China just came up with a fast and easy way to check students’ attendance and, at the same time, track those who skipped school – by using modern technology. According to reports, Hangzhou, Zhejiang’s Hangzhou Dianzi University has recently started utilizing a checking system based on artificial intelligence.
The new tech requires students to sign in with verification codes using their mobile devices. The smart system also automatically contacts those who are late and absent.
Students who fail to attend their classes get a message that says “Hello, this is little AI, an intelligent voice assistant from the counsellors of Hangzhou Dianzi University. I notice you were absent from class today.” Later, the students’ responses are recorded and used in a follow-up meeting with a school staff.
In an interview, Hu Haibin, deputy director of the university students’ affairs office shared how the new tech has helped make the teachers’ lives much easier.
“The response time is only 36 seconds, and the teacher can manually reduce that time. Although it is not possible to eliminate cheating altogether, we have reduced the possibility to a minimum through manual intervention.”
So far, feedback about the AI-powered system has mostly been positive.
“Presently, this app has covered more than 50 percent of our courses. Previously, it took a teacher about seven to eight minutes to call absentees, but now the whole process can be completed in 15 seconds.
“After two weeks of operation, the average attendance rate of the same class has increased by seven percent compared with the previous semester.”
So what happens to students who suddenly change their numbers? Well they’re not off the hook yet!
As Hu pointed out:
“Even if the student attempts to escape the ‘Little AI’ call by changing his or her phone number, the absentee record still exists.”
The counselor will then personally contact the absentee student and ask for his or her reason. Academic guidance or psychological counseling will be provided for students who need them.
“Through the big data summary, we can classify student issues, find the real reason for an individual’s willingness to attend classes, and then guide them to tackle the problem, which is the greatest significance of our development and use of this intelligent system,” explained Hu.
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