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Recording Attendance

As a lecturer, one of my responsibilities is to record students’ attendance. At least for me, this data can be used later to determine whether I should give lenience to some of them in special circumstances.

COVID-19 changes that definition of “attending”. One can just show up at the beginning of a virtual class then leave, switch his/her screen to a computer game, or leave the presentation open while he/she is playing a mobile game. That is why for my classes, I don’t really care about the students attending. I even allow my students to record their attendance, a feature that fortunately provided by the university IT department.

Mid-term and final exam, however, are different. They are more “sacred”, hence I took extra steps on ensuring my students attend the class. Again, I cannot ensure that they are present during the whole exam. I also cannot fully ensure that they do not cheat by working cooperatively or being worked by someone else (a.k.a. joki).

However, it is possible to record some kind of authenticity. I can ensure that each student is present and, well, alive and doing well, at the time of exam. This may help prevent some weird situation in the future, like, giving a degree to a deceased or even a non-existent person. This may sound like a joke, but if we’re being honest, most likely nobody from the university side have ever met freshmen of 2020 in person!

To perform such attendance record, I called each student by name at the beginning of exam. When a student’s name is called, he/she has to turn on his/her camera and answer “hadir” (present), so his/her face is spotlighted in the Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or whatever platform used.

Below is an example of such recording.

This was the third attempt of recording this semester. It took about ten minutes to call and record about 47 students, and as you may see in the video, there were some interruptions and imperfections along the way. Earlier attempts took 15 minutes, because I didn’t use Microsoft Teams’ native app, hence video didn’t show up very quickly.