Time Management for College Students with Time Tracking Software
You are probably already aware that time tracking apps and software are a great tool for helping businesses boost their efficiency and productivity. But there are some other organizations that can benefit from using them. One of the sectors, where they could really make a difference, is the education sector.
Universities and higher education organizations are starting to see how time tracking can be really useful. One of the reasons is that there are many aspects to running an educational institution that is the same as running any other large organization.
Just like a large corporation, universities and colleges have to hire staff, meet deadlines, and manage budgets. But there is another reason why time tracking for education makes sense.
Time Tracking for University Tutors
One of the reasons that time tracking is becoming more popular with universities and colleges is that they often have much additional staff on short-term contracts who are paid by the hour.
These might include part-time tutors and visiting lecturers from other universities. Typically for these staff, their hours will vary from one semester to the next – or sometimes even from week to week.
Some organizations might ask their hourly-paid staff to upload a spreadsheet. Speaking from experience, there are even some places out there where you still need to scan and email a paper timesheet listing your hours and duties undertaken.
Whatever method is used, the timesheet usually needs to go through several levels of approval before the money is paid to the tutor. It is important that the process goes as smoothly as possible. After all, any problem with delayed or incorrect payment can cause serious problems for everyone.
Spreadsheet or Time Tracker?
Using a time tracking app can make the whole process a lot more simple for both the university and the tutor. And making use of the team tools available means that everyone involved can get an up-to-date view of the information at any stage in the process.
This sounds a lot better than passing a spreadsheet along a chain of different staff.
Also, it ensures greater accuracy. It is easy for tutors to get to the end of the month and lose track of what their hours actually were. They might easily forget that Monday was a holiday or that one of the classes had to be canceled. This scenario is even more likely if they work for a few different institutions.
Of course, they could log into an excel sheet or just write it down at the end of each session, but in practice, it’s easy to forget. Students might want to ask questions and there is probably another class outside waiting to get into the lecture hall.
Time tracking software helps everyone, both the tutor and the university because it is more likely to be accurate. It can manage the attendance tracking of their students AND their own work hours tracker. Convenient!
It makes a lot of sense too if you are able to keep all the records in one place. It helps the organization to keep track of their budget and helps tutors keep track of their earnings. And when it is time to file a tax return, it will be so much easier with all the information readily at hand.
Managing Research Budgets
Another way time tracking software can help academic organizations is to keep track of research project budgets.
Research is usually funded by grants and it is vital that the organization can account for how the funding has been used. It is likely that a major part of the grant will go on salaries for research staff. But there will be other expenses such as conferences to present results.
It means expenses from accommodation and travel to conference fees. That’s why it makes sense to choose an app that allows you to combine time tracking and expense tracking.
How to Choose the Best Time Tracker For The Education Sector
When it comes to choosing the best time tracking apps for universities and colleges a few key features stand out.
Apps used in education might not need all the same features a business would need. Keep in mind that the users will come from a variety of different backgrounds with varying degrees of technical skills. You don’t want something that makes people feel too far out of their comfort zone.
- User-friendly – you want something that is user-friendly and intuitive and that people without much tech background are happy to use
- Only pay for what you need – your choice of the app should reflect the way you plan to use it. So don’t pay a fortune for something that comes with a whole lot of features you will never use.
- Range of functions – On the other hand, you don’t want something too basic. One that offers time tracking along with expense tracking and invoicing would be ideal for use in education.
- Seamless integration – some users will want to integrate their time tracker with other tools such as one of the many project management tools on the market so look for one that has good options for integration