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Why your Higher Education Institution Needs a Student Attendance Monitoring System

Why your Higher Education Institution needs a Student Attendance Monitoring System

The freedom associated with university life and the variety of requirements for attendance across the higher education institution means that students, without formal regulation, could effectively disregard the modules as outlined by the teaching body and opt out of the minimum classes in order to engage fully with university life.

Student attendance monitoring has become increasingly common in Higher Education practices. Allowing students to skip class undermines the sense of academic community that is so important to universities especially in fields where there is an emphasis on sharing ideas. It also undermines student’s own studies because it allows them to miss class if they haven’t done the work, are too hungover, or simply can’t be bothered. When the opportunity is there to miss a class, it is tempting to shirk responsibility.


Research from studies suggests there is a positive correlation between student attendance and academic performance. Data revealed that the more a student attends classes, the less chance they have of failing academic assessments, and the more chance they have of attaining high grades (Newman‐Ford et al., 2008). Evidence from the literature also suggests that implementing a student attendance monitoring system has been a useful means of improving student retention.



Stephen Lopez
Head of Student Administrative Services
Glasgow Caledonian University

Implementing a student attendance monitoring system can also allow Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to develop a strategy to recognise and support students who are experiencing difficulties in the transition to higher education and who may otherwise become lost in the system. Having a system can identify students at risk of disengagement and allow faculty staff to reach out and intervene before the student drops out of his or her course.


Poor attendance can be an indicator that a student has become disengaged from their studies.  That raises the question of when faculty staff should intervene to prevent the student from dropping out. Having a student attendance monitoring system that can generate reports and “trigger” communication with can prevent the student from disengaging with their studies. It can be a simple email, text or through social media messaging; dropping a message to a student who has missed a certain percentage of classes and preventing them from getting lost in the system.It demonstrates a certain level of pastoral care that an academic institution can provide and cater for their student population.


Having a digital student attendance monitoring system not only measures student attendance, it can also measure student engagement at lectures, tutorials and other events. Poor attendance can be an indicator that a student has become disengaged from their studies. Early identification of a student withdrawing from regular attendance, and taking prompt remedial action, can make a big difference to whether a student leaves or not. Having a Student Attendance Monitoring System that can deliver an automated text or email after a certain quota of absence will let students know that if they are absent, they are missed. A Student Attendance Monitoring System allows for instant event creation, and cancellation functionality to optimise facility management processes. In addition, it would improve teaching space occupancy and informs future resource planning activities.