University of Twente Student Theses


Towards automated truancy detection

Ottenhof, Robbert H.J. (2011) Towards automated truancy detection.

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Abstract:Truancy and school dropout are important problems in The Netherlands. It is government policy to reduce the number of dropouts in the next five years. According to the Dutch Ministry of Education, truancy is an indicator for possible future dropouts. Decreasing truancy would therefore be one of the possible actions that might reduce the number of dropouts. However, in order to tackle truancy, it needs to be registered first. Due to the increasing digitalization of education, class attendance registration procedures have become more cumbersome for a lot of teachers, which results in a decrease in truancy registration. This does not support the goal of the Government. From this problem, the main research question follows: “How to automate the process of truancy registration?” From this main research question, two sub research questions have been formulated. The first question is: “How do students use modern media at school?” The second question is: “How can this behavior be registered automatically?” To answer the first sub question, a survey has been conducted among a convenience sample of schools for secondary education in The Netherlands. To answer the second sub question, a software tool has been developed and a practical experiment has been performed with this tool at a secondary school in The Netherlands. The figures from the survey show that 99% of the students in secondary education have a mobile phone, so that almost everyone has a personal device capable of generating data traffic. Already a third of the students uses internet with their mobile phone. Furthermore, social network sites are popular among secondary school youth; 96% has an account with a social network site like Hyves or Facebook. The practical experiment with the software tool shows that it is possible to detect the presence of students based on their online behavior. Our proposed system registers presence, which can be used to register absence if all students use mobile phones all the time. However at present “only” a third of the students use internet on their mobile phones at school. This percentage is expected to increase for two reasons. Firstly, the market for smart phones is growing exponentially. Secondly, schools will make increasing use of mobile phones to access school services. Therefore we expect that our proposed method will indeed be able to register absence in the near future. In the meantime it is important to verify the acceptability of the system as proposed in this thesis, as well as some technical assumptions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Internet Science and Technology MSc (60032)
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