University Libraries’ StudyLog Touchscreen Application Simplifies Recording Study Time in Bracken Library

Ball State students who are members of fraternities and sororities, athletes, and other student groups are sometimes encouraged by their organizations to schedule and document their study time in Bracken Library. To support this effort, beginning this Fall Semester 2011, the University Libraries created and began using a software application that utilizes a touchscreen computer to facilitate students’ logging study time. To date, almost 900 students have logged study time.

Students are eligible to use StudyLog by virtue of being a member of one of the student groups that are participating in the program. The Office of Student Life provides the University Libraries with a list of vetted student names to add to the StudyLog user database. The secure Web-based administrative interface to the StudyLog system database is used to add student information to the system.

The StudyLog Touchscreen Application allows students to swipe their Ball State ID or type in their student ID number to begin logging a study session. The system presents several options, including Start Studying, Log Report, Organization List, Stop Studying, or Logout. Choosing the Start Studying option displays a screen confirming the study session has begun.

The Report option allows students to view their accumulated study time. The Organization List option permits students to identify with one or more student organizations. Logout returns the system to the main menu so it is ready for the next student action.

If a student does not end a previous study session, the system prompts that action is required. Various time periods are presented, up to 4 hours, that can be assigned by the student to accurately track study time. When students complete their study session, they stop by the touchscreen and swipe their ID card. Choosing Stop Studying closes the student’s study session.

The StudyLog Touchscreen Application is in beta testing mode during Fall Semester 2011. Over the semester, the University Libraries hope to gain student and administrative feedback for enhancements to improve the application’s usefulness. This effort is being coordinated with Brandon J. Cutler, Assistant Director of Student Life. Our expectation is to release version 1.0 of the StudyLog application for use during Spring Semester 2012.

The application’s developers are Caleb T. Mosier, student assistant, and Robert L. Seaton, Web Development Analyst, both in the Library Information Technology Services (LITS) office. They created the current StudyLog application based on prior work. Instrumental in the original design of StudyLog was R. Todd Vandenbark, currently Web Services Librarian at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Science Library at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, along with teammates in Library Science S517, Web Programming, a course offered at the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus.

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services.   ◙

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