August 10, 2006

THES catches up

Follow-up to Nanny state? from Prole Art Threat

Not often I can be said to be ahead of the news but pleased to note that THES has caught up with previous post:

Uni-Nanny is watching

Phil Baty
Published: 04 August 2006

Students are being "electronically tagged" so that their attendance at lectures and tutorials can be closely monitored as part of moves to reduce drop–out rates. An electronic monitoring system called Uni–Nanny, under which students identify themselves at every "learning event" with individual computer chips in their key rings, is already in use at Glamorgan University, which developed the technology. The product has just been bought by Napier University, and deals are set to be signed with two other institutions. Technological solutions, including fingerprint scanners, have also been mooted.
Critics say that the phenomenon represents an alarming trend towards "Big Brother" surveillance and the nannying of students who should be self–motivated. But enthusiasts argue that efficient attendance monitoring is proven to reduce drop–out rates by quickly identifying students who are failing to engage with their courses.

Oh what fun

- 4 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Steven Carpenter

    What a terrible name for a product. Surely tagging students to persuade them to attend lectures is missing the point entirely?

    10 Aug 2006, 08:49

  2. Nick

    I take it that this isn’t something for Warwick?

    I certainly hope not, in my second year I badly failed a module despite attending the majority of the lectures so I wouldn’t have been picked up for “failing to engage”. However, I would have thought that the fact I was struggling ought to have been picked up when I failed a mid-term exam, but it was never mentioned.

    Surely the results of assessed work through the year should already provide an indication of who is engaged with the course rather than just engaged with lectures?

    10 Aug 2006, 10:47

  3. Matthew

    I think Warwick should be tagging its professorial staff so that statistics can be compiled about how many departmental seminars they don’t bother turning up to.

    10 Aug 2006, 17:50

  4. I have to say I edo not think this is a route that Warwick would be likely to pursue. I think that the issue of student withdrawals is just much more complicated than lecture attendance.

    And they really should have come up with a better name!

    11 Aug 2006, 12:28

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