Student and Member Attendance

Click here for the Eastern Michigan University Case Study, including how they leverage the collected data, and here for a detailed article about their process and the value to both students and university.

A short video showing screenshots of the app is shown below. It is also available as a PDF here.

Note: This article discusses the most common service type for attendance, namely validating IDs against a database. However, if you simply want to record IDs (or names) without first validating IDs you can instead create an online or on-device (i.e. offline) ‘Record Scan’ service type.

Overview: Getting Started

Note: A detailed Step by Step Guide using validation can be found here.

Steps:

  1. The first step for a validation service is to create a database of your students, members, attendees or employees and optionally any ‘associated’ content for each ID. So, for example, the ID might be ‘A12345’ and the associated data ‘John Smith’. See Database instructions here.
  2. The resulting database needs to be uploaded to our servers on the codeREADr.com ‘Databases’ page. [Developers can our use Postback URL or DSU (Direct Server URL) Services to keep this database on their own servers.]
  3. If you don’t already have barcodes, you’ll need to embed these IDs in barcodes (see Barcodes below). When you create & authorize app Users to scan with the codeREADr app, it will confirm the ID as valid and show the associated text or image.
  4. For attendance applications, you may want to collect additional data. This can be done using the Questions feature (a codeREADr.com menu item) which enables you to have the app User enter data after each scan. For example, you might want to collect course, location or arrival & departure data. You can do this with a Question, e.g. ‘Is this a Check-In or Check-Out?’ or ‘What course do you need help with’ – all answered by the app User via form entry or multiple choice. Since each scan includes a time-stamp, you’ll then easily be able calculate total time for that class, lesson, event, etc. Since Questions show up after every scan, it may be more convenient to simply create two different Services, i.e. one for Check-In and the other for Check-Out and then calculate the difference in the time-stamp for your reports. Alternatively, if you are not concerned about exactly how long the person was at the location, then one Service will suffice and you won’t need any Questions.
  5. Now comes the easy part – creating a validation Service (a codeREADr.com menu item). Here you’ll need to associate your Database, Users and Questions to the Service you created.
  6. When you’ve finished scanning and the scan records are on the codeREADr.com servers you can email or export filtered Scan reports. You can then import that file into Excel or other program that accepts standard CSV files. [Developers can use codeREADr’s extensive APIs to grab scan records.]
  7. Advanced – Photo Verification. You can present the app-user with a photo of the ID holder if you include a link in the database hosting the photo (Webify). You can even use the app to add that link automatically to the database (Photo Postback). Look here for more information.
  8. Barcodes – Do the IDs you want to track already have barcodes on them?
  • If YES, try scanning them with the codeREADr app. [Hint: for iOS and BB devices, check the app’s barcode type settings for the barcode type you use.] If you cannot scan them with codeREADr’s standard scan engine, you may need to upgrade to codeREADr ‘SD PRO’ or use a Bluetooth scanning accessory or use codeREADr on a desktop/laptop with a USB scanning device.
  •  If NO, then you’ll need to create barcodes. You can buy a label maker; buy labels from printers capable of variable data printing (ask for QR codes between 12.7mm (0.50”) and 20.32mm (0.8”) square); print your own labels using programs like OnMerge (PC) or iBarcoder (MAC); or use mail-merge to email barcode images exported from the Database page of codeREADr.com.

No Barcodes? Use text/voice search, magstripe or RFID/NFC instead! 

Scanning barcodes is fast. But, it’s certainly not the only way to use codeREADr. Many clients instead use MagStripe or RFID/NFC (see self-scan video below) to capture IDs or use the app’s Manual Entry or Lookup options. Our Lookup feature is very useful in that you can search for the first few characters on an ID and then scroll the resulting list or you can search by name or other identifers within the barcode or, importantly, within the associated Response text.

This Lookup feature is very commonly used when barcodes are not practical or the student or member forgot their ID. It is very fast and simple, especially when using voice.

NEW: Self-Scanning Options

In this 2-minute video we show you scanning mobile and printed QR codes using the front camera of iOS and Android devices. Then we show you reading RFID/NFC objects (cards, FOBs, etc.) using Android devices connected to a dedicated reader and also using the built-in NFC reader of Android devices.

in Best Practices with Instructions