This project monitored first year student attendance in practical computing sessions across several courses at the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, University of South Wales (USW). Research has shown the correlation between attendance and success. We frequently observe a vicious cycle of poor attendance that leads to poor engagement and consequently poor results, the combination often self-perpetuating.
In order to break this cycle the project had three key objectives. The first was to establish an automated attendance monitoring system based on radio-frequency identification (RFID) and computer login data. The second was to identify how attendance data could be turned into information to improve the structure around year tutor support and course leadership. The final objective was to ensure that students could not only view their own individual data ‘picture’ but also interact and engage with the system.
Results are outlined for the first two objectives, showing that for the data to be of use, the teaching staff require accurate registers and a comparison for student attendance in other modules, to gain a full picture of the students’ attendance. Also year tutors / course leaders need to view the aggregated data for all students across all modules with drill-down functionality.