Education Tertiary

Student Attendance System

Sample attendance database
Written by Editor
GAZI MUSAYAB, FAHMED BIN NEWAZ, KAZI WASIM UZZAMAN and RENESA RAHMAN

Introduction
Attendance Management System is a database system that has been set up to monitor the attendance of students in class via a computerized system. The goal of this new database management system is to make sure that the idea of taking attendance of students in North South University is done by the aid of a computer database system and not by manual roll call. In this fashion, both the teachers/lecturers of classes and the students can be kept track of in a digitized system and their presence in classes can be looked into whenever needed using this system. In addition to this, an attendance management system would also put into consideration a student’s courses taken in a particular semester and the timing of the courses that s/he has taken, as well as the faculty he has obtained. With that in mind, an attendance system is much like the systems used for people who go to work in office in modern day, with swipe cards and time cards being the normal method used to record the presence of those workers in the office. In a similar fashion, an attendance management system would take the ID cards of students and place them into a swipe slot machine right before entering a class room and take their attendance automatically. The same process applies for teachers as well.
The main features of this system is that it uses a primary key in its database to link one record to another and the fact that it can also access the whole information of a student, his CPGA as a whole, his GPA for one semester, the number of credit hours he has finished up till now, and personal details regarding the student, all add up to a whole integrated database system of the student. So in short, an attendance management system not only adds value to the university in terms of keeping track of students’ attendance, but also in terms of making sure a student’s full information can be accessed through the system. It is a complete database system of a student and thereby improving the standard of not just the student but the institution as a whole.

Advantages of an Attendance Management System
•    Student’s attendance can be taken automatically instead of manually.
•    Saves a lot of time in handling manual hand written attendance,as well as ensures class time is handled more efficiently instead of wasting time in finding out who’s present or not.
•    Faster form of communicating data to a database system. No hassle over finding out students who skip classes.
•    Teacher’s assistants will find time to do something more productive since they will not have to check the attendance of each and every day thus providing for more time to utilize over more important matters for their faculty.
•    Quality of education will increase because there will be reduced chances of students to lie about their attendance since the database system keeps track of everything.
•    It will help to add value to the University in the sense that since detailed attendance records will be available, the data can also be used for other sort of analysis.

Disadvantages of an attendance management system
•    Resistance of teachers to use the system. They maybe too used to the conventional system of taking attendance by hand and may resist the urge to use new technology.
•    Student may also resist to urge to use the system. They may feel that the conventional way was much better or the fact that discipline maybe too tight now due to the computerization of taking attendance which might cause them to refuse to use the system.
•    Hardware failure is also another major drawback of using the system. If the system breaks down altogether, it might create an incalculable loss for the entire university since the time lost to repair the system may never be recovered.

Sample attendance database
FIG: Sample attendance database screenshot

Problems and opportunities
The main feature of any successful Information Systems is IMPLEMENTATION. If the users accept the new system then it will add value to the University a lot. It might open a new gateway for other services as well.

How it will add value to the university
Following the successful implementation of the new attendance system, the University will be benefitted in the form of both from students and teachers perspective. The teachers will have more time (it takes about five minutes to take attendance) to teach in the class and also dismiss class early. Although this 5 minutes may be very insignificant, considering hundreds of classes everyday and therefore the amount of electricity saved by the University alone in one month will be enough to pay up for the cost of developing the new system keeping other advantages aside. Since better attendance system leads to better management, the overall quality of the students will improve. Although the effects will not be so visible in the short run, the University will be benefitted in the long run as students enrollment into the university will increase significantly, thereby increasing the revenue and eventually more profits.

Technical specifications and the software used
The software used for developing this Attendance System is Microsoft  Access 2007. It was created from a blank database and modified according to the requirement of the users. The primary key for this system is the Student ID. This was used to link the tables together. However our main aim was to provide as much information as possible to the users and thereby helping the teachers to do their work more effectively.

Screen shots
Initially there will be a sign in page where the users (teachers and admins) will key in their indivisual username and their corresponding password. The username and password will be unique for every user. A sample is shown below.

screen shot login

After the user has successfully logged onto the system, the courses available for that faculty will be shown as well as the section. I.e- one faculty may be teaching more than one course and many sections per course. The next page will only show the courses the faculty is taking and then s/he can choose the attendance of which section will be taken.

student management system

This is the first page of the interface as it appears on Microsoft Access. The user can directly go to attendance records or even the student details.

attendance record of students

The attendance records of the students.

individual students' details form

Indivisual student details form.

Attendance tables

Attendance tables.

Derived advantages
•    Since all the attendance records will be integrated, the faculty can check if the student had done other classes on that day and missed any particular class. Since the class routine of the students will be available to the teachers, there will be no scope for the students to say that s/he was stuck up with some other class.
•    As all the academic details of the student will be present in the database, the teacher can make better assessment of the student and also consult with other faculties teaching that student to improve his standard.
•    The time at which the attendance is taken will also be shown and hence it can be seen if a student is late and by how many minutes. This can also be seen on the attendance records and analyzed if the student is late regularly and proper action can be taken.
•    The system can be further developed to include test dates and also the rooms in which the tests will be taken. The teachers can give booking for the rooms through this database and so this will eliminate a lot of hassle on the part of the faculty.
•    It happens quite often that a students name does not appear on the attendance list of the faculty (which is printed and given to the faculty in advance). The database system bring a solution to that problem since the attendance list will be automatically updated with the advising system server, hence whenever a student gets enrolled for a course, his name will be automatically enrolled onto the attendance system.

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