Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Why Students Hate Taking the Exam?

Procrastination is the longest four-letter word in the dictionary. We're all guilty of it from time to time. We set out to clear the old inbox or clean the garage out and, lo and behold, that 1970's television mini-series starring Lee Majors and Rip Torn that we haven't seen in years comes on the tube. We're lost for the day. One thing finds its way to another and, soon enough, we're knee-deep in popcorn and comfy pillows instead of being knee-deep in clearing the garage of stuffed animals and toys we saved from the 1950's. On the other hand, who knows, one can never be entirely certain that Hula-Hoops and Slinky's won't come in handy some day, can they?

The tendency to procrastinate is bred into us at an early age. We can't be blamed for it. Like procrastination, Americans and Westerners in general have an excellent propensity to seek and assign blame. This also is bred into us at an early age. The dog ate my homework. Need I say more? So who can we blame for teaching us to both procrastinate, and, well, blame people for our flaws? The public school system, that's who. You wouldn't be saying the dog ate my homework anywhere else, would you? When all else fails, blame Government operated agencies.

So how does the public school system teach us to procrastinate? With loathsome practices such as homework, long-term projects (like the dreaded science project), and oh yes, the universally hated Final Exam. Why put off today what you can still put off tomorrow? Because you can, that's why. At the very heart of it, this is what procrastination is, putting off priorities to do more urgent things like watching cartoons, playing games and listening to music. School not only allows for procrastination it encourages the practice of putting things off.

How so you ask? Because by design, teachers and courses put things off for days, often months, and then reward you for hurrying to get them done. They introduce us to principles like end of the term exams, 'long-term projects' and 'quarterly grades'. All things that seem far off and distant. Harmless even, until, that is, the due date arrives, sped up as if delivered via a time machine that only devious educators hold the controls.

One day you're watching Spongebob Squarepants with 7 or 8 weeks until your science project is due. Your final exams are getting close and the next thing you know, it's midnight, and you're tracing a human heart out of the dictionary and copying words like aorta that make no sense to you. You have to do it, so you can turn something in the next morning as a science project to avoid getting a zero (even though your planned project was to create a working volcano with exploding lava). So what does all of this flurry of activity get you? A C+ for a grade, that's what, because at least you turned something in and showed some effort. Effort in the school system equals average. That's why we have so many career shoe salesman and burger flippers in this world. And the Good Lord knows we need designer shoes and cholesterol in a wrapper, right?

Next thing you know after you 'complete' your makeshift project, you're cramming because the exams you've ignored all year are upon you, and there's no more putting studying off. Cramming means: "To force, press, or squeeze into an insufficient space; stuff," or "To study hastily for an impending examination..." Only in America would we use a term that means squeezing knowledge into a brain with insufficient space when it comes to studying for an exam. So you've been rewarded with an average grade for simply trying, at the last second, to put something, anything together to keep yourself from being grounded because of your science project. So how does this cramming thing work out?

Well, while taking your science exam, you put down answers like aorta and pulmonary valve because they come back to you from places you don't even recognize. Cramming flashbacks fill your mind with things like 'Big Bang Theory'. Now, you're pretty sure that's a TV show or something, but isn't it a relevant science term too? Before you know it, you get a C on your final exam, even though you ignored it for most of the term, until the last second. That, coupled with your C+ from your science project, and all of the A's and B's you received on your daily work that you were forced to pay attention to every day (which make up 80% of your grade) give you a B- on your report card. You're not only spared a grounding from your parents, they buy you a toy or give you $5 for getting good grade.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Do You Need To School Time Clock Software?

Private businesses primarily use employee time clock software to keep track of regular and overtime hours worked for payroll purposes. But time clock software isn't limited to just private business. Non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and educational institutions all use time clock software to track time spent on different projects and activities. This article will focus on how schools use time and attendance software to solve a variety of time tracking challenges. I've talked to a lot of schools about their time clock needs over the years and I've come to realize that in most cases, schools use time clock software for three reasons.

Simplify Employee Payroll
One reason schools use time clock software is to track hours worked by non-salaried employees. Much like private industry, they do this to make payroll processing more efficient. Schools need a time tracking solution for bus drivers, custodial workers, food service staff, administrative employees, and even for teachers that may get paid an hourly rate for after school programs. Schools want to keep staff accountable for their hours worked, and staff know they're getting paid accurately because their punch times are being impartially recorded. An efficient method for going from time card to paycheck makes punch clock software the best choice for keeping track of hours for payroll processing.

Track Student Workers
Another reason schools use time and attendance software is to track hours for student workers. These may be paid student workers or just volunteers that need to keep track of their hours for other reasons. These are usually part-time workers and the department roster changes every semester, which is easy to handle with time and attendance software. We see this a lot with our colleges and universities. Reports of student work hours can be sent to the payroll department for paycheck processing each pay period, or hours for the entire semester can be sent to the appropriate monitoring department to confirm the minimum threshold of hours worked has been met for financial aid obligations. Punch clock software helps get student workers paid in a timely manner and holds them accountable for hours worked.

Report Classroom Hours
The third reason schools turn to time clock software is to log the number of hours spent in the classroom by students. We see this a lot with our technical and adult education schools that require minimum classroom training hours for certain technical fields. It also helps instructors keep up with attendance requirements since students just punch in as they enter the classroom. Weekly status reports can help instructors identify attendance problems before they get out of hand. Time and attendance software is invaluable for tracking hours spent in learning labs by students as required under their IEPs or tutoring requirements. Punch clock software is a great tool for tracking student learning time in and out of the regular classroom.