University suspends digital check-in for second semester

The University of Leeds has announced in an email to all students that digital check-in will no longer be available for the second semester of the 2016-17 year. Schools will be reverting back to a paper-based system instead.

The email states: ‘A decision has been made to suspend digital attendance monitoring.  Although digital check-in worked for most students, we are not satisfied with the overall quality of the system.  We are currently in the process of developing new functionality to ensure that the system works well for all students.’

Digital check-in was introduced for all schools last semester and for some was compulsory.

However, many students found that digital check-in was far from convenient. In order to check-in using the UniLeeds app, students had to own an Android or Apple phone. If not, students were required to use a cluster PC to check-in for each individual registration.

Even for those who could use it, the system would sometimes fail, leading some students and tutors to abandon it entirely.

Some even saw the system as an invasion of privacy, likening the extra digital surveillance to Orwell’s Big Brother.

While for many the system worked fine, and was certainly faster than paper registers, the decision to scrap digital check-in reflects the extent of dissatisfaction among students and staff.

For now, students will have to remember to take a pen to lectures, but perhaps that’s a small price to pay for a system that works every time.

Euan Hammond

(Image: University of Leeds)

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