As of 2 September 2018, the beginning date of the second semester, the system for checking Yeungnam University students’ attendance changed into the smart attendance system.
The system asks students to download the relevant application on their cell phones and check their attendance through the Bluetooth device on their phones. The Bluetooth is connected to each professor’s computer in the classroom, so if students turn their Bluetooth on, their attendance is automatically registered in the professors’ computers as well as the main computer of our university. This system is quite different from the previous one that worked by tagging or inserting students’ ID card into electronic devices inside the classroom. In order to use this new system throughout the campus, our university selected ten courses to pilot the system last semester. As a result, many errors such as log-in failure were found, and the problems were fixed before the university wide launch.
To use this new system, students should keep in mind the following things. First, you should know that the system begins to work ten minutes before classes. For evening classes, it works five minutes before classes. Second, the system does not allow more than one attendance check with the same phone. Third, the official objections for attendance can be made in the URP instead of the former electronic attendance system. Finally, those who don’t have smart phones or cannot use the new system should notify their attendance to their professors during each class.
Students have a variety of opinions so far after the formal implementation of the smart attendance system. I interviewed some of the university students regarding the matter. For students who react positively, they believe the new system is good because they can get their seats as soon as they enter the classroom. Students don’t need to check their attendance with their ID cards and the electronic devices installed at the front and back of each classroom.
Many students welcome this new system because they don’t need to bring their ID cards when they take their classes and they ease the burden about that.
On the other hand, some students don’t like the new system. First, the new system is unfamiliar to student. Some students often forget to check their attendance through this new system. If they bring their ID, they check their attendance without forgetting it because other students who are in line at the front or back of the classroom remind them to check their attendance with ID card. Second, often phone batteries are likely to be low when students are on campus for a long time, and if they have 2G phones that don’t have Wi-Fi or data, they cannot use the system. Third, some students who attend morning classes can be inconvenienced in using the new system because the professors’ computers in the classrooms are usually turned off at that time. Fourth, after the new system was implemented, students have to turn the Bluetooth or the app on and off several times a day, sometimes as many as five times. Fifth, some professors said that it was good to be absent from the often problematic proxy attendance, but it turned out that nothing changed in name. Finally, students who do not have smart phones complain that they have to see professors personally to check their attendance every time before their classes start.
As the new system was only fully rolled out this semester, we can expect many problems and inconveniences. If our university tries to fix the stability or security problems and enhance the system, while solving the diverse errors mentioned in the Q&A bulletin board in the application, the new Smart Attendance System will contribute significantly to the creation of a more efficient academic environment.