Time-saving method of recording attendance

As the sizes of classes, such as MUS 264 The History of Rock and Roll, continue to grow, new measures are underway for students to sign in without the long lines and roll sheets.

With the average attendance for MUS 264 hovering right around 520 students, one can only imagine how long it takes for each student to sign-in.

Although the new sign in method is not yet recognized as a formal plan, Bearkat OneCard Services is going through the necessary procedures to see if this program is right for SHSU.

“Bearkat OneCard Services is not actively promoting this service until, if it is, signed off by those on the Bearkat OneCard Advisement Committee,” said Kristy Vienne, Director of Bearkat OneCard Services. “A lot of universities use this type of sign in method, and we do have the equipment, but we just need to see if this fits Sam Houston’s needs.”

The new card swiping sign in will be used for larger auditorium classes where the number of students is larger than 50.

“It’s very necessary to take attendance because the university strongly suggests and even requires instructors to do so to ensure student progress,” said John Crabtree, professor of MUS 264. “It also ensures that classes are filled and students are doing what is required (attending class regularly) for a college degree.”

With the past sign-in procedures, students initialed next to their name on a roll sheet. Crabtree says the new form of electronically signing in will not only read the students’ name and ID number, but also the time of day the card was scanned.

Although the new system appears to be a relief to impatient students, Crabtree says the new electronic roll sheet is not perfect.

“A sign-in sheet has been a process that instructors have used for as long as I can remember,” Crabtree said. “It seems like a valid way to simply keep track of attendance, although it does have its problems and loopholes.”

The ‘problems’ Crabtree is referring to include dishonesty on the students’ part (students signing in for their absent friends), or even problems as simple as the card reader failing to record information.

“Because there are no student helpers or assistants aiding with the record taking of attendance in the class, it is a challenge to maintain 100 percent accuracy with (any type of) sign-in sheet,” Crabtree said. “There is an ‘honor system’ in place here for the students.”

As the new system is planned to begin mid-way through the semester, problems such as card reading errors and students forgetting their ID’s are expected.

“If the students forget their ID’s, they will be able to enter in their Sam ID number,” Vienne said. “This is the same type machine that you would see at events such as basketball or football.”

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