About Electronic Attendance System

By So-Yeon Kim, Ha-Eun Song, Sang-Hag Lee So-Yeon Kiml승인2011.05.31l307호 0면







▶The professor is using Internet Based Attendance System.

Starting this semester, Electronic Attendance System(EAS) has been implemented. EAS is carried out in the way of checking students attendance by replacing previous attendance paper. On the part of university, the purpose of implementing the new system is to ensure 15 weeks lecture system. In other words, to manage classes effectively and to block canceled classes by unjust reasons. DKH, however, wonder what students and professors can say about that. DKH interviewed with students and professors about the internet-based attendance system.




Students, mainly focused on 'Fairness and transparency' of attendancy……

Students who responded in positive way focused on fairness and transparency of EAS. Student Kim(Business Administration Major, Junior) said, "It is now possible to see through the screen if professors are taking the attendance correctly so that we can prevent mistakes right away. Another big advantage is that we can check our attendance and supplementary class schedules on the Internet(called Web Information System) whenever we want to." Student Lee(Dept. of English, Junior) mentioned a positive side of the new system that "In some cases of last semester, students signed their names directly on the attendance book. As many students asked to sign their names instead of them, although I went to every class with sincerity, I, ironically, did not get any benefits on attendance grade. Fortunately, it will prevent some of these unfairness." Student Kim (Dept. of New Materials Science and Engineering, Senior) backs up the student Lee's opinion that "One of the main reasons why students like me welcome this new attendance system is that professors' biased attitude on students. For example, in last semester, even though I attended every single classes, my attendance grade was not different from that of a student who was not present frequently thanks to having friendly relations with the professor. However, I heard that new system does not let professors enter the grade of students who absent over certain times. I believe that it will improve the objectivity of attendance." Nevertheless, students' positive attitudes toward it are mostly focused on 'Fairness and transparency,' not 'Effectiveness,' which is a DKU's primary purpose of implementing the new attendance system.

On the other hand, quite a number of students raise an objection to new system. Let's look at the case of student Lee(School of Business Administration, Freshman). As a freshman, he is discontented with EAS. He said that "I attended every single class but when I looked at on my attendancy, I was checked as absent few times. So I went to the professor to ask him about the situation, he kept saying that it is not able to change it directly." Also, when he realized that it is a brand new one, he could not understand the reason why DKU started this new system without any notices. Student Kim(Dept. of Chinese, Freshman) felt a lack of humanity as the Internet substituted a paper book because now we have even less time to communicate with our professors. Meanwhile, Student Lee (Dept. of English, Sophomore)said that EAS is not effective at all. He told us that "To see our attendancy or supplementary class schedule, we have to go on Web Information System, but students do not visit there much. Rather than it, they visit e-learning Campus more often. Also, I heard that DKU tried to guarantee students the 15 weeks class by this new system. I personally think that canceling and supplementing the lecture are professors' authority. I am not sure if the canceled lecture has to be substituted by another lecture while there are many other options, such as giving an assignment. Obligation of 15 weeks class makes a cumbersome situation."




Most of professors, 'No problem on new system…….' However, reduction of time is still problem.

Professor Kim(School of Liberal Arts) answered he hasn't experienced any inconvenience. Kim said, "In the beginning of this semester, I heard some students has called professors to modify attendance in the midnight. In my class, however, that's unusual case and I didn't feel uncomfortable. Also this problem has already been improved?" But Professor Lee(College of Engineering) experienced some inconvenience in the early new system. For instance, because the process of modification was somewhat complicated, he was awkward to modify students' attendance despite of their illness or rightful reason. Now, however, as better process is built, he has nothing to complain of. Professor Kim(College of Economics and Commerce) also answered in the affirmative that checking attendance openly through a screen can give more trust and transparency to students. However, just like College of Economics and Commerce, classes which many students take still spend a long period of time to check attendance. Professor Park(College of Business and Economics) said, "In early days, there are many errors so I had some complain on it. Current system is more convenient than before. However, I'm not sure the implementing of new system will be benefit in learning ability and communication between professors and students. I feel more comfortable, however, it's a pity that university only improves weakness fragmentarily and they fully ignore some advantages from the conventional."

Meanwhile, professor Kim(College of Business and Economics) disagreed with new system. "I copy attendance to on-line after checking attendance book. It's because it spends a long period time to turn on the computer and open web site. I think checking attendance book directly spends less time than new system." After, the reporter asked about purpose of new system. The professor, however, said assumptively, "Maybe DKU made this system to ensure students' attendance."

In addition, professor Lee(College of Business and Economics), said, "There is no problem on it. But appropriateness or method of university makes professors' felling uncomfortable like me. When the new system is implemented, I think some communication and promotion must be carried out but we didn't so. And then I doubt DKU naturally. Also, I felt like university keeps a watch on professors' movement. I think something is wrong to watch over most of innocent professors because of the small number of professors who don't give lectures. In my opinion, for us, DKU should have noticed appropriateness to officials without considering wheather it is good or bad."




Division of Educational Support(DES), 'To ensure 15 weeks lecture system.'

DES insists that the purpose of EAS is to ensure 15 weeks lecture system. Professors can omit process stopping by Division of Academic Affairs to check a daily record of class. Also, students can check their record of student attendance whenever they want to. So, DES say both of them would be convenient. Large lecture hall, however, still have some trouble to check attendance because there are too many students in the class. Thus, to check all of the students' attendance, it spends a long period of time. About this, DES said, "Teaching assistants are supported at classes which run in large lecture hall. The standard of supporting teaching assistants is when the number of students are more than 150 in cultural subjects class. And the number of students is more than 80 in major class.

Also, in experiment class, teaching assistants are supported certainly. DES said, "In case of lectures that don't meet the prior conditions, professors have their own skills on that." But it seems that they don't have any certain solutions. Moreover, the purpose of it is to ensure 15 weeks lecture system. But will it working well, indeed? DKU check whether professors give lectures or not directly. However, It may be asked whether supplementary classes are received or not either. When the class is canceled, teaching assistant checks attendance and maybe the class is replaced by free study hours. Also, university can verify whether professors keep their lecture schedules or not anytime. So, like the preceding professor, part of them could feel as if they are under observation.

The reason why these suppositions are rampant is that maybe shortage of communication between students, professors and university. The results of interview suggest most of students don't know about EAS exactly.

Many students answered they can't modify a record of attendance any time even though this problem was improved already. Even a part of professors don't know about it, either. Especially, when students absent for personal reasons, university leave right to professors own discretion. There is, however, not certain guideline yet so many professors suffer from that. To prevent these situations, university ought to notice the purpose of EAS and regulation not only to professors but also students. Otherwise, students and professors could be victims. Maybe we have been a casualty in a state of disorder.




Like every achievement requires trial and error, in the beginning of semester, there are many problems. DES underlined they always gather dankookian's opinions and compensate them. However, from the point of view of students, fairness is emphasized rather than what university mainly anticipated efficiency.

Also, the biggest problem is 'Communication.' DKU is impatient for the implementing of new system but it is certain that they didn't deliver appropriateness of new system to dankookians. There is no bad system. It is just up to officials according to how much they share their opinion over it and expect to make future better.

So-Yeon Kim  dkherald@gamil.com
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