- Anushka Sharma, Divya Pant, Nandini Singh, Srinidhi Ayyagari
The conventional attendance system requires the Professor to take attendance in the attendance register. The attendance of every student is then submitted to the Administration Department. The whole process is very time consuming and complex. It may be possible that the attendance of two students gets interchanged and this can cause some serious problems. Also, the attendance of the students is not visible online on the student platform because of the delay in the above procedure.
In many colleges, teachers follow the conventional system to take attendance. This requires them to maintain a record of every student and inform the students who have less attendance.
Also, they need to ensure that the record is submitted to the Administration Department for submission of attendance. This procedure takes days to complete and teachers end up taking attendance on a sheet which has a high possibility of being lost.
Whilst teachers are the ones who face major issues, the students also find it challenging to deal with this conventional system. The online student portal of many colleges doesn't regularly update the attendance of students because it is tedious to maintain a regular record. Thus, students cannot view their attendance and are not aware of it, unless they ask their respective teachers.
The attendance shared to the students by the teachers is of their respective subjects and they again need to calculate their aggregate percentages.
The alternative to the Conventional Attendance System is the need of the hour. The alternate system should overcome the shortcoming of the Conventional System.
- It should be a faster and simple way of taking attendance.
- It should help the teachers to use and manage the attendance of the students efficiently.
- It should be helpful to the Administration Department in updating the records of the students.
- It should help students to see their attendance regularly as the records should be updated constantly.
The idea is to develop a system that fulfills all the above requirements.
We asked one of the faculty members to share the problems that they face while using the conventional method. According to her, the faculty faces the following problems:
- The chances of false attendance or proxy is high.
- This is because the teacher may not remember all the students by their faces and voices so the students may take advantage of this fact.
- There is a possibility that teachers can miss the roll number of a student while taking attendance.
Apart from these problems we figured out other shortcomings of the conventional system. They are given below:-
- Sometimes students can miss their roll calls because they are doing something else or are distracted.
- The information about the students' attendance is not updated regularly on the student portal.
While talking to some students, it was evident that they need their attendance records to ensure that they maintain their attendance above 75%. However, they find it difficult to know their attendance.
Therefore, it is evident that there is a need for a system that helps both students and teachers.
- The chances of false attendance or proxy is high.
Currently, attendance is taken in a register which is commonly called Attendance Register. This register is then submitted for future reference. However, sometimes, teachers forget to bring the attendance register with them or it is issued to them late. Teachers, then, prefer taking attendance on a sheet of paper. If this paper gets misplaced, the attendance of the class is lost. These things can happen to anybody at any time.
One of the solutions to this problem is to use a biometric system for each class. Students will punch in their fingerprints and then enter the class. This is a good way to avoid the proxy system followed by students. However, this would require a very high budget, as the infrastructure of the college would have to be upgraded. Following are the drawbacks of this system:
1. The system would be effective only if we build the infrastructure which can support it, i.e, entry and exit only if the fingerprints are recorded.
2. Students can punch-in their fingerprints and not enter the class. Since we cannot monitor all students we will not know whether they are in the class or not.
3. The data collected would not be updated consistently, and students will not be able to see their attendance regularly.
The above are the major concerns of any university before setting up any new system. So we figured out a way to overcome these drawbacks.
While we cannot install a biometric system, we can easily install an application on our smartphones. We want to devise a method that allows teachers to take attendance and students can see their attendance simultaneously.
The idea is to develop an application that generates a code, like OTP, that is provided to the teacher and the students. The students can enter the code and mark their attendance. However, there is a condition of this system. Only those students that are present within a certain range can enter the code, for all the other students that code shall be invalid. The code will be available for some time just like any OTP.
This can solve most of the problems like:
- The tedious task of taking attendance will no longer be there.
- Students will not be able to mark the attendance of their friends (proxy).
- There is no need for upgrading any infrastructure.
- Students will be able to view their attendance in real-time.
- Teachers can have the option to mark absent of any student they think was not present in their class.