Attendance tracker

Hi. I have a more theoretical than technical question. Let’s say I’m an academic teacher. Imagine that, every day, I have to check the attendance list for 200 students. Of course, reading a list of 200 people each time is a waste of time, hence my question… Can anyone suggest me how can I make this process easier with the Coda? Ideally, the students should be able to mark presence by their own somehow… so that I don’t have to read the list.

Thank you for all your suggestions.

does each student have their login? i would suggest to have a single button and ask each of your student to press it every class - for every button click, will create a record in the attendance table marking the student’s presence and then at the end of the day/ end of your class, you can use coda automation to send yourself an email with a table that has everyone’s attendance as a report. (and maybe clear out the table to get ready for next class)

Do you mean, does the student have a Coda login? If so, I’m afraid not.

Another weakness of this solution is the issue of potential cheating. What guarantee do I have that the student has not cheated and marked his presence even though he is not in the classroom?

If you can solve this, you’ll solve the trouble with punching a time-clock for several billion people.

It’s definitely where you draw the line with trust. If there is no trust, you need to verify yourself.

If there is some trust, you can have one to several computers with the Coda doc loaded and they can mark themselves as present as they walk in…but still might also mark for a friend.

If there is relatively good trust and a spot check every so often, maybe you can have students use their own login to Coda and see if good wins over evil :slight_smile:.

I used to work as an assistant professor, so I know your pain :slight_smile:

Here’s a somewhat bulletproof scenario that I can think about:

  • Generate a list of unique alphanumeric one-time passwords that are hard to guess (something like Coda document IDs that you can see in the URL: /d/Document-Title_dXXXXXXXXXX). Print them and cut into small pieces of paper. Ideally those are tied to a date somehow (e.g. in Coda you store a relation of date -> list of 200 codes), but not necessarily.
  • Have each student take one piece of paper when they enter the room.
  • Instruct students to send you an email with their one-time code during or after the lecture.
  • Set up GMail pack or Zapier to listen on such messages, verify codes, and store student (by email) -> date in your attendance tracker.

This will reduce the task to prevent cheating to a simple need to observe that no student takes more than one piece of paper upon entering the room. And a simple formula to check that no code has been used twice. Also benefits of this approach: no need for students to sign into Coda, no need for students to mark their attendance during the lecture (they can do it later).

This can be further improved to allow e.g. sending one email with all the codes collected through the semester, if you don’t care about continuous attendance tracking but the summary per person only.

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That’s a very cool system! Thanks:) I was thinking about something related to geotagging but a sheet of paper is also ok:)
Seriously… I tried to find something on the web, but I didn’t find an application that would do such a thing.