New for April 2022: CTESS has collaborated with IT and admin colleagues to produce a 'quick guide' to attendance monitoring for ease of use by teaching staff:
A Quick Guide for Lecturers Attendance Monitoring (for CTESS website) updated June 2022
For additional information about attendance monitoring please read on:
Overview of Attendance Monitoring
The University is using an electronic Student Attendance Monitoring system. Student attendance can be an important early warning of their engagement with their programmes. Having accurate and readily-available information enables a proactive approach to early interventions to be made to maintain student engagement and positively influence retention. Data generated by the system feeds directly into the Personal Tutor Dashboard (SMU login required), allowing academic and administrative staff to easily see the attendance patterns of individual students, and aggregated data at module and programme level.
This is designed to replace paper-based registers that have previously been used, reducing the administrative burden of maintaining accurate registers.
Key points, links and documents
- View detailed attendance of your module, programme or for individual students using SMRS Reporting
- Make updates to your registers using CELCAT:
Please read the information below for a more detailed understanding of attendance monitoring at St Mary's. View data about your tutees and their attendance using the Personal Personal Tutoring Dashboard (SMU login required). Please also see the following guidance on accessing the dashboard here.
Which students are monitored through the system?
Attendance is monitored for all students on all pre-sessional, foundation degrees, foundation years, undergraduate, and postgraduate taught programmes, including programmes of study with work placements.
Why monitor attendance?
Poor attendance can be indicative of broader concerns about a student, and using the Personal Tutor Dashboard, information about other aspects of student engagement can be triangulated to offer appropriate advice and referral to specialist services. It is therefore vital for the implementation of the Student Retention Strategy.
Information about module and programme attendance can be important for determining enhancement strategies and evaluating learning and teaching interventions. Accurate attendance monitoring is also essential in ensuring Tier 4 visa compliance. Further details are available in the Tier 4 Attendance Monitoring Policy.
Attendance Monitoring Policy
The Attendance Monitoring policy is available here. A copy of the policy can also be downloaded here. This should be read in conjunction with the Student Visa Engagement Policy which can be found here.
What do I need to do?
Following these tips will help ensure that you have up-to-date registers and that students see the correct information about their attendance.
- Ensure you teach in the room that has been allocated to you by Timetabling. If you need to change a room, email firstname.lastname@example.org clearly stating the module code and the room number(s).
- If a session is cancelled for any unavoidable reason, email email@example.com clearly stating the module code, date / time of the session and the room number(s). This will update the register and remove it as an 'absence' for students expected to attend.
- If students are unable to tap in (e.g. because they have forgotten their card, or there is a problem with the reader, manually update the register for the session using the CELCAT Dashboard. Replacement ID cards can be obtained from the Security Team next to Reception.
- Your students should tap in and you should ensure at the start of the session that they have. If they are remaining in the same room for a different module or a different session of the same module (e.g. a seminar after a taught session) students must tap in again.
- Reinforce the importance of tapping in to your students. There is a prize draw for Amazon vouchers being advertised on networked PCs in teaching spaces. Please let your students know about this.
- Review your attendance monitoring data regularly for your programme and / or module(s). You should raise concerns about attendance with your Programme Director.
- Familiarise yourself with the Student Retention Strategy so your are aware of institutional approaches and targets relating to improving retention.
- Be aware of the process for withdrawing students so that when necessary the process can be undertaken in a timely and effective manner in line with Academic Regulations and the Attendance Monitoring Policy.
- When checking student registers in Celcat ensure that you select the correct date at the bottom of the screen – see below
How does the Attendance Monitoring System work?
In order to ensure an accurate picture of their attendance is produced, students must tap into the card-readers installed in teaching locations at St Mary's, with their St Mary's student ID Cards. This information is matched against their planned attendance, as scheduled in our timetabling system (CELCAT).
If students are absent from timetabled sessions, they will not be automatically emailed by the system. Instead, student attendance data is available to staff (as appropriate for their role), who will contact the student as appropriate.
Where can I view attendance data?
Attendance data is available through both the Student Attendance Monitoring system and the Personal Tutoring Dashboard; which you should use depends on how you would like to view the data:
- If you want to see aggregated attendance data for your tutees (or other students relevant to your role: e.g. if you are a PD, those on your programme) at module / programme level, the Personal Tutoring Dashboard (SMU login required) is likely to be most useful.
- If you need to make updates to the register (e.g. if a session is cancelled, or a student was unable to tap in but was present), use the CELCAT system.
- If you would like an overview of attendance (e.g. for a student, a module, a programme etc), use the SMRS Reporting Service
I have a problem with students tapping in or access to my registers
Log a job via the IT HelpDesk ticket system and they will be in touch to resolve your query.