Wednesday, September 14, 2016

5 Reasons You Should Beta Test Software

Software companies are almost always looking for users to test their new products, especially end users without a technological background. While software companies benefit from beta testers, you may not realize the myriad of benefits beta testing provides to the tester. So why beta test?

A Program Personalized for You!: During the beta test, you’ll hear frequently from the developer, who will want to know about your experience. Is the software working as you expected it to? Can you think of any features that might enhance the program? Beta testing is a crucial time when the software will be most malleable to changes, and your thoughts and ideas are likely to be implemented into the final product. Which means the final product is very likely to match your specific needs. It’s the closest you can get to designing software without actually having to design it!

Risk-Free Testing: When you need a program for a specific function, you usually don’t have much time or opportunity to really test a program before you have to decide if you want to buy it. With beta testing, especially if you enter it early, you have the opportunity to test the software and get to know it thoroughly before you decide to buy. This allows you to truly determine if the program will meet your needs, so if you do decide to purchase it once the test ends, you’re much more likely to be satisfied with your decision and the final product.

Opportunities for Professional Development: Whether you’re looking to move into a new position or excel in your current one, you probably take professional development very seriously. You may not have realized that beta testing is actually a great opportunity for professional development. By learning the ins and outs of a new program before anyone else, you increase your value as an employee. Best of all, since some professional development opportunities can be costly, this is a FREE way for you to get extra experience and boost your resume.

Monetary Benefits: Often times, developers will offer a discount or free add-ons to testers once the program is available to the public. They understand that beta testing takes time out of your busy schedule, and they want to show their appreciation for playing an important role in the development process.

Easy Adaptation: You know that whenever you need to purchase a new software, there is usually a lot of time between purchasing a product and eventual implementation. Beta testing can cut down on that significantly. If you decide to purchase the product once it launches, you’ll be one of the few users who already has extensive knowledge of the software. This gives you the ability to adapt and implement the product quickly, allowing it to meet your needs even sooner.

If beta testing sounds like it might be for you, you should know that Engineerica is currently seeking testers for our new program, AccuCampus, as well as some upcoming features for our other products! Contact us today for more information, and reap the benefits of beta testing! Reach us by phone at 407-542-4982 or by email at

Monday, April 20, 2015

Database Location Decisions-When to share a database location between college programs.

One of the more difficult decisions to be made when deploying AccuSQL across a campus or when adding entities to an existing system is whether or not to place all entities on one database or give some, or all of them separate databases. The general criteria used to come to the best decision is often based on the following:

·         How often entities would be able to make good use of tracking data collected by other entities.
·         The level of sensitivity of the tracking data collected within an entity.
·         How the management of several databases impacts the technical staff charged with their maintenance.
·         The funding sources for each entity.
·         The scope of reporting needs for both the individual entities as well as the institution.

Based on the above criteria, the types of entities most often placed on a separate database include grant funded programs, student behavioral or health related programs, disabilities services and programs where there is no need to store all students on the student table. Types of entities that almost always share a database include student affairs departments (advising, financial aid, registration, new student orientation), student life, housing, fitness locations, honors programs, and student support programs (tutoring, mentoring, supplemental instruction). Using this criteria should result in the ability of the separated entities to report more easily to their outside funding source while the entities sharing a database location can leverage cooperation between themselves for the sake of student success. The more entities share databases, the more institution wide reporting will have the ability to address a student’s usage of resources from the moment the student registers for a new student orientation onward to when the student graduates. Institutional reporting becomes more comprehensive the more campus entities use a shared database.

Here is a list of pros and cons to consider when deciding if your department/program should have a separate database location:

Pros of a Separate Database
§  Avoids commingling student records between services offered by different funding sources.
§  Allows the program to use the unique student profile to pre-qualify prospective participants when services are offered only to eligible students.
§  Allows the program to project participation rates by tracking recruiting processes.
§  Safeguarding of sensitive records.
§  Easier report creation as filters for non-participants are not needed.

