Say goodbye to roll call. Next fall, students at Northern Arizona University will be having their attendance tallied up electronically.
To ensure that more students make it to class, the college is installing an electronic system that detects students’ ID cards as they enter the classroom. The university was granted $75,000 in federal stimulus money to pay for the sensors. To check on their students’ attendance, teachers can receive electronic reports.
Karen Pugliesi, Vice Provost for academic affairs, said the electronic sensors will improve attendance, and attendance is key to better academic performance.
“We want every one of our students that enrolls in a class to realize their potential and be successful in the completion of that course,” she said in an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education. “It’s not in the student’s interest for them to drop out of a course or to fail a course.”
Though the sensors may encourage students to go to class more, the students at Northern Arizona are resisting the new system.
Rachel Brackett, a sophomore who started the Facebook group “NAU Against Proximity Cards,” said it should be the students’ decision to come to class.
“Students should be able to choose to go to class, and if they fail, they have to live with those consequences,” she said. “Part of growing up and becoming more mature is knowing you have to go to class.”
Whether or not students oppose the new sensor system, this attendance monitor is now without flaw. Kathleen Templin, president of the university’s student government, said that students will likely find a way around the new attendance process. Students can give their ID cards to friends who are attending class.
Although, Pugliesi doesn’t think students will try to play the system.
“The extent to which that happens is most likely to be very minimal,” she said. “I don’t believe in designing a policy or a system to address the outliers.”