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How to keep students accountable when they’re using AV gear

Are students renting your 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 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 be unable to use it. Setting rules for returning gear in time and limiting the amount of time an item can be loaned will ensure others can also lend them out. You could set a limit of one week per item. You can make an exception if students have big projects like end-of-year or graduating projects, provided they request them enough in advance. You could also have a process that allows students only to rent the gear they need for their classes so that they don’t rent out extra gear 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. However, this has 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 sign it. By doing so, students will be more careful with their equipment and feel more responsible. People generally 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 for 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 strongly recommend you employ student workers in your equipment room as they will significantly reduce your workload. 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.

Aug 06, 2021 Written by Hana Belbecir