Roster App is Coming

by Michael Clark
July 6, 2012 9:51 AM

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been working heavily on finalizing the latest changes to the new Roster application. This application will be a replacement for the old iKnow application used for taking attendance and boasts several new and useful features.

Upon first accessing the application, the faculty member will see a list of their courses to the left as well as some tools listed below. The tools right now include merge courses, remove merged courses and search, but more on these later. At the top, the faculty member has options to take roll, manage and view reports.

After first selecting a course on the left, the faculty member will see the take roll option load up with the students in that course. Each student is represented by an attendance card with their picture, first name, last name, and attendance status. Taking roll is a simple matter of clicking on the attendance card to cycle through the respective options - present, tardy, absent, excused. You can also use the date picker above the student cards to choose a previous date to take or modify attendance.

In the manage option, the faculty member has the ability to re-order the students in their course. This view is similar to the take roll option in that students are represented by attendance cards. The faculty member can set the number of rows and columns for their course (up to a maximum of 6 columns), then move the students around however they choose. This is handy for something like mimicking a seating chart.

The last option related to individual courses is the report view. After selecting a course, the faculty member is presented with a grid of their students and a summation of any attendance violations for that course. Clicking on an individual student name presents a detail view displaying the date of violation, violation and options to edit the violation from the report (useful for quickly modifying a backdated excuse).

On to the tools available for faculty members. The first tool is the merge courses tool. This allows faculty members, as its name suggests, to merge multiple courses into one logical course for the purposes of the roster app. This is useful for courses with different IDs or sections that meet at the same time. Attendance is still relative to the original course so the faculty member can even combine two completely different courses! To use this tool, the faculty member selects the courses they'd like to merge, gives the new merge a unique name, and clicks the merge button.

The faculty member also has the ability to remove a merged course and restore the original courses using the remove merges tool. To use this tool, the faculty member selects the merged course they'd like to remove (the system will display all courses under this merged course next for verification) then clicks the remove merge button.

The last tool available for faculty members is search. This works as suggested - allowing the faculty member to search by student name. Search is limited to students currently in the faculty member's courses and includes a handy autocomplete function that begins to fill in after two characters are typed. After finding a student, the faculty member is presented with a view similar to the reports detailed above.

The student view will be function similar, but will be restricted to just allowing the student to view their attendance record for a given course similar to the report view mentioned above.