Microsoft Teams has become one of the most important tools in the COVID world. It has the best interfaces across the globe for conducting online meetings or classes and is used by more than 91% of the Fortune 100 companies.
Microsoft Teams has also been successful in the education industry and is used across the globe for conducting online classes. However, one common problem that educators are facing is tracking the attendance of the students with the software.
Since Microsoft Teams does not have a way to mark or capture the in and out times of students, it gets difficult to track attendance.
This article goes over how one can solve this problem and track the attendance of the students. The article talks about the two best ways -Downloading attendance sheets and using time-tracking apps.
Time Tracking Apps
Microsoft Teams has an app store that contains apps that can be easily integrated with Teams for making workflows easy. There are different time-tracking attendance apps available.
Working of Time Tracking Apps
Time Tracking Apps have been designed for businesses; however, they can also be used in the education industry. These apps are not difficult to set up. The time tracking Microsoft Teams software has specialized widgets for Microsoft Teams, making it easy to track the students. After installing a time-tracking software in your Team, one can easily track students after they log in. In case any student leaves in the middle of a class, the software will point this out to you.
As an administrator, one can also set the minimum time that a student needs to be present online with the tracking software. After the session ends, just check the attendance from the tracking dashboard.
At this moment, you can also filter and find out the students who didn’t remain online for the specified time. Although a tracking app can easily do much more, however, as an educator, some of these features might not apply to you.
Best Time Tracking Apps for Microsoft Teams
There is some popular time tracking apps that can be easily integrated with Microsoft Teams. These can be seen below.
- Attendance Bot
- Time Ghost
Disadvantages of Time Tracking
Although Time Tracking might be a perfect option for the students and the school. However, it has some disadvantages that cannot be ignored. Following are some of them:
- A Time Tracking Microsoft Teams software tracks more than just time. In case a student goes out of MS Teams, this software would stop tracking. This can turn out to be an issue if the teaching style of the educator requires switching to online notes and then back to the video call.
- Such a system can be considered as a breach of privacy in some areas. It is highly recommended to confirm whether it is allowed at the place where you are living and teaching.
- This software is usually quite expensive.
Downloading Attendance Sheets
The second alternative to time tracking Microsoft Teams is by downloading attendance sheets. Microsoft Teams has a feature that can essentially be understood as a workaround for a separate attendance tracking feature. After ending a session with the students, an educator would be able to see a download button in the attendees’ tab. After clicking on the download button, an excel sheet would be downloaded. The attendance sheet shows timestamps of when an individual logs in and logs out. One can use Excel filters to further filter out students who left the class early.
Disadvantages of Attendance Sheets
Attendance Sheet is one of the best features of Microsoft Teams. However, it also has some disadvantages that are worth noting. These are as follows:
- A student may join a class, mute themselves, and then log out after doing other things online. The software would not be able to track this.
- If one has multiple video sessions in a single day, filtering or downloading the attendance of each session attendance can be a time-consuming and tiring job for the educator.
- The attendance sheet feature is meant for educators that are using the software. It can have better functionalities and thus need to be further developed.
The attendance sheets and time tracking apps are great tools for tracking the attendance of students. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages. It is an educator’s preference to choose one of these. Make sure you choose one that suits all your needs and requirements. The above article is sure to make it easy for you to choose one.