market for student attendance monitoring.
Let’s take a look at the 5 most popular options:
iBeacons with Mobile App
The combination of iBeacons and a student mobile app allows students to record their own attendance, producing accurate proof of presence. By tapping-in on the SEAtS mobile app, the app confirms attendance by linking to the iBeacon in the room. Unlike other attendance solutions, iBeacon technology is both affordable and feature rich.
Student Card Readers
Student attendance recording has been dominated by smart card readers over the last 20 years. While expensive to install, card readers allow for students to swipe as they enter a lecture hall, while also doubling as a student ID card. It should be noted that many software companies plug into existing card readers, allowing institutions to take advantage of much-improved software without having to reinvest in new hardware.
Mobile Only – GPS
GPS is a novel way of recording proof of presence by using GPS to confirm location but suffers from accuracy issues. GPS is accurate to between 5m and 20m outdoors, going up to 40m indoors. When taking into account classrooms on multiple floors, accuracy is further reduced. However, if you are only looking for a solution which confirms attendance on campus, rather than a specific room then this is a viable option.
Mobile Only – WiFi
WiFi attendance is a unique concept for Institutions looking for a student attendance system. If proof of presence and affordability are important factors when choosing a student attendance solution, then this may not be for you. Wi-Fi location-tracking works by measuring the signal strength between routers to triangulate location. The level of accuracy depends on the number of router tags in each classroom. Depending on the method deployed, accuracy can vary between 5m and 30m. Due to fluctuation in network strength, attendance data can vary wildly. Add in network maintenance which can severely impact attendance data and you have a system that brings with it as many problems as solutions.
Mobile Only – QR Code
QR Code stands for “Quick Response” code and is mobile phone readable. A QR code is generated before each class, and students use an app to scan the code to confirm proof of presence as they enter the room. In theory, this is an excellent idea. However, in practice, it is the most rigged solution simply because the QR code can be photographed, and shared to students who are not in the classroom. There is potential to use this solution in tandem with a second system which would increase accuracy but also cost.