Attendance tracking plays a significant role in the students’ success for the redesigned Mathematics courses at Georgia State University. These courses are supported in the MILE (Mathematics Interactive Learning Environment) lab. Lab attendance constitutes 7.5% of the final grade, so detailed and accurate reporting of the student’s attendance is crucial. AccuTrack's reporting makes it all possible.
Georgia State University changed the pedagogical model from traditional classroom setting for College Algebra and Pre-Calculus courses in 2005. The newly introduced 50-50 model required students to attend the Math Lab once a week as part of the course requirement, so attendance tracking became an important component. AccuTrack version 8 was installed and used as as the log in/log out tracking system.
In 2008, Georgia State University (GSU) took the initiative in changing the delivery method of MATH 1111 (College Algebra) and MATH 1113 (Pre-Calculus) courses. The department of Mathematics adopted the modified Emporium Model in an effort to redesign the learning environment to be student-centered instead of instructor-led. AccuTrack was reevaluated and the system was upgraded to newer version and played an essential role in this redesigned program since then.
Based on the improved performance of College Algebra and Pre-Calculus courses, the Department of Mathematics at GSU enhanced and redesigned the Elementary Statistics course. In 2010, another lab, Commons MILE, was constructed to nurture the independent learning environment for the students in Elementary Statistics course. Approximately 3,000 students visit the MILE labs every week, so keeping track of attendance and accuracy of reporting are essential factors to the Emporium Model. AccuTrack continued to be the engine behind the success stories.
For courses with huge enrollment, we started noticing the impact of students’ attempts at cheating the system to gain their attendance credits. Students would come up with creative ways of defeating the system. I reported the concerns to Engineerica and I was advised to consider the AccuTrack Computer Lab Plug-in module. This software runs on each computer in the lab and monitors the usage of the computer giving tighter control over the use of these computers.
I worked with IS&T and completed some testing of the Computer Lab Plug-in software and observed its benefits. The Plug-in module forces students to log in to access the desktop and run the online Math program. I implemented the plug-in in the Fall of 2009. This eliminated many infractions. Also, using the existing features of the AccuTrack plugin module, we were able to utilize some nifty in-house apps that project the availability of computers in the lab in real time.
Students are expected to be doing only Math related work or activities (such as scheduling a test or watching a math video) in the lab. If students surf on other sites such as social networks, it can easily be tracked with the Plug-in module and addressed.
Since the enrollment keeps growing, we have a need for more stable and advanced tracking software. Now we are considering the implementation of AccuSQL which would be more suitable for large client systems.
MILE and Commons MILE Lab Coordinator
Georgia State University