Thursday, April 14, 2011

Written Records and Computer Records

We all know record keeping is important for training. And we also know there are lots of different ways we can keep records. With all the different forms and options, it can be overwhelming at times.

At the seminar last weekend, there was a brief discussion on digital and paper records and how things have changed over times. For some types of working dogs, perfect records have to be kept to show the levels and types of training the dog has had. And there are various concerns about the potential for people to tamper with the records. For a long time, paper records were standard. But paper records are a pain to look through if you are trying to find specifics, and so now most are kept digitally.

That's primarily the reason our records have mostly been on the computer for the last seven years. I have quite a bit of notes and charts from before then and a few stray sheets since then.

I'm often tempted to do paper, it would be easy to transport and I really like to be able to spread out and see everything at once. The thought of a big binder of records is appealing.

In some situations, I'll have paper records and then transfer it to the computer. Most recently that has been used with student progress. After class, I mark off what we did and how the students are doing. And then I will transfer it to the computer and from there I can let the computer do the work of finding averages and maximums and minimums and other mathy-interesting things.

Computer records? Paper records? Or none of the above?

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