Engineerica Academic Centers Blog Student Attendance Tracking: Modern Tools and Methods

Student Attendance Tracking: Modern Tools and Methods

A brief history of class attendance tracking taking us through to modern-day innovations

Teacher: “Jake?

Jake: “Here.”

Teacher: “Alice?”

Alice: “Present.”

Teacher: “Tommy?”

Tommy: “Here.”

Roll call [Rowl Kaal]


“The act or an instance of calling off a list of names.”

  • Merriam-Webster

Roll call is a standard part of classroom management practices in K12 schools and many Higher Education universities. Originally taking its name from a time when military, educational, or legislative members would use a roll of paper or parchment to call out names, roll call has changed significantly over the years.

The process of taking the class roll in America dates back to 1838, when Horace Mann, the secretary, and founder of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, complained of the state’s inability to collect basic information on student attendance in public schools.

He wrote that the military tracks “every missing gun-flint and priming wire … among its archives” but schools have no way of knowing which children are skipping lectures within “nurseries of intelligence.” In English? Schools.

A few years later, in 1852, the first compulsory attendance law was signed into existence by the General Court of Massachusetts. Thanks, Horace… The new law stated that “Every person who shall have any child under his control between the ages of eight and fourteen years shall send such child to some public school”.

It outlined punishments and penalties associated with truancy, requiring all schools to begin recording attendance to ensure that no students were skipping class. And as school systems continued to develop across the United States, roll call in classrooms became mandatory across the country. Leaving many groaning students and sighing teachers with the tiresome task of monitoring class attendance manually.

And it hasn’t changed much since that time. There was a shift from physical roll calls to digital ones in the early 2000s with the advent of LMS systems such as Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas. However, even those educational technologies didn’t change the way roll call was taken. It took just as much time – more if your technologically challenged instructor spent the first five minutes of class fighting with their computer – to run through the list of student names on their desktop.

These days, with the development of amazing new technologies like the James Webb Space Telescope, AI and machine learning, electric cars, cryptocurrency, and 5G mobile networks, we see continuous improvement upon old processes and modern-day innovations.

Which brings us to AccuClass  

AccuClass is a software solution that finally brings classroom attendance tracking into the modern age. In AccuClass, a digital roll call is the only rudimentary option available to instructors, offering them the ability to record attendance using Bluetooth beacons, sign-in stations, and attendance kiosks. These new roll call methods remove the burden of taking attendance from the instructor, speeding up the process of taking attendance and providing all the recorded data in easy-to-view reports.

Developed by Engineerica, a technology company with over 25 years of experience in providing attendance solutions to higher education, AccuClass was developed with classroom management in mind. Leveraging all the expertise that Engineerica gained in the field, AccuClass has been able to give a much-needed update to the roll call finally.

Let’s dig into the details of AccuClass’s exciting features.

Attendance Kiosks: Efficient and Convenient

  • Our mobile app can turn any iOS or Android device into an attendance kiosk.
  • Educational institutions can wall mount the device or place it in a stand at the front of the classroom.
  • Students then scan their IDs as they enter or use their own devices to scan a QR code of the device.
  • That’s it! No instructor effort is needed, and no class time is wasted taking attendance.

Stations: Easy to Setup  

  • Using our web application, any laptop or desktop can be transformed into a sign-in station.
  • Hooking up an RFID reader, magnetic card swiper, or barcode scanner can help speed up student sign-ins. Students can also manually enter their IDs into the station.

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 Bluetooth Sign In: Now That’s Quick

  • This is a cool one; with just the click of a button, the instructor’s device will become a Bluetooth beacon, emitting a token to all students registered in the class.
  • The students’ devices will then ask them to sign in from their app with one click.
  • For both student and instructor, it’s just one click; now that’s quick!

QR Code Sign-In: Simple, Quick, and Flexible

  • By putting a QR code up on the projector or their computer, instructors can allow students to quickly sign in without having to go through the entire roll call.
  • The QR code refreshes constantly, making this a great anti-cheating attendance option.
  • It’s flexible too! Instructors can sign in from one room and sign out from another by putting up the IN code and OUT code in different locations.

Polls & Quizzes: Engage and Gauge Your Students

  • AccuClass goes past attendance; it also offers engagement features
  • With the polling ability, instructors can administer polls or quizzes to gauge student knowledge and comprehension.
  • Polls can be used to help identify students’ weak areas in a subject or track student progress.

Reports: Attendance Data Reporting 

  • Create, view, and export reports on student attendance data
  • See attendance per session, student, or class.
  • Save administration staff’s time by providing student attendance data with AccuClass.

School attendance and student achievement go hand-in-hand. So, whether you’re a student, instructor, or administrator, you’ll appreciate the convenience that AccuClass can offer you. Book a demo today at AccuClass to learn more!

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