I used the SRES in my first year English unit. This was a relatively large unit for the discipline, with enrolments above 250. At first we used the SRES principally for attendance. We had four tutors (with between two and four tutorials each). Being able to keep track of attendance, and moreover making sure all that data was centralised, was extremely helpful throughout the semester, especially with students frequently shifting classes. We used our mobile phones and entered the students names – bar codes for students seemed a bit too close to Nineteen Eighty-Four for an English unit. Personally, I found that using this system helped me learn the students’ names much more quickly and effectively than taking a paper roll.
Having this attendance record was immeasurably useful. Early in the semester I was able to email students who were at risk of failing due to insufficient attendance: this was the work of five minutes through the SRES. At the end of semester it’s been even more useful in allowing me to rapidly check the attendance pattern of any student requesting a Discontinue without Fail. At the end of semester I’ve used it to contact those students who, having successfully completed most of the unit, had failed to submit the final assignment – this has led to catching a couple of students who with support will be able to complete the unit.
I’ve also found the SRES to be a useful motivational tool. In this unit we had two very similar assessment tasks early on in the semester, with the aim of helping students use our feedback to improve their close reading and essay writing skills. I was able to use the SRES to identify students who had made a substantial improvement (of 10 marks or more) and email them congratulating them on their progress. This was very well received, and I was surprised and gratified by how much these students valued our encouragement and recognition.
Throughout the semester I’ve really benefited immeasurably from the team’s help with the SRES. I would point out, also, that it is actually very user-friendly, even for a user who isn’t terribly technologically minded. After a little bit of practice, and a lot of help early on in the semester, I’m now very confident in using the system without assistance.
I am recommending the SRES to anyone coordinating a reasonably large unit. I know one of my tutors is planning on using the system in a unit he is coordinating next semester.