When it comes to lending equipment to students, most departments impose limits on quantity of items permitted at one time and how long for. Some also have restrictions on who can borrow particular items. More specialized equipment may be allocated only to those students on the relevant courses or modules, or for those who have completed the necessary training.
Needless to say, it can get quite complicated working out who can borrow what. For users of connect2 equipment checkout software, the data and workflows resolve routine issues before they become time-intensive problems.
What really helps is that connect2 provides a student-focused view on equipment lending. When a student walks up to the checkout desk, a quick scan of their student card not only shows the items they've come to pick up, connect2 displays all items currently on loan to them, when they are due back and any unpaid fines. It will also allow staff to look up their borrowing history. So they can quickly assess if there are any concerns before issuing further equipment to the student.
Having this student-focused overview is extremely useful in itself, but connect2 can go much further than this in ensuring resource borrowing is kept under control. It can align with whatever policies or rules you run your service by – the system is incredibly flexible. Here’s some of the things that connect2 can take care of:
- Automatically prevent further borrowing if items are already overdue
- Limit the number of items per user that can be borrowed at one time and how long for
- Automatically authorize bookings according to a user’s year, module or course (N.B. connectivity to the student database enables this to happen)
You can also decide what equipment students are allowed to view in the connect2 system. Around 50% of existing connect2 customers allow students to browse only those items that they are automatically permissioned to book at that time. The other 50% enable students to see the full range as they feel this is more motivating - that students are encouraged to progress more quickly when seeing the more advanced equipment they'll be allowed to handle with the right training or classes.
Either way, students are kept informed of the equipment loan rules as they make their reservations in the connect2 online system. Rules of borrowing are clearly communicated at key points for each type of resource. So students have good understanding of their responsibilities when borrowing resources and are much more likely to follow the rules. It makes life much easier for workers coordinating the equipment loans. And best of all, it helps ensure each student's experience of borrowing resources remains positive.