We are an institution of higher learning servicing over 24,000 students per semester. The
need to track students attendance, whether it be in class, at a workshop, tutoring, computer
open labs, fitness facilities or commencement has been extremely important to us. Not
only do these numbers show us what services the students consider useful and important,
it also allows us to plan better for semesters to come and receive funding to deliver better
services. Initially, like many other institutions, we started out using paper and pen. That
method was a nightmare because the data collected was inaccurate, pages were misplaced,
damaged or illegible. In Fall 2005, we began looking for solutions and AccuTrack was our
chosen product. This was a turning point in how we collected data. Not only were we able
to track attendance, we were able to record times and services rendered.
The pilot consisted of two high traffic computer labs. When news circulated throughout
campus about the efficiency, accuracy and how we were able to make a distinction between
genders and unique visits by generating reports built into the software, requests quickly
increased. Now we have over twenty swipe stations being used on campus in various
departments ranging in usage from tutoring to computer open labs.
Below is a snapshot displaying the information on the two high traffic computer labs.
Below is a snapshot showing how usage has increased.
Because the demand was becoming overwhelming, we needed an alternative solution that could handle the number of swipe stations existing in our environment. In Spring 2011, we migrated to Accu11Sql. This migration increased manageability and upload time because we were able to centralize our data in one location, on a server. This move also provided data security and peace of mind for senior administration because student data was no longer being compromised by being stored on local machines.
Although AccuTrack and AccuSql offers many report options, we do not utilize all of them. There are some reports that fit our needs perfectly. For instance, the snapshots previously viewed was generated using the Student Profile Query Report. In order to obtain such information, we had to download our student database, modify some profile questions, format it to fit the import fields and voila! The steps to accomplish this task may appear a bit tedious, but the end result was worth it, not to mention a time saver. All of our tutoring departments have grown familiar with using the Visit Summary Report. This report is requested monthly and used to show utilization of tutoring services based on unique visits and total visits. Below you will find an interoffice memo snapshot displaying the information received from the report.
Another report we use is the Chart Visits Report. This is a more detailed report outling information in a graphical form using MS Excel. This report has helped us enforce our 1 hour rule time limit for computer usage during peak hours as well as determine how many people we need to staff during those busy times in our computer open labs. It also helps us to determine holiday lab hours by cross-referencing holiday schedules against each other from previous semesters to determine if the hours need to be extended or reduced.
One of our tutoring departments, The Learning Resource Center, employs over eighty tutors and uses the Tutor Setup and the Appointment Scheduler Module of the program. There were a number of features this department found useful in helping them provide quality service such as, the absentee report, setting appointment restrictions, printing tutored session attendance sheets (helpful for students seeking extra credit from professors), tracking tutor hours worked, having the ability to email reminders and confirmations regarding tutoring sessions and the list goes on. In selecting a product we tried to find something that would fit the majority of our needs and we have accomplished that with AccuTrack and AccuSql.
Typically, the seminar portion of the program is used to track attendance. We use it a little differently. We use it to track cap and gown distribution for graduating seniors. We are given a definitive number of graduates and every time a graduate registers to picks up a cap and gown, the seats available counter goes down one. Below are snapshots of what the setup looks like.
One item that wasn’t mentioned among the list of software's to perform a case study on was the RollCaller. Although it isn't a software, it's an Engineerica product we use to collect data. The RollCaller is a device used to record id, date and time with the swipe of a card. The data can be stored on the device and downloaded at a later date and imported into AccuTrack 10 only. We use this for our commencement activity. Before the RollCaller, we used laptops (5 of them) to record the data, but the process was time consuming and the laptops were a pain to carry. The RollCaller is small, compact and easy to use. Now, we’ve increased their usage by putting them in classrooms where swipe stations aren’t available.
In closing, I would like to take this time to credit the developers down to the support staff. Their assistance and dedicated hard work has been exceptional and appreciated. I have enclosed pictures below showing some of our centers.
Assist. to Dir. of IT
Borough of Manhattan Community College
New York, NY