CHENNAI: In Loyola College, the dark pleasures of shouting out a ‘present sir’ in your ‘absent’ friend’s voice to do some attendance charity is over. The college has introduced tablets for taking attendance in the classrooms, and now, each student will have to swipe his ID card every hour to mark attendance. “The system has several advantages, one being that we can equip our lecturers with a tablet. This helps them with being up-to-date with technology and makes better use of systems like powerpoints and other software in classrooms,” says Joe Jesudhurai, one of the members of the committee.
The attendance that is taken on the tablet is instantly passed on to the server and attendance status updated online. “With this system, within 10 minutes of the swiping of the card the attendance is updated on to the server,” he says. But while the quick updates will help students to increase their efficiency in the intense number crunching to determine ‘bunkable’ hours, it also comes with the possibility of systems like SMS alerts to parents when the student is not present in the class at the end of the first hour.
The same system can be used by faculty to update internal marks and send it electronically for approval. Students can verify their marks online and report an error if any. The system works with the help of the Near Field Communication Enabled IDcard, a dongle, a tablet and an intra-campus server which stores information about the students. This is coupled with Enterprises Resource Management software which enables the seamless transmission of data of attendance, college fee, purchases, student data etc. The software is designed in such a way that the information is available selectively at different levels, be it for student, faculty, HOD, principal as per the post. The college is now working on a system that can note down the attendance offline, for instances when the wi-fi is down.