Cons of a Separate Database
§  Technical support will have to repeat updates and imports for the separate database.
§  Usage of other campus resources by participants will not be viewable in the separate database.
§  Campus partners will not be able to view usage of resources by participants in the separate database.
§  Resources available elsewhere on campus will not be included in the Individual Educational Action items for users in the separate database.
§  Individual Educational action items assigned by other programs and departments will not be viewable by users in the separate database.
§ Institutional reporting will be not be seamless and will have more opportunity for duplication issues.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Individual Educational Action Plans for an SSS Grant Competition

Many of our customers are currently writing a TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) grant so there have been many questions posed to us here at Engineerica concerning the AccuSQL Student Success Plan. Individual counseling is a crucial piece to a successful SSS program however, documenting this interaction has always been difficult and time consuming. While many TRiO programs use different titles for their plans, the purpose of an individual education action plan, or success plan as we call them in AccuSQL, is to provide a student with a clear set of objectives which will lead them to success in college. The following statements may be useful for TRiO SSS programs who use, or plan to use AccuSQL 2015:

For the plan of action section of the TRiO grant:

Through the use of AccuSQL student tracking software to document face to face interactions, individual educational action plans (IEAP) will be designed for each participant. The software allows the program to house all of the resources available to participants at both the program and institutional level as action items. When program specialists meet face to face with participants, they will utilize the ability in the software to assign the action items to individual students as a plan for success. The software will document the plan for both the specialist as well as the student. Action items on an individual educational action plan can be set as completed once the student makes use of the suggested resource. Students will receive reminders via email and or text of uncompleted items in their IEAP.

For the evaluation plan section of the TRiO grant:

In order to access the impact program resources have on student success, the individual educational action plans of all participants will be analyzed by cohort. Assessments comparing the use of program resources as well as institutional resources to the rate of persistence to graduation can be conducted. Program resources that have a strong correlation with successful students will be further enhanced while program resources that are not strongly correlated to student success will be reviewed. This method can assist in the determination of which allowable services should continue to be supported by the program and which institutional resources work best for program participants.

In order to assess the impact individual counseling has on student success among the participants, the individual educational action plans can be analyzed with respect to assignment completion rates. When specialists offer individualized counseling, the resulting action taken by the student should support that student’s success. The action item completion rates on the IEAPs stored in the student tracking software can be compared to the students’ persistence to graduation as well as to fall to fall persistence. Low rates of completion for IEAP assignments should correlate with attrition in the program as well as the institution. A low frequency of assignments in a plan should also correlate with student attrition as the student is not receiving enough personal contact from program staff or others on campus. Both assessments will give the program insight to remedies for the provision of effective individual counseling.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Student Success Plans

Easily Manage Academic Intervention Initiatives Like Early Alert

As colleges became more accessible after the 1960s, the student population not only increased in size but also increased in diversity. With this larger, more diverse population, student attrition has remained a leading issue with an even larger price tag attached. In response to the cost of losing students in higher education, many colleges have begun using interventions which focus on increasing the retention of their students. One of the more popular methods of intervention currently in use attempts to identify students struggling early in the semester and is often referred to as “Early Alert”. Many colleges and universities have committees and programs which design processes allowing staff and faculty members to submit alerts for students who display common behaviors associated with the risk of dropping out of college. The alerts are then handled by persons or programs/departments who have resources that will be helpful for the at-risk student. The resources are customized to each student according to what is presenting itself as a barrier to the at-risk student.  The application of unique remedies for at-risk students is sometimes referred to as an individual education action plan. These plans incorporate many of the proven practices for student retention and are so successful, they are required in all TRiO Student Support Services grants and have been for some time.

As these alert systems and resulting plans mature, colleges and universities are noticing the absence of tools available to help manage this very convoluted process. Unfortunately, most software developed for higher education is focused on two major aspects; institutional data such as enrollment and tuition, and on content presented in courses. Software that is designed to help manage a case load of struggling students while tracking their use of resources on campus is almost non-existent. The few systems that do exist rely heavily on the referral of resources to the struggling students, with little design centered on assisting the dedicated staff, faculty, and students who assist the at-risk students with managing and more importantly, assessing the value of these resources and interactions. Engineerica addresses this issue in their new, 2015 version of AccuSQL/AccuTrack through a new feature called Student Success Plans.

