The need to validate a cardholder’s rights for an activity, verify their rights to use a service, or to record attendance has been a long-standing requirement on college campuses. Heartland has always provided terminals to meet these needs. However, we felt we could improve our solution by providing a simple, mobile solution that could also be self-serve. CheckIn is a mobile tablet application that has many beneficial uses on any campus. It can be installed on iOS and Android tablets with certified plug in and Bluetooth readers for magnetic stripe, Mifare, Prox, and iClass cards.
The requirements to take advantage of CheckIn are OneCard versions 6.8.1 or 6.9, installation of the Transaction Web Service, and the OneCard Access Module. CheckIn can be configured to require an operator or it can function in unattended mode where it will operate as a self-serve kiosk. The setup allows you to configure it for check in only or both check in and check out, recording the total time in an activity. It responds with an easy to read “Pass” or “Fail” and also displays the cardholder’s OneCard photo.
We developed the application in response to requests for a simple, straight-forward attendance tracking application that could work in any mobile environment that is Wi-Fi or cellular. Initially, it was designed to record doctors making their healthcare Grand Rounds. When the application was introduced to other campuses, they came up with a multitude of imaginative ways to use CheckIn:
- Campus bus shuttles for validation, traffic count boarding at each stop, and which groups of OneCard holders were utilizing the shuttle service at each stop.
- Residence Halls where non-resident students and staff need to manually sign in/out on paper.
- Buildings that have staff or safety officers that manually check ID cards.
- Campuses that require chapel attendance.
- Student Activities and Event authorizations.
- Time and Attendance capturing total time per cardholder in activity or for processing labor hours.
- Class Room attendance.
- Athletic Event validation.
- Student Health Services appointment verification.
- Tracking the purpose for using a facility or service, such as in a Career Center where students can choose if they are there for counseling, workshops, mock interviews, employer recruiting & development, pre-professional advising, alumni relations, internships, self-assessment, or career research.
These are just a few uses that have been brought to our attention. Just as important as insuring verifiable validation, several clients have told us that CheckIn will provide data analytics to assist in determining if programs and services are successful in targeting the intended populations and if certain activities are worth the cost of producing.
After a short trial period, Dalhousie University reported, “What used to be long lines of people signing in on paper, which all had to be transposed to Excel or other apps later, has now become a simple tap of a card with visual confirmation and in they go. The demo has already saved hours of labor and overall the larger implementation will save a lot more time leaving people to have useful statistics to improve programs instead of being mired in data entry.” The testing was so successful that Dalhousie purchased 50 tablets for distribution to several departments to enable them to use our CheckIn application.
A single CheckIn tablet can be used for multiple events. Reporting is based upon the date and time an activity is held – you simply run the appropriate access report for the applicable date and time period. This means, for example, that your Student Government could have one tablet that can be used for multiple events and activities. It is as simple as that.