The University of Leeds has recently introduced a new update for its smartphone app, UniLeeds, which enables students to use Bluetooth to confirm attendance. With the update, some schools and departments now require that students ‘check-in’ at certain lecture theatres using their phones, and are therefore no longer handing out physical registers during lectures.
However, students who do not own either an iPhone, an Android device, or a smartphone that has Bluetooth enabled, cannot sign in using the UniLeeds app. An alert on the app itself informed students of what to do if “you are unable to use your mobile to check in”.
It stated: “Please log into the Portal within 24 hours of the activity to register your attendance on a cluster PC.”
Masters student, Victoria Randall, informed The Gryphon of her concerns:
“Because I have a Windows phone, I will be required to sign in to a computer cluster after each and every session to prove that I attended! As a busy full-time MSc student, this is not a good use of my time, and I believe this places me at an unfair disadvantage for a trivial reason.”
However, the new update is designed to make life easier for students, not be an obstacle. A University spokesperson said: “The Check-in function on the UniLeeds app saves students and colleagues both time and effort, compared to methods for signing in used in past years.
“Our research suggests that over 95% of students have access to a compatible device for Check-in, but those that don’t can register their attendance via the Portal.
“We are keen to understand issues that arise from the introduction of Check-in so we can keep improving it, and would ask students to let us know what they think via their course reps.”