Tracking attendance is incredibly important for any online learning program. While often forgotten about, it provides valuable feedback that helps course creators improve their curriculum while getting learners better results.
Firstly, tracking attendance helps to identify the sessions students are most interested in attending. If you offer a variety of live events inside your program like office hours, mentor sessions, and ice breakers, by tracking attendance for Zoom calls, you may notice that students prefer one type of session over another. When running your next cohort, you may decide to stop or start hosting certain events as a result.
On the other hand, it may help you pinpoint the students who are falling behind on their coursework and prompt you to develop creative ways to re-engage them. Who do you need to provide additional support to? Or perhaps you need to create a better reminder system so students don’t miss live classes. Here are some ways to stop the rapid decline in student engagement. Lastly, having a high attendance rate may be something that makes your online program stand out from the rest, attracting even more students in future cohorts.
Either way, tracking attendance throughout your online learning program is a powerful tool. There are a few ways to complete this task, including manually tracking attendance, using Zoom's default attendance setting, or Virtually's Event Manager.
Good old pen and paper, creating a spreadsheet, or using cloud-based database management tools like Notion and Airtable can help you manually track attendance. While this methodology is accurate, it leaves room for human error. It’s also time-consuming. Not only do you have to find the right time during class to take attendance (for example, learners may be late to class or enter and exit the Zoom session due to poor connectivity), but you also want to avoid disrupting the classroom flow. Furthermore, this manual approach is not scalable, meaning the more students you have enrolled in a course, the more challenging it becomes.
Did you know that by default, Zoom tracks meeting attendance?
While handy, Zoom’s data is limited. Although you can identify the number of meeting participants, their names and email addresses, and how long they attended the meeting, Zoom’s reports aren’t always accurate. If a participant has technology issues throughout the session, Zoom may not capture data correctly. Zoom also does not provide analytical data that helps course instructors spot learner trends like identifying members with the highest and lowest attendance rate.
Virtually’s Event Manager offers the best solution for tracking attendance for Zoom calls throughout online learning programs. Custom-built for online course creators that host live classes, Virtually’s Event Manager is over 97% accurate. Advanced reporting features include if a student was late or on time to a meeting, the time they logged into the call, a list of people who missed the event, and feedback from automatic surveys sent to attendees after the event. Virtually also takes care of sending out automated event reminders (example: 10 minutes and 1 hour before the event), and you can easily export data to Airtable or any other platforms capable of importing CSV files.
Overall, our Event Manager takes care of event reminders, attendance tracking, and reporting so you can have all the insights needed to make informed decisions about your course business.
Danielle Desir is an author, freelance writer and the host of The Thought Card, an affordable-travel and personal finance podcast. (danielledesir.com) Follow on Twitter: @thethoughtcard