- Over the years, I had to find a number of solutions for monitoring student attendance in the learning center, by repurposing existing infrastructure (there are dedicated solutions which, however, are often too costly for a departmental center, or not shared well). Here is another idea:
- We’ve used the existing campus-wide MS-Exchange infrastructure’s resource mailboxes for room booking and equipment circulation.
- We have creatively repurposed this infrastructure for managing the staffing of “offices” (center help desk and tutors). Here we needed to allow conflicts:
- multiple students staff the help desk.
- 1 tutor staffs the “office”- 1 additional student can book the tutor.
- Additionally, we set up a time clock system, based on an Excel Macro, to prevent cheating:
- Only the person logging in can sign up to the resource;
- while only the help desk can provide the time clock value.
- It looks like that a similar setup could be extended to support the common requirement that students, while taking a certain course, spend a certain amount of time per week working in the learning center:
- which has been traditionally handled using paper-based sign-in-sheets or, at best, spreadsheets.
- With digital input, the data could be basis for analytics and visualizations, taking advantage of existing tools like MS-Calendaranalytics.
- Such a system would, however, require creation of resource calendar per course section that need to monitor learning center attendance. However, this needs to be done only once and would be reusable, since data can be filtered by input time, as long as no entirely new courses/sections come online.
- But hasn’t mandatory weekly learning center attendance been made obsolete by ubiquitous computing and the web?
- Definitely in some of its more antiquated forms: I have worked at institutions where the computer-savvy students attended the learning center once at the beginning of the term to copy all the learning materials on the network share onto a thumb drive, and I would not want to force somebody to come to the learning center continuously for such a trivial purpose as accessing files on a not-web-accessible network share.
- However, there seems to be a lot of unmined pedagogical value in learning center group work and blended instruction (under tutor supervision), like in a homework emporium (provided your program is big enough to have continuous tutor support and sufficient learner overlap).
Also, it is easy to manage calendars by group calendars, e.g.
Creation of calendar groups is also easy via the outlook address book:
It is Outlook (Desktop) currently only (not Exchange 2010 OWA) that allows for High-level Reporting. And even here, there are limitations:
- Because cancelling from the calendar like in video2 here sends the meeting participants not only a (0)message, which includes a handy “Remove from calendar” button,
- but also – in case they fail to see the message – a (1) “Cancelled” indicator on their calendars,
- while third parties who want to schedule a meeting with the meeting participants, see those participants (including an Rooms that “participate”) as (2) free/available during the time slot of the cancelled meeting,
- as you can see in this example:
Becomes available after a long while:
What can I tell my users how long is the wait currently usually is?
- I would say: S/he can act on your behalf, while you keep in the loop and others see who s/he is acting on behalf of which disintermediates (e.g. saves tags like “This message is sent on behalf of [you]”: The message will appear to originate from you, as it ought to – imagine e.g. that users want to search their email for “from:[you]”).
- Looking for guidance, I find Cornell.edu has generally good instructions for their similar Outlook/Exchange environment, so I also quote them:
- “Just as an assistant can help you manage your paper mail, your assistant can use Outlook to act on your behalf”.
- “If your manager has granted you delegate access, you have the ability to act "on behalf of" him or her. Depending on exactly how much access they’ve given you, you may be able to respond to meeting requests, send out meeting invitations, and handle their email messages.”
- Find more information on delegates here for the source.
- Sounds interesting? Next steps:
- How you can set up a delegate
- what does the delegate see/do
- In Manage another person’s mail and calendar items, you can learn form the source, how to:
- Cornell.edu has generally good instructions for their similar Outlook/Exchange environment, so I just quote them :
Create meeting requests on behalf of your manager: You must be viewing your manager’s calendar in order for the meeting request to appear to come from them rather than you. (How do I view my manager’s calendar?)
If you have more than one calendar open (many people leave both their own calendar and their manager’s calendar open), click anywhere in your manager’s calendar before creating the meeting request.
Notice that in the Scheduling Assistant, your name will not appear. Instead, your manager’s name is included. Which is what you want. So that’s good. Respond to meeting requests on behalf of your manager: [with delegate access,] You can respond to these messages in exactly the same way you would respond to an invitation sent to you.