After the pandemic hit, suddenly all learning activities had to be carried out online. This affected the teachers, including Wahidatul Husnia, S.Pd., a grade three teacher at MI Miftahul Ulum Sumbersuko Islamic elementary school in Purwosari, Pasuruan. She asked all of her students to use an online device for learning, using WhatsApp if nothing else. However, problems arose. Since Sumbersuko in Purwosari, Pasuruan, is located in a mountainous area and surrounded by hills, the biggest obstacle is getting a good internet connection and signal. Moreover, given that the people living in the area are farmers and factory workers, it can be difficult for them to purchase internet quotas every month.
Nia, as she is more commonly known, has made various efforts to make sure learning can continue. For example, she has presented learning materials in the form of videos, photos, or question-and- answer activities using Google Forms. Students who have attended online and listened to or have read the material presented are required to fill in Google Forms-generated attendance sheet.
“In the Sumbersuko area, getting a good signal is very difficult. This makes Zoom meetings impossible This is why we used WhatsApp in the beginning. I would share all learning materials in a WhatsApp groups. The students who had listened to or read the material would will fill in their attendance via Google Forms,” explained Nia, who graduated from the Institute of Teacher Training and Education (IKIP) PGRI Budi Utomo Malang.
However, it turned out that most parents whose children were using their devices as a learning media were confused; to input information using Google Forms, they had to log in to their respective emails in order to open the app.
“I received complaints from the parents because they didn’t understand how to use the Google Forms. As a result, I had to make a manual attendance sheet by compiling a list of students in the WhatsApp group. If there was no response, I had to call the students one by one,” she said.
Siti Maulidah, S.Hum., S.Pd.I., the principal of MI Miftahul Ulum Madrasah Sumbersuko Purwosari, Pasuruan, was informed of the matter, and Nia was asked to find alternative applications that were more accessible than the Google Forms.
After browsing various media, Nia finally found an application called SurveyHeart. Nia had to install the application from Google Play and enter the options she wanted to display, such as student name, attendance, and date of attendance. Once the application was completed, Nia then shared the attendance link with her students in the WhatsApp group.
“The advantage of SurveyHeart is that parents don’t need to log in with an email. They can go directly to the link and fill in the attendance. This, of course, makes it very easy for the parents who are not well versed in using online technology,” said Nia.
Tracking student attendance using SurveyHeart received a positive response from the parents. Principal Maulidah noticed this and asked Nia show the other teachers how to use the app. “Currently, almost all classes use SurveyHeart to record student attendance,” said Maulidah.
Due to pressure from parents to have offline learning, especially in areas where there is no signal and internet connection whatsoever, Maulidah coordinated with village officials, the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Pasuruan District, and the COVID-19 Task Force in Pasuruan.
Since August 2020, classes at MI Miftahul Ulum have been carried out both online and offline, as the Sumbersuko area is included in the yellow zone.
“Although we have conducted face-to-face classes, we still follow health protocols. The madrasah has provided hand washing stations and hand sanitizers. No more than ten students can take part in face-to-face learning; thus, each day is divided into two sessions, mornings and afternoons. Grades one through three come in on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, while grades four through six come in on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. In the classrooms, the chairs are arranged one meter apart,” explained Maulidah. Maulidah also put strict rules in place for students to wear masks and face shields when they are in the madrasah. The parents are required to sign a letter of consent for their child/children to attend face-to-face classes at the madrasah. For those who object, their child/children may participate in online learning at home. Students who show signs of illness are required to participate in online learning at home.
In such situations, when online, the students fill in their attendance by using SurveyHeart; attendance of face-to-face students is recorded directly by the teacher.