Engineering Projects/Attendance/Howard Community College/fall2012/p3-503-ff
Electronic Sections Expected[edit | edit source]
Problem Statement[edit | edit source]
Automate the attendance process of the Engineering classes.
Team Members[edit | edit source]
Summary[edit | edit source]
As the past groups were stalling with using the facial recognition software, our team tried to use other methods to automate the attendance process.
Poster[edit | edit source]
Story[edit | edit source]
The problems with this idea:
- A student may forget to bring their notebook and still attend class that day. It would be unfair for a student to lose all the credit for that day of class just because they forgot their notebook.
- A student may bring another students notebook to class and scan it for them even though they were not present in class. This leaves room for margin of error in the attendance records and could potentially destroy the integrity of the attendance archive.
- It would take too long for each student to individually scan their own notebook at the beginning of class, potentially the first 10 to 20 minutes of class could be wasted.
- The engineers notebook is specific to engineering classes. If we are striving to create a new effective way to take attendance all throughout the college it will have to be a universal method which could be applied to all classes.
Alternative methods to taking attendance:
1. Usb Finger Print Scanner
Reasons to use Usb scanner:
- The fingerprint is unique to each individual student on campus. This is a universal method of taking attendance that would be applicable to all classes on campus.
- After being set up, using the fingerprint scanner would be the fastest and most accurate way to take class attendance on a daily basis. Literally when students walk into class they place their finger on the scanner and the information is sent directly to the computer where through a program it can be archived in an attendance records database.
- Cost effective. The cost of the Usb fingerprint scanners range from $16 up to about $80 for high definition models. If the college ordered them in mass quantity the individual price per unit would significantly decrease.
2. Usb Student Id/ Credit Card scanner
Reasons to use the Usb Id/ Credit Card scanner:
- Every student who attends Howard community College has a student id card. This is definitely a universal method that can be used for all classes.
- Like the finger print scanner, it is a very fast way of taking attendance. A student literally swipes their card as they enter the classroom and the data is will be archived through a program into a database.
- Cost effective. Like the fingerprint scanner, the card scanners range from about $20 to $50 when ordered individually. If the college ordered them in mass quantity the individual price per unit would significantly decrease.
- Security. If it became the norm for a student to scan their student id card every where they went on campus the college would be a much safer place. Every time a student enters a room and swipes their card, a log with the time and date the student entered would be recorded. This would help to cut down on possible theft/vandalism and prevent intruders who do not attend the college from entering areas they do not belong. Visitors could be given a temporary card and use a sign in sheet at one of the administrative offices to gain access to explore the campus.
3. Vascular Scanner
Reasons to use the Vascular Scanner:
- Similar to the fingerprint, every student on campus has a unique vein structure in their hand/arm. This is a universal method of taking attendance that would be applicable to all classes on campus.
- Like the fingerprint scanner and the credit card scanner, the vascular scanner is a fast way of taking attendance. A student simply puts their hand under the vascular scanner and it examines the user's vein structure determining who the person is. This data can then be automatically cataloged into an attendance database.
- This method is the least practical out of the three ideas proposed simply because of the high cost of the individual vascular scanners, however it would showcase cutting edge technology that HCC could use to impress visitors or other colleges.
As the previous groups were not having luck with facial recognition software, our team tried to figure out other methods to automate the attendance process. We each took a different technology: QR codes, bar codes, and fingerprint scanners.
Before starting doing the project, we found that there is a bar code attendance in HCC's Math lab. So, on order to know more about this project, we went there to investigate it.
We were able to work with the scanners. The bank card reader and barcode scanner are both usable out of the box, so that we only needed to plug in the device to get it to work. The fingerprint scanner was designed for Windows XP and Vista and is not compatible with Windows 7, which is the operating system of the school's computers. Workarounds are available here, though an account with the forum is needed in order to download the files.
Another large part of using these scanners would be a program with which to log the information. We tried to find cost effective programs, but have not had any luck so far.
Decision List[edit | edit source]
Material List[edit | edit source]
We've got a laser bar code scanner $40; Bank card scanner $50; Fingerprint scanner $130;
Software List[edit | edit source]
Downloads for the software for the Fingerprint Scanner is available here.
Time[edit | edit source]
132 hrs total
Tutorials[edit | edit source]
Tutorial for laser bar code scanner : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24Thd0ocPro&feature=youtu.be
Next Steps[edit | edit source]
- Set up the fingerprint scanner, barcode scanner, and credit card scanner.
- Make a program that automatically catalogs the data into an attendance spreadsheet.
- Construct a stand/table for the scanners so that when students enter the classroom they can sign in through using their desired attendance method.
- Specify a computer to be used to collect the attendance data and hook up all the scanners to it; Create a working attendance model.