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Attendance System

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  • Attendance System

    I need help with an attendance system which has been bothering me for a while.
    The Scenario: A company provides Seminars (expl a seminar on Gardening in April, a seminar on Programming in June, etc...). Each seminar is divided into sessions/days (session1, session2, session3, etc...). People sign up for a seminar of their choice. Say, 25 people signed up for Seminar7 that has 5 sessions. The 25 names are recorded in a Registration table which is a child table of Seminars. Thus, when viewing a parent record (Seminar) we can can see the list of people who signed up for each Seminar. So far so good.
    My big issue is designing an attendance system to keep track of who showed up, who did not. The best I could do was this:
    I created an Attendance table with the following fields: SeminarID, SessionID, Name, Attended (T or F).
    For each session, I import the names from Registration table for the parent record and select T or F if the student attended or not. For expl: If 30 people signed up for Seminar28 (Registration tbl for this Seminar shows 30 child record) that has 5 sessions, the Attendance table receives 5 times the 30 same records=150 records to keep track of attendances; in other words, a name is duplicated as many times as there are sessions in a seminar. This is clearly not an efficient way. An Excel version would have the 30 names listed only once in rows and 5 columns (1 for each session) where the user just tick T or F.
    Any suggestions, pointers will be highly appreciated. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Attendance System

    I struggled with this as well. To be efficient, I de-normalized a bit. I created an Attendance table with SeminarID, StudentID and then 60 Session columns S_01, S_02, etc field type T/F. Sixty was selected as the maximum number of sessions any Seminar would ever have. The SeminarID ties back to a Seminar table with 60 SessionDate columns. So in my Attendance table I have only one record for each Student per Seminar. Pain comes when you need to run a report of who attended between dates, etc. But it is also easy to add a Student late in the seminar series.

    Also, on the data-entry side they don't bother to record who is present, they only record absence. So, in the table a True=Absent.

    I don't know if my method is best practice so I hope others will also discuss.
    Steve Wood
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    • #3
      Re: Attendance System

      Hi Steve:
      I had thought and tried that route a few months ago but hit 2 issues:
      1)the Attendance grid will always show all the 60 columns; so need to dynamically hide the unnecessary columns depending on the nbr of sessions of each seminar.
      2) Need to dynamically display in Attendance grid the session dates ascending from left to right as col heading instead of Session1, Session2, Session3.... or Day1, Day2, Day3...
      Will give it another shot.
      Thanks for replying.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Re: Attendance System

        This is always a problem. You could do it the normalized way, where there is one set of session records (grandchild) for each student w. a (T/F) attendance. Then use a report w. calc fields to display the results horizontally. But otherwise, I like Steve's method.
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