In order to design a success plan for college level students, Engineerica had to first identify questions about Early Alert initiatives that needed answering. As colleges and universities invest more and more dollars into these intervention methods, they need a way to answer important questions about the effectiveness of their programs. A few of the most important questions needing an answer include:

  • Which methods of reaching out to a student are most effective?
  • Which resources are used most by struggling students?
  • Are the students who follow the prescribed remedies for their failing performance more likely to succeed?

Keeping those broad assessment goals in mind, Engineerica then tackled the important aspects of managing the plans. This management has its own set of questions as well:

  • Who will identify the student in need? How?
  • Who should be assigning action items?
  • How does a student complete an assignment?
  • Who will verify the item is complete?

The result is a success plan that collects data that will help address the broad assessment questions while empowering staff, faculty, and students with a management tool designed to be easy and available to everyone involved.

The Student Success Plan feature in AccuSQL/AccuTrack begins with the creation of action items. These items include information as to where the student can find what is needed to compete an item and move closer to success. An example action item may suggest the student locate the tutoring center and make an appointment with a chemistry tutor.


The notes in this item are unique to the item itself and should include persistent information like the location of the tutoring center and the process for making an appointment.


These items are then assigned to students as needed. When an assignment is given, the person assigning the item will show, more notes can be added that should be specific to the student, a deadline can be set for completion of the item, and the student will receive an email with all of the information about the item.



In this example, the person working with the student will most likely be the same person that completes the item once the student has a quiz result to share. Not all action items are completed by the same person who assigns the item. Let’s use financial aid as an example. Let’s imagine that a student came to his academic advisor after his classes were dropped just before the semester began. After some investigation, the advisor finds that the student’s Pell grant has not been packaged because of a rejected SAR so the classes were not secured with funds. The advisor then assigns the student an action item which was created by the financial aid department.



Because this university uses AccuSQL/AccuTrack in both their advising center as well as their financial aid department, the financial aid advisor will be able to complete this item once the student meets with her. The financial aid advisor is able to make notes as well, however, these notes are not shared with the student rather they become similar to session logs in AccuSQL/AccuTrack’s regular logs. Now when the academic advisor reviews this student’s success plan, she will see the student has met with the financial aid advisor and has received advice.


Not only did the financial advisor determine the cause of the rejection, she also added to the student’s plan.


The academic advisor can now rest assured that the student is on his way to remedy the situation and successfully attend another semester. When the student returns to her, a simple review of his success plan will refresh her memory of his situation regardless of how much time has passed. Keep in mind, this situation could have resulted in the student dropping from college, yet, the issue was remedied even before most Early Alert processes would have identified the issue.

As plans are developed for students, programs can begin to run reports on their effectiveness in regards to student retention. The Student Success plan in AccuSQL/AccuTrack will report the number of action items assigned to students and then show a percentage of those assignments that were completed by the student both within the deadline and those that were completed late. These percentages can be compared with institutional data on enrollment. Now that we have an idea of how the Student Success plans work, let’s return to the questions.

  • Which methods of reaching out to a student are most effective?

To answer this question, Early Alert programs can test which communication venues seem to result in the most responses from students. Let’s use the rejected SAR example. If the Early Alert program made a student group of the students reported by financial aid as having a rejected SAR, they could then use AccuSQL/AccuTrack’s Student Success feature to assign each of them the action item that asks them to meet with their financial advisor. They could then run reports on that same group of students to see how many actually visited their financial aid advisor. Each time they assign student groups action items, they can compare how many students actually responded as well as administer surveys to the students in the group as far as why they did or did not respond.

  • Which resources are used most by struggling students?

Making use of the Action Item Type and Mnemonic fields when creating action items can help identify which if these action items are completed most often by the students. Furthermore, each time Early Alert student groups are created, those groups can be used to run standard visits reports in AccuSQL/AccuTrack.

  • Are the students who follow the prescribed remedies for their failing performance more likely to succeed?

Reports showing the percentage of completion in a Student Success plan can be compared to the enrollment, GPAs, and even graduation rates of the students using the plans.

