Design of an automatic class attendance system as an undergraduate senior design project

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Engineering Technology

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings


One of the goals of senior design courses in undergraduate engineering programs is to involve students in a meaningful project so that they gain real-life experience in practicing their knowledge and independent thinking to enhance their learning. Most of the instructors keep track of student attendance by printing student lists from the registrar's database and passing it around during class periods. Instructors have to manually check student names and match it with each student's daily class attendance. The process of managing student attendance using this paper-based method consumes precious time. An automated attendance system that automatically record student attendance is very beneficial to both instructors and students. The main objective of this project was to involve an undergraduate engineering student in design of an automatic identification system that is capable of scanning and processing data stored on student ID cards to record attendance of students. The designed system had to consist of an automatic ID card reader, a database that stores the data retrieved from the IDs, a wired communication system between the reader and the database server, and a wireless communication system between the automatic reader and the database server. The design approach was divided into four categories of hardware communication, application interfaces for various designs, server connection design, and database design. The design process and details of the project along with educational outcomes of the student activities are described in this paper. The project was designed and implemented by an undergraduate engineering student as a senior design project. The student used principles of radio frequency identification technique to read identification of each person from their ID cards. The information retrieved by the reader is transferred with the aid of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to a Structured Query Language (SQL) database on the server and then is processed for generating an attendance list.