In this article, you'll learn how to use the kiosk mode to automatically take attendance in your courses. You can, of course, also take attendance using the Course > Attendance view or Populi's mobile apps(iOS or Android)—and record online course participation.
Here's a quick look at how the kiosk mode works:
- Shortly before the class meeting time begins, you set up the kiosk on the meeting time's attendance page.
- After entering a few settings (when to mark students tardy or absent, etc.), you log out of the device.
- Students scan their Student IDs (with Populi-generated barcodes) as they arrive to class.
- Populi automatically records their arrival times and determines their attendance statuses (present, tardy, etc.).
- Finally, you close the kiosk and log back in to Populi.
The attendance kiosk works by connecting a device on which the kiosk is running to a barcode scanner. Students then scan their IDs so the scanner can transmit their check-in times to the kiosk. Accordingly, you'll need:
- One or more devices running the kiosk: A laptop or iPad would work best, but even a smartphone would do the trick. You can have multiple devices running the kiosk—for example, you might set up two kiosks to cover a large lecture hall with two separate entrances.
- A barcode scanner: Each device needs to be connected to its own barcode scanner. There are numerous USB and Bluetooth-capable barcode scanners available at various retailers.
- Student IDs: Whether printed or stored on one of Populi's mobile apps, students will need to present a scannable ID that includes the Populi-generated barcode in order to check in to a class meeting time.
Running the kiosk
You can start the kiosk any time within six hours of the beginning of the meeting time (provided it hasn't ended). For example, if your lecture starts at 3:45 PM and ends at 5:30PM, you can start the kiosk any time between 9:45 AM and 5:30PM. Here are the steps you'll follow:
- Go to the Course > Attendance view.
- Click the meeting time.
- In the right column under Info, click Start Attendance Kiosk.
- On the Configure... screen, select when to start taking attendance, when to mark them tardy, and after which time to mark them absent.
- Click Log Out and Stark Kiosk. You'll be logged out of your Populi account.
- The kiosk will automatically start and shut down according to the times you entered on the Configure... screen.
- If you're using multiple devices/scanners for a single meeting time, log in to your account on the additional devices and repeat the above steps (except the configuration mentioned in Step 4).
- Before the kiosk starts, you'll see a screen like this:
- While students are checking in, the screen will display this:
- If you need to stop the kiosk before the scheduled time, click the X in the upper right of the screen. You'll need to log back in to Populi in order to stop it.