How to keep students accountable when they’re using AV gear
Do you have students that rent out AV equipment? Are you looking for ways to make the management of tripods, cameras, lenses, laptops in custody etc., more effective and structured? In this article we’ll share our best practices that you can use this semester.
Set rules to reduce the equipment manager’s workload
Usually, schools have a limited amount of gear that they can loan out to students. Especially expensive gear such as RED Cameras or Airborne Drones isn’t up for grabs. When students don’t return equipment on time, someone else might not be able to use it. Setting rules for returning gear in time and limiting the amount of time an item can be loaned will make sure others can lend them out as well. You could set a limit of one week per item. If students have big projects like end-of-year or graduating projects, you can make an exception, provided they request them enough in advance. You could also have a process in place that allows students only to rent the gear they need for their classes so that they don’t rent out extra gear that they might not use.
Hold your students accountable with signatures and notifications
Everyone can forget appointments or, in this case, forget to return the equipment in time. This does, however, have big repercussions if another student needs to use that equipment. You could use a tool such as CHEQROOM that automatically sends reminders to students via email or SMS notifications when they need to pick up or return the gear. This way, they have little to no excuse to return gear late. Another option is to do this manually, this will, however, increase the equipment manager’s workload.
Another way to increase accountability with students is to have them sign a document either online or on paper with the gear they are lending out, for how long, and the condition at the moment they are signing it. By doing so, students will be more careful with the equipment they are using and feel more responsible. In general, people tend to be less careful with gear that is not theirs. Should something happen with the gear, just like Regent University, you can choose not to have students pay the whole amount as this will greatly influence their career at school, but having this document sets the tone as to how serious you are about damage and loss.
Don’t forget about student workers. Student workers are an essential asset for equipment managers. Together with staff members, they are the ones that do equipment-check outs and verify whether the equipment is returned the way it was loaned out, etc. If you can, we would strongly recommend you employ student workers in your equipment room as they will reduce your workload significantly. If you have someone tech-savvy, this is a plus.
In general, there are many rules and practices that you can apply to students. If you want to know more, we wrote a guide on Equipment management in universities & schools where we included tips from our conversations with our customers such as Regent University, The College Of New Jersey, and Lipscomb University.