  • Who will identify the student in need? How?

This question addresses one of the toughest barriers to success for any intervention endeavor. Indications of struggle from a student rarely come from one source, therefore, the most promising answer to this question will include many entities on campus. The people responsible for identifying at-risk students will be a combination of institutional research personnel, Early Alert program personnel, faculty, staff, and even students. Colleges and universities who have developed retention initiatives have usually already identified this group.

  • Who should be assigning action items?

The assignment of an action item should always be made by the person to whom the student will seek when attempting to complete the item. It would not be of any help to a student if an analyst in the university’s IR department who was able to run a report showing first time in college students who are also first generation in college students with a cumulative GPA below 2.5 who have visited the university’s Academic Resource center less than 5 times this semester was also the person to assign the student an action item suggesting they visit the ARC before midterm exams. The report should be shared with the ARC’s academic intervention program so that when the students respond, they will be able to reach out to the staff members most familiar with the resource.

  • Who will verify the item is complete?

The person that oversees the resources mentioned in the action item or simply the person who assigned the action item is nearly always the best person to also complete the action item. The rejected SAR example above demonstrated how nicely a collaboration between resources can result for a student in need. However, there will be colleges and universities where AccuSQL/AccuTrack are not yet used across campus. Had the financial aid department not been using AccuSQL/AccuTrack in the above example, the advisor assigning the action item could have remained responsible for its completion by having the student meet with her again after meeting the financial aid advisor. Another solution would be to refer the student to any intervention program available at the institution.

Engineerica is positive the Student Success feature in the 2015 version of AccuSQL/AccuTrack will be a powerful tool for academic intervention endeavors for institutions of higher education. It is our hope here at Engineerica that we can empower your college or university with the data needed to make necessary improvements in order to increase retention rates for its student body.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lab Specific Student Profiles

How to Maximize this Feature for Your Program/Department
The student profile feature in AccuTrack/AccuSQL is one of the more beneficial features of the software and even more so now that the profiles will be lab specific. By this we mean that each program/department in the database can set themselves up as individual labs and the student profile items can be unique for each lab. This article looks at several profile set-ups that will meet the unique needs of common programs and departments in higher education.
First, let’s cover the reason behind the original development of the student profile and its intended use. Often, programs and departments are unable to access institutional data pertaining to a student’s demographics due to security protocols used for databases containing sensitive student data. Even so, certain demographics are important to understanding and improving the effectiveness of the services offered by student services. In response, Engineerica created the student profile in AccuTrack/AccuSQL and integrated the profile into many reports and other features. Most programs and departments store just the data they need and even though some of the data is duplicated in their institutional database, much of what the programs and departments collect in this feature is specific to their goals. Programs and departments then build specific reports based on the student profile and also gather additional profile data using the profile update feature. The profile can be collected the first time a student logs into the system, at designated times throughout the semester, and through imports.
As AccuTrack/AccuSQL matured into a more comprehensive tracking system for institutions where programs and departments could be uniquely identified within the database, users began to find it difficult to share one student profile. So, Engineerica reprogrammed this feature to be lab specific for the new 2015 version expected to release October 2014. This enhancement will revive the original power of the student profile in regards to tracking specific types of students. So let’s review how to make the most of the student profile using several different types of programs as examples.

Programs Open to All Students

For the general tutoring center that is available to all students and provide assistance with different subjects, the student profile will be most helpful if it contains a blend of the common demographics with some specifics on student needs. Here are 5 profile examples for this type of program:
1. This is my first semester in college level courses.
2. Major
3. Preferred tutoring hours/days
4. Referred by:
The first 2 items can be populated through an import from institutional data while the remaining 2 can be obtained from the student through a profile update. The profile is able to hold a total of 10 items. It is suggested to leave some of the items empty so items can be added later in the semester as other needs arise.
Another example of a program open to all students would be a student life program. The student profile can capture the interests of students so that communication and offered activities can be marketed specifically to students. This is an easier method than grouping the students within the database according to interest because the interests and activities may change often. An example student profile for a student life program may contain the following items:
1. I am most interested in this type of club:
2. I am somewhat interested in this type of club:
3. I am not interested in this type of club:
4. I am interested in intermural sports.
5. I am interested in movies and plays performed on campus.

