Today’s students are digital natives who have grown up with Google and smartphones, laptops and instant messaging. Millennials in general prefer to manage their own time, which means they value convenience over traditional bureaucratic processes. As a result, institutions need to change the way they manage student data and services. However, checking attendance or monitoring student presence in class is usually not part of the discussion when talking about best practices for improving student outcomes and increasing retention.
Students tend to drop out of college when it’s too difficult for them or when they don’t see the value in continuing their education, and it’s up to administrators to make sure that doesn’t happen. Today’s technology is making it easier than ever for institutions to identify which students need additional support and come up with creative solutions to meet those needs. With attendance management software, for instance, you see who isn’t coming to class or who is failing tests, and assign them a mentor if they need one.
For the reasons mentioned above, we want to discuss why attendance management is an often disregarded element when considering student success solutions, what benefits come for students when keeping track of relevant data, and how higher education institutions can leverage their systems to improve student success.
- What is Attendance Management?
- Why is Attendance Management Disregarded When Talking About Student Success?
- Why Does Attendance Management Matter to Student Success?
- What are the Benefits of Attendance Management for Students?
- What is the Role of Attendance Management Software?
What is Attendance Management?
Attendance management is the process of collecting, tracking and analyzing data related to student presence in classes. In recent years, the term has come to include activities beyond the physical spaces as the use of online platforms has risen. Today, students are ‘marked present’ if they show up to their classes, as well as if they complete certain asynchronous assignments.
With the accelerated introduction of flexible study programs, there are increasingly fewer scenarios where students avoid certain academic obligations, be it due to illness, conflicting academic events or personal commitments. Still, attendance data can be of immense utility to understand student behavior in the current pursuit of a better student experience to help student retention.
Why is Attendance Management Often Disregarded When Talking About Student Success?
Many institutions don’t have a good grasp on how many students are actually attending their classes, which can make it difficult to create targeted student success initiatives. Although it’s not uncommon for colleges to collect attendance data, many administrators don’t know what to do with that information or how to use it to improve student outcomes.
Another problem is that many administrators want to use limited solutions for all of their needs, which can be overly complicated and not as effective as it could be. The good news is that new technologies are making it easier than ever to collect attendance and other data while making it accessible to any stakeholder who needs it through seamless integration between an institution’s systems.
Why Does Attendance Management Matter to Student Success?
Students who complete their courses and graduate on time are more likely to succeed in their future careers and other endeavors. Why? Because graduating on time signals a student’s ability to manage their time wisely while managing stress levels, workloads, and other factors that may impact their attendance. Although it’s up to you to figure out why some students aren’t attending class as often as they should be, and take steps to address that, current tools allow you to make sense of the situation through data.
If you can identify students who are falling behind and have a low probability of success, you can intervene before they dropout. Having the data to prove that a student isn’t benefiting from particular strategies is important. If a significant percentage of students are declining the option to retest or transfer to another section, for instance, you may want to consider taking action.
What are the Benefits of Attendance Management for Students?
– Better student support:
With accurate attendance data, you can provide better advice to students about their academic paths. For example, a student who isn’t attending enough classes may benefit from an advisor who can hear them out and guide them according to their situation, interests and skills.
– Reduced stress:
When you know which students are struggling, you can offer them support. You can also use data from attendance management tools to come up with creative ways to alleviate student stress, such as by negotiating deadlines according to specific cases.
– Early intervention:
If you can intervene early with students who are at risk of dropping out, you may be able to avoid taking disciplinary action against them. In some cases, you may even be able to save their eligibility to receive federal financial aid.
What is the Role of Attendance Management Software?
Attendance management software allows you to collect and analyze data related to student presence in classes. Some systems allow you to capture data on student attendance or location within a class, which can be really helpful when you’re trying to understand why students dropout.
Attendance management software can be integrated with other systems, including SIS, or scheduling and assessment tools. It will give you a high-level overview of the general attendance patterns of the student population, while you’ll also be able to drill down to the individual level to see what’s happening with a specific student.
Attendance management is not merely about knowing who is in class and who isn’t. It can even help reexamine the core curriculum of an institution and to implement new strategies that support student success while also streamlining administrative processes.
If a student is not attending, the next step should be figuring out why they are not, and then addressing the issue. If you want to improve student outcomes and make your institution more effective, you need to start with considering attendance management software to gain a better understanding of how your strategy is affecting student success.