First of all, what does MDST stand for?
MDST stands for Multi-Device Session Tracking; it’s a new mode supported on iAccu v1.1 and Accudemia where you can use many devices (iPhones or iPod touch) to track attendance. iAccu usually requires all card swipes (to both sign-in or sign-out) to be made in the same device. When MDST is enabled, multiple devices can “join” the same session and work all together now.
Once you have downloaded the iAccu update, start by going to Settings to set up your device. In the “Center based” option under Tracking settings, there’s a MDST section with some options. Session duration lets you set the default session length that will be used when you create a new session. Sign-In and Sign-Out windows let you set the default period before and after the session starts when students can login and logout respectively. For example, let’s say that there’s a conference starting at 3pm, with these options you can allow students to sign-in from 2:50pm until 3:10pm, giving students 20 minutes to get into the conference.
Then, to start the MDST mode, click on Track Attendance –> Center Attendance –> Multi-Device (MDST). You have the option to either join a session or to create a new one. If it’s the first time you are using MDST, create a new session from scratch: enter the name of the session, the center where it’s taking place, sign-in and sign-out times, and other session details as prompted. Once all changes are saved and the session is created successfully (you need Internet connection to do this), other devices will be able to join the session you have just created.
OK. Now it’s all set. When the session starts, you can go to Join Session and select the one that just started. The procedure for signing students in and out is exactly the same as the one that you have always used in iAccu.
You will see the session logs created in Accudemia after you sync your device. Also, you might want to take a look at the raw swipes by clicking on Sign-In Stations –> iAccu and then MDST on the toolbar.
For example, on the capture below there were 5 students that signed-in and out using different devices. When a student swipes his card many times, only the first swipe within the sign-in window is considered as a valid sign-in.
In this case, Mon Brown swiped his card 4 times. The first one was before the session started and it was ignored. The second time was a valid sign-in. And finally the other two times the sign-ins were redundant so ignored again.
This way iAccu is prepared to handle conflicts that might came up when using multiple devices. Remember that iAccu works offline, so staff can continue tracking attendance even when there’s no Internet connection available.
Have you used it? Why don’t you share your experience?