Administrators of educational institutions have for long, employed the manual means of ensuring students’ attendance and participation in lectures. This manual process involves the signing of attendance sheets or by means of roll calls. The time consuming and inefficient nature of the manual process further emphasizes the need for an automated solution.
There are a lot of factors accounting for student’s nonchalance towards attending lectures. Social activities, availability of alternative online learning materials and sheer laziness are the most visible contributing factors.
An RFID technology interfaced with a database does not only record students’ attendance information but also ensures a more accurate and timely data processing. An RFID system in this application area aids in detecting the presence or absence of the student data to be transmitted wirelessly by a tag (i.e. student ID), which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the programmed instructions on the personal computer (PC) (Shukla et al., 2013). The computer system does the processing by the data recorded from the RFID reader. The computer system then establishes a connection with the database and then marks the corresponding student’s attendance record.
This implementation offers a web-server based student attendance management system interfaced with RFID technology to completely replace the already existing manual processes that still exists in most educational institutions. Most universities, while having a minimum attendance requirement for any given semester are not able to enforce this very important regulation. This is because the manual process of attendance record keeping makes analysis of data very tedious and sometimes impossible. Most lecturers are not able to draw any useful information from students’ class attendance patterns and most do not even make use of the attendance information when computing the marks for students’ assessment.
The manual process of students’ class attendance management poses a number of challenges, most of which is related to the inefficient and error-prone nature of the manual process of attendance management. This problem is not un-expected as all systems that lack automation are faced with similar problems. The RFID technology aims to answer most of the key research questions proposed below;
- In what ways can the record of students’ class attendance be maintained such that it would eliminate errors and omissions?
- How can the University achieve a complete recording of students’ lecture attendance per course, regardless of the number, and timing of the lectures?
- Through which means can the University achieve a credible and reliable record of students’ record of courses’ lecture attendance in a manner that can be conveniently stored for a long time?
- How can students’ lecture attendance per course be measured and benchmarked to the University’s regulatory minimum without recourse to unwieldy paper work?
- What are the key policy recommendations to the University authority regarding the designed Web-server based Students’ Class Attendance Management System?
RFID systems have the ability to deliver precise and accurate data about tagged items in a manner that improves efficiency and brings other benefits to business community and consumers alike in the near future (Bardaki,C., Kourouthanassis, P. and Pramatari, K., 2012). The ultimate goal of this implementation is to deliver a smart RFID system interfaced with a database to ensure complete, omission-free and timely data collection on students’ class attendance.
• Shukla, S., Shah, S., & Save, P. (2013). RFID Based Attendance Management System, 3(6), 784–790.
• Bardaki,C., Kourouthanassis, P. and Pramatari, K. (2012). Deploying RFID-Enabled Services in the Retail Supply Chain: Lessons Learned toward the Internet of Things, Information Systems Management, 29, 233–235.