It's a topic that is always discussed - preventing falsification of service hours. Paper forms and physical signatures make falsification tempting to many students in public and private schools. We'd like to believe that it's a rare occurrence but many service leaders know who they need to double check.
Participating in community service in high school is an important element in a student's development, maturity and world awareness. The act of service gives teens the opportunity to step outside of their daily habits and to do lists to benefit someone else in need or an organization they're passionate about.
However, meeting a service goal that has been neglected can be overwhelming or the temptation to spend precious free time watching Netflix can lead students to find ways to work around the system and not be entirely truthful when reporting their service hours.
Whether they fake signatures from supervisors, exaggerate about how many hours they completed or get creative editing their documents, paper tracking of service hours makes it easier to falsify service hours. There is no verification process or accountability that ensures the student actually completed the service work.
Tracking volunteer hours digitally with a system like x2VOL minimizes the risk of falsification.
x2VOL's verification process gives the admin full access to the student's claimed hours creating the ability to audit if the student actually completed what they claimed. x2VOL's verification and approval process has a number of elements in place to prevent falsifying hours:
1) Once the student submits service hours, x2VOL automatically emails the third party that hosted the service project to confirm that the student did or did not complete the claimed hours. The coordinator can verify the hours, modify the hours or entirely deny the student did the hours.
2) The admin then has full access to what the student reported as well as the service coordinator's contact information should they want to personally follow up about the student's service experience.
3) Admin can approve the hours if they are legitimate or deny or partially approve the hours and leave a comment if they suspect the hours are falsified or don't include the necessary elements.
4) The student cannot edit their submitted service hours to change the service project hosts' contact information. One it's submitted, it's locked in - so the contact information must be real and correct the first time it's entered.
These method that we employ are intentional. You won't see text verification, "signing a screen", or geotagging. All can be easily manipulated. We encourage students to upload photos and video of their experiences we just don't accept that as an auditable form of proof when college acceptance and scholarships are on the line.
The elements x2VOL puts into place with a number of other features, give full access to administrators in schools to audit what their student submits and it encourages the student to simply do their service hours knowing falsifying their work isn't an option.
The falsification of service hours can be a problem in volunteer programs and service learning programs at schools because they are relying on paper tracking - going digital not only streamlines the hour tracking process, but prevents students from falsifying their service hours.
Want to learn more about how x2VOL can help track hours and avoid hour falsification at your school?