Automated Attendance with Acadly

Simplifying Contact Tracing for in-person and hybrid classes

Acadly uses mesh network technology to capture attendance at the tap of a button for in-person and hybrid classes. Its proximity data provides timely and granular data for the contact tracing process. It also includes Zoom integration and can be used by instructors to deliver active learning in online and blended synchronous classes.

 

Message from the UIC administration


As UIC reopens for large-scale in-person instruction in Spring 2022, the health and safety of the entire campus community is of paramount importance to the administration. As part of our COVID-19 response, the university is furthering its contact tracing efforts that have been in place since Fall 2021.

An essential part of contact tracing is recording attendance in in-person and hybrid courses, and instructors will have various options regarding how they would like to keep such records. One of the ways being offered to instructors is to use Acadly, a product that has been used by close to 12,000 UIC students in the last few years. If one or more of your instructors is/are using Acadly, please read the following information on how you can use the product.

 

Guides and tutorials for students

If you have any questions, please use the in-app Feedback option to reach out to the Acadly team or send them an email on support+uic@acadly.com. Please expect a response via email within 24 hours.

 

FAQs for students


Do I need to use Acadly?


Only if one or more of your courses is using Acadly for attendance and contact tracing. 


How will I know if my course is using Acadly?


Whenever you are enrolled in a course on Acadly, you will receive an email notification. 


Do I need to set up an Acadly account? How can I do so?
 

If you are enrolled in an Acadly course, please follow the instructions in the email and set up your Acadly account (if you don't already have one). This helps the instructor and the contact tracing team take timely action and inform you in case there's any cause for concern. 


I already have an Acadly account. I received an email that I have been added to a new course. What do I need to do?
 

Nothing. For anyone with an existing Acadly account, new courses will show up in their account automatically.


I need to add / drop a course. What do I need to do.
 

Please consult with your instructor if your Acadly course is "linked" with your Blackboard course.
  • If your Acadly course is linked with the Blackboard course, you will be added to / dropped from the course automatically
  • If not, the instructor can add you to / drop you from the course manually


How does Acadly's attendance work?
 

Acadly discovers students in the professors' proximity using a mesh-network technology that uses Bluetooth and WiFi.

 

Is it compulsory to be connected to the WiFi?

 
No. Acadly works even if you are connected to the internet via mobile data / LTE. However, connecting to WiFi is recommended so that you have a stable internet connection.

 

I "checked in" to a class. Does this mean I have been marked as present?

 
No. The "checked in" status is only so that you can engage with the activities shared during the class (if any). If you attended the class, please ensure that your status is "present" and not "checked in".

 

What device(s) do I need to use?

 
You need the Acadly app (available on Android and iOS) on your phone / tablet.

Acadly is available on the web as well, but the automatic attendance feature works only on the apps. Other features like responding to activities work on the website too.

 

What if I do not have a phone or if it's switched off?

 
Please let your instructor / teaching assistant know and they can manually mark you "Present" as well.


Does this run continuously and drain my battery?


No. The attendance process, once started by the instructor, runs for about two minutes and then ends automatically.


Does this use GPS?


No. The Acadly app does not use GPS and does not track the physical location of anyone. On Android devices, the app does ask for permission to access GPS, but that's because of an Android quirk which combines Bluetooth / WiFi scanning permissions along with "location" permissions.

However, while the app has to ask for this permission due to technical reasons, GPS data is neither collected nor stored by Acadly at any time.


Has Acadly been reviewed for compliance with FERPA?


Yes, Acadly has been reviewed for compliance with FERPA by multiple universities, including UIC. For any specific questions regarding data privacy, please reach out to us at support+uic@acadly.com.


I'm in class and have the app installed but have not been marked present. How can I get help?


Firstly, to ensure that your status is recorded correctly, please approach the instructor at the end of the lecture and let them know that you faced an issue. They can mark you present manually as well.

Please refer to the student guide for auto-attendance, the troubleshooting guide for Android users, and the troubleshooting guide for iOS users.

If you do not find a solution here, please use the in-app Feedback option to reach out to the Acadly team or send them an email on support+uic@acadly.com. Please expect a response via email within 24 hours.

 

Privacy Statement


Acadly has been reviewed by UIC for compliance with data privacy laws such as FERPA and GDPR. Moreover, the UIC team has put in efforts to get a deeper understanding of how the attendance automation technology works and if it is likely to pose any risks from a security and privacy viewpoint. Some of the key points to note are as follows:
  • Acadly does not collect any personally identifiable information except users' names and email addresses
  • Acadly does not use GPS to capture attendance. Although the Acadly Android app asks for "location permissions", this is done in order to get access to Bluetooth and WiFi data and not GPS data. The apps do not track physical location at any time for any reason.
  • Data centers used to store data are geographically inside the US
  • The app does not target any kind of advertising at its users
  • Personally Identifiable Information is not used for commercial purposes such as targeting ads at users, or selling data to third parties.
  • The Acadly platform does not earn revenue through any other means except charging university customers / user institutions for the software itself. In other words, the company does not have a business model such as sharing student data with possible recruiters.
  • The app already hosts data for close to 12,000 UIC students (as of Dec 2021) and no security or privacy incidents have been reported to the administration since 2018 (when the app was first used in UIC).
We encourage you to reach out to the UIC administration or to the Acadly team in case you have any specific questions. The complete privacy policy is here.

 

By using this website, you agree with our privacy policy and terms of use.

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