Programs for Specific Students

Now let’s consider a program that is not open to all students. These programs include grant funded programs like Student Support Services where participation is contingent on qualifications and recruitment for this type of program is burdensome. In this example, the student profile in AccuTrack/AccuSQL can be used as pre-application to the program. This is set-up by simply allowing new students to sign into AccuTrack while the student profile questions are set as “required”. For a typical Student Support Program at a 2 year college, the profile questions could include:
1. Do you plan to obtain an associate’s in arts degree and then transfer into a bachelor program?
2. Have you applied for the FAFSA?
3. Have the parents/guardians who raised you earned a bachelor degree?
4. Do you feel you could use academic support like tutoring and career counseling?
5. Is this is the first time you have attended any college?
6. Do you plan to attend college at least half time?
7. Do you receive or expect to receive services from our students with disabilities department?
8. Did you receive a GED or a regular high school diploma?
9. Have you served in the US military?
10. Have you previously or currently participated in UB or AVID?
An honors program might ask:
1. Dual enrollment
2. Are you interested in study abroad programs?
3. What is your intended major?
4. Are you currently part of a co-curricular program?
5. Is this your first year at any college?
6. How many hours are you currently enrolled?

The Possibilities are Endless

Now that the student profile is lab specific, programs and departments can implement creative ways to better serve their student population. This feature will be in the AccuTrack/AccuSQL 2015 version which is planned to release this October. Start collecting profile question ideas now!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TRiO Student Support Services Annual Performance Report-

How to document and report the use of required services on the Student Support Services Program 2013-2014 APR
This week’s blog is geared toward alleviating some of the heavy reporting burden shouldered by TRiO Student Support Services Programs. This information will also give an insight into the usage of AccuTrack/AccuSQL’s Session Questionnaire feature that will be useful for all educational programs and departments. While the Session Questionnaire is in the current 2014 version of AccuTrack/AccuSQL, the summary report for this feature which contains a distinct count of students will be available in the 2015 AccuTrack/AccuSQL software. This new version is scheduled for release in October 2014 which is just in time for the 2013-2014 APR submission.
Let’s first cover a little history concerning Annual Performance Reports (APR) in TRiO Student Support Services Programs (SSSP) for the sake of those non-TRiO people or for people new to TRiO. Until about three years ago, the Department of Education (ED) only required enrollment type data in their APRs. This included when the student entered the institution, when they became eligible for the program and began using services, their GPA, their enrollment type, funds they received from both the program and institution, and if they persisted on to a bachelor degree. At that time, software like AccuTrack/AccuSQL were used in TRiO SSSPs as traffic managers which helped staff shift their time spent on record keeping to more time spent with the students. While much of the distribution of grant aid was based on participation data gathered by AccuTrack/AccuSQL, not much of this data was used directly in the APR. At least not until the ED decided they wanted more information about required services.
According to the ED, “[a]ll SSS projects must provide: academic tutoring, advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection, assist student with information on both the full range of student financial aid programs, benefits and resources for locating public and private scholarships; and assistance in completing financial aid applications. Education or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy and assist students in applying for admission to graduate and professional programs; and assist students enrolled in two-­year institutions and applying for admission to, and obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in four­-year programs.” It was not until about three years ago that the ED created a section in the APR requesting data on the provision of required services. For programs that used paper and pencil tracking systems for participation, this addition to the APR presented a huge challenge. Even for programs that used proprietary software for the APR, entering the data was very time consuming. Even for the programs who used AccuTrack/AccuSQL to track participation in regards to required services, extracting the data and then compiling it into the structure requested by the ED was still quite the challenge.
Essentially, the ED wanted to know the distinct number of students who not only received the above mentioned required services, but they also wanted the distinct number of students who were referred to outside providers for each of the services. Here is a sample table from the 2012-2013 APR instructions:image
One of the more difficult aspects of collecting this data was that in one session with a student, the staff would often provide several of the services. Using AccuTrack/AccuSQL, many programs used the Service Types feature to capture the provision of required services however, only one service could be attached to a session record. Then, in version 10 of AccuTrack/AccuSQL, the programmers at Engineerica added a new feature called the Session Questionnaire. This feature was designed to allow tutors and staff members to fill out questions about their interactions with students. For example, the questionnaire might ask a tutor if the student was prepared for the tutoring session or if they had to refer the student to another tutor. For TRiO SSS programs, this questionnaire is the answer for easily capturing the provision of required services even when more than one service was provided during a session. Let me demonstrate the set-up needed to capture and report the required services using AccuTrack/AccuSQL’s Session Questionnaire feature. To begin, let’s rewrite the required services in question form. Here is a sample of the first two services in question form:
  • Did the program provide academic tutoring to the participant?

