Reaction to Changes in the Attendance/Absence Recording Policies
Reaction to Changes in the Attendance/Absence Recording Policies
  • 김지헤 기자, 박정은 기자
  • 승인 2012.11.08 11:11
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Our university changed its attendance/absence recording policies at the beginning of the current semester. The two latest changes are the dual attendance/absence recording system and the replacement number policy. However, the new system and the replacement number function have made many students and professors feel uncomfortable due to the fact that the replacement number function creates the possibility for dishonesty because verification of attendance is unclear. The Observer looked into the reasons for and the present situation of the various systems and opinions around campus about them.

The revised attendance/absence system
With the revised dual attendance recording system, students input their student ID card into a terminal which is affixed to the desk. Attendance is recorded if your ID card remains in place for the entire class. In addition, students can ask questions to professors by using these terminals and if professors give quizzes to students, they can give answers through the terminal. General attendance/absence recording systems record your attendance after you touch or input and remove your student ID card from a terminal on the wall by the door. You could tell that your attendance is confirmed based on the sound the system made. Now, you can check your attendance even if you don’t bring your student ID card by using the replacement number which was put in place at the beginning of the term.
In addition, you can track your attendance through your smart phone. This is done by first logging on to our school homepage, and then going to the attendance/absence recording page of the class support system. You can also enter the system through the input of a web address or QR code.

How attendance/absence is currently recorded
Before the change, about 130 terminals of the attendance/absence recording system had been set up on campus. After the change, there are now only 90 terminals on campus. There are 10 dual attendance/absence recording system terminals currently in use. 80 terminals still use the normal attendance/absence recording system. 7 of the dual terminals have been placed in the College of Business & Economics and the other three are in the Mechanical Engineering Building, General Lecture Hall and Electrical Engineering Building respectively. When you use the replacement number system, a red color code will be displayed under your photo on the computer. You might wonder why the system was changed in the first place. To begin with, the former system was very old and broke down often, and they could not be fixed because of difficulties with the company that installed the system. In addition, errors often occurred over the past year or two. Therefore, professors felt uncomfortable because they had to manually revise errors in attendance on a case by case basis. Professors were able to look up the number of students that attended class with the old system. However, professors were not able to see which students were absent, so they ended up calling out rolls anyway. Furthermore, many students left in the middle of class, but they could not find out which students went out. This forced them to call every student’s name again. As a result, lecture time was reduced.

Survey results regarding the change of the system in October
The Observer surveyed 150 students in order to hear their diverse opinions regarding these changes. We targeted students who currently use the dual attendance/absence recording system. The results showed that a majority of the students felt inconvenienced. 44% replied they felt the system was “Inconvenient,” and 18% of the respondents replied they felt it was “Very inconvenient.”
Secondly, we asked the students what they felt were the positive aspects of the new system and gave them multiple possible response choices. The most common response was that they are able to record attendance with their replacement number with 95 students. Another positive aspect that was pointed out was that the new system brings up a photo of the student on the professors terminal so attendance cheating is more difficult. 18 students responded that attendance input is more convenient now because they can record attendance via the terminal that is built into their desk while sitting in their chair.
The question “What is inconvenient about the new attendance/absence recording systems?” was also asked along with multiple possible responses. The most common response at 109 votes was that sometimes attendance is not recorded even though they input their student ID card into the card reader. The second most common response was that students cannot be sure that their attendance has been recorded only based on a green sign on the card reader chosen by 83 students. The third most common response was that students have to input their ID card continuously during class in the case of the interactive system by 72 students. In addition to these issues, some students responded that the indication sound of students who were late for class was irritatating and the dual system will not record attendance if the student pulls out their ID card by mistake. Finally, in the case of the general attendance/absence recording systems, there were more concerns regarding the introduction of replacement numbers which could make proxy attendance easier.

Support for attendance/absence system by YU
YU will add support for the attendance/absence recording systems as a formal YU app so students can check their data regarding attendance easily. An app is being developed that will send an alarm attendance check message via smart phone. There are also discussions about improvements in accessing data regarding student attendance in the future. The replacement numbers which have recently been introduced to students will change every semester. Changing replacement numbers is one way to prevent proxy attendance. It is hard to supplement or revise the system in the middle of the semester, so YU will make system improvements during the winter break.

Attendance is a very important part of student grade management. The biggest reason for changing to the new system was the difficulty in maintaining and repairing the former attendance/absence recording system. However, many of the students who are directly affected by the introduction of the new system think that many of the changes are not an improvement. The biggest issue of attendance recording errors was almost taken care of in October, but there many students are still not comfortable with the new system. We hope the concerns expressed by students who participated in our survey will be addressed and students can use the system without any more problems.

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