  • Did the program refer the participant to another provider for academic tutoring?

  • Did the program provide advice and assistance in post-secondary course selection to the participant?

  • Did the program refer the participant to another provider for advice and assistance in post-secondary course selection?

All of the questions are included in this document for download.
(If your staff is comfortable with abbreviated versions of these questions, I suggest just using keywords like “Academic Tutoring Offered” and “Academic Tutoring Referred” rather than these complete sentences. You will see in the subsequent examples, reading through all of the questions can be difficult when trying to answer the questionnaire quickly.)
Now let’s add these questions to the Session Questionnaire. From the System Administrative screen, choose “Session Log”.
From there choose “Session Questionnaire Setup”.
Using the “Add” button, paste the required services questions into the “Question” field.
(Notice how only a portion of the question is displayed in the upper table. The entire is question is used even though only a portion is visible.)
Be sure to set the question as active but not required. This will save staff members’ time when completing the questionnaire.
Then use the accompanying “Answer” field to create a “Yes” and “No” answer. How you weight these answers is not important. What is important is offering both a “Yes” and “No” choice so staff members can change their answer if needed.
Once all of the questions have been added, return to the System Administrative screen and choose “Session Log”.
Choose sessions where the activity or the session log demonstrates the provision or referral for required services to the student. For example, we will choose the session log for the student named “Michelle Dee” and the activity “Educational Plan”.
The comments for this session state that the student was given help with choosing classes but was not also referred to another provider for more assistance with choosing classes.
For this log, we will use the “Session Questionnaire” button and choose “Yes” only for the question pertaining to the provision of “advice and assistance in post-secondary course selection” and then choose “Save and Close”.
Have staff members review the comments and types of logs within the TRiO SSSP reporting period which began on September 1st, 2013 and ends August 31st, 2014. Session logs can be easily filtered for this period.
Staff members can also filter for their sessions using the “Only show this Tutor” filter.
Once staff members have reviewed all of their logs and answered the Session Questionnaire for appropriate logs, now you are ready to run a report to export this data and prepare it for the APR. Choose “Session Log” from the System Administrative screen.
Choose the “Reports” link within the Session Log administrative screen and choose “Session Questionnaire Summary”.
Again, filter for the SSSP reporting period.
Then choose “Export Data”.
Now choose “Excel Direct”.
The following is a sample report. The column you are most interested in is the Dcount column. This contains the number of distinct students who were provided or referred the required services.
(Remember, the Dcount column will only show in the AccuTrack/AccuSQL version 2015 which will release in October. If you are currently beta testing AccuTrack/AccuSQL, the Dcount column should be included in this report.)
Using the Session Questionnaire summary report, you are now able to complete the APR section for Project Required Services. Not only are the results more accurate, they are backed by specific, well described sessions with students.
Now that your questions are setup and your staff is familiar with the process, the Session Questionnaire can be completed as sessions occur leaving only the running of the summary report left to do for next year’s APR.
If you would like help setting up the questions, training staff to recognize provisional sessions, and running the summary report, please take a look at our implementation packages available for TRiO programs. An implementation package for capturing the required services on your next APR can be provided online and will usually take 2-3 hours depending on the size and complexity of your program. The implementation would include:
  • Designing and adding of questions to the Session Questionnaire

  • Training of staff members in recognizing and writing session comments to support the provision of services

  • Training of staff members in completing the questionnaire for appropriate logs

  • Creation of reports to assist staff members in locating missing records

  • Merging distinct counts from other activities in AccuTrack/AccuSQL ei: Financial Literacy Workshops, Advising Workshops, etc.

I would like to conclude this blog entry with a special thank you to all of the wonderful people who are part of the TRiO family. It is because of your hard work and dedication that higher education is not only more available to underrepresented people, but is also more attainable!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Students Using Multiple Services at One Time


It is not uncommon for students to be logged in AccuTrack/AccuSQL for computer use and then also make use of a tutor or other center resources at the same time. Many customers ask if there is a way to track this behavior without having to log the student in and out and back in again. The short answer is “No” however, here are a few tips and tricks that should make this process manageable and more importantly, accurate.


Computer Labs/Centers with Tutors:

If your set-up includes a computer lab using the Computer Lab Plugin with tutors either in the lab or close by and the tutors have access to a computer running AccuTrack/AccuSQL, try these steps:

  • Insist each tutor is logged into the AccuPager properly.


  • Insist students use the AccuPager when they need the help of a tutor and that their request through the pager is somewhat detailed.

PageLabAssistant (2)

SelectPerson (2)

Message (2)

  • Once a tutor receives a page, they then manually log the student out of the computer lab and into the tutoring activity with the “Give a sign-in period of:” UNCHECKED.



  • Once the tutoring session is over, the tutor then manually logs the student out of the tutoring activity and logs them back into the computer lab activity again with the “Give a sign-in period of:” UNCHECKED.

This process allows the logs to be exact without having to log the student out of the computer they are using enabling the student to continuing using the programs open on their computer. Tutors will need to be diligent about not only logging the student in and out but adding their session logs before moving on to the next student in need of help. If the tutors are using the new Quick Panel, this process can be done all on one screen.

The AccuPager, that is part of the Computer Lab Plug-in, helps tutors keep track of their logs. Right clicking on the AccuPager icon and choosing “Who paged me?” will give the tutors a list of the students as well as the request message that they received that day.


This is very helpful in reminding the tutors what should be included in their session logs. It can also help tutors find students who are missing from the logs so that those logs can then be added.

If your set-up includes a computer lab using the Computer Lab Plugin with tutors either in the lab or close by and the tutors DO NOT have access to a computer running AccuTrack/AccuSQL while in the lab, you could at least have the tutors use hand written logs. Have tutors complete log sheets to be given to the staff members who have access to AccuTrack/AccuSQl so they can manually log in the tutoring interactions after the students have left the lab. Again, if the staff members with access to a computer using AccuTrack/AccuSQL use the new Quick Panel, this process will be much faster.

Manually logging students in after the fact will often cause the logs to overlap. This is usually not an issue for the labs/centers because they need their records to reflect that two different resources were in use at the same time.


Advising or Counseling Offices

If your department set-up has different staff members in areas where students visit, it is not uncommon for students to pop-in with a question. These students are often signed in to see a different advisor, in the intake system, or they are not signed in at all. Try these tips in order to successfully track these interactions:

  • If the student is waiting in the intake list, you can simply use the Quick Panel to manually sign the student in with you, make the logs, then sign them back out without causing the student to lose their place in line. NOTE: You must remember to sign them back out before the other adviser signs them in. If they were not signed in at all, use the Quick Panel to manually sign them in with you, make the logs, and then sign them out.
  • If they are signed in with a different adviser, wait until that student has signed out and then manually enter the log. The challenge here is remembering to do this. Either:
    • Keep notes on a note pad or large sticky note. (Be careful with this one, using too much information in the note could violate FERPA if you were to walk away from your desk.)
    • Keep notes electronically. (Same as actual notes but with more security.)
    • Use the Quick Panel to send the student a message that will be seen once they log out. In the message, ask the student to quickly log in with you and then back out again, or if you are using the intake system, simply ask that they log in with you but they do not have to wait to see you. (My favorite.)



Tracking the usage of resources by students can be challenging. However, with a little ingenuity, collecting accurate, useful data can be easy!