Exeter digital check-in

Students can now register attendance at their timetabled activities using the Attendance tile in the iExeter app, It replaces the need for paper registers and therefore saves time during teaching sessions.

Digital Check In is also designed to make it easier to spot if a student has wellbeing issues because it often coincides with a fall in attendance. Your Academic Personal Tutor and module convenors may look at the pattern of your attendance through the My Progress dashboard and will be able offer support more quickly.

How does it work?

The new system links to your personalised timetable and uses Bluetooth beacons in teaching rooms which interact with the iExeter app (available on smartphone and tablet). Using location services and Bluetooth, your device will alert you that you need to check in at the start of each teaching session. Through iExeter you'll be able to verify your attendance and location.

Your location is not tracked by the system around canpus.

For a detailed step by step guide with screenshots please see the Digital Check-in Attendance monitoring User Guide for Students

Attendance

In order to get the best from your course, students are encouraged to attend all scheduled teaching sessions (see General Regulations for Students and check your student handbook for more info) and some students need to be mindful of their visa and course requirements, but ultimately it is your decision as to whether you should attend a particular timetabled activity.

There is more information about attendance requirements for International students on the International Students Support pages.

Absence from timetabled activities

If you are unable to attend a timetabled teaching session through sickness or other reasons, you are required to notify your discipline via iExeter (My Course - Absence reporting), or in an alternative format as detailed in your student handbook. The  student illness procedure provides more guidance on this. If you are absent for more than 7 successive days due to illness, you will be required to obtain a doctor's certificate.

If you miss a scheduled academic session without an approval of absence, you will be recorded as absent

If your attendance pattern is concerning, your Personal Academic Tutor should discuss this with you. You may wish to look at the Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedure, or Unsatisfactory Student Progress and Engagement Code of Good Practice.

Students with Tier 4 visas

We also monitor attendance to fulfil our obligation to notify the UK Visas and Immigration office of any continuous non-attendance by Tier 4 international students. For more information please see the International Student Support pages.

Support

Please see our Troubleshooting guide if you are having trouble using Digital Check-In.

For other questions, please see the FAQs below.

FAQs

My Data

As it is currently (using the paper-based and Medical School systems).

For non-Tier 4 taught students, attendance data is reviewed to ensure that students are in attendance during term time and fulfilling the requirements of their programme. If there are any significant or unusual absences which have not been explained, these are investigated with the student concerned.

You can see your logged attendance on the MyProgress dashboard, and your personal tutor will discuss your attendance at 1:1 personal tutoring sessions.

The University records attendance to confirm you are still studying, and to be able to contact students who have stopped studying to be able to offer them timely support.

Students with Tier 4 visas only

The Home Office requires the University to monitor the attendance of all its Tier 4 students and to withdraw immigration sponsorship in any cases where attendance does not meet their prescribed criteria. 

No. The checked-in activities are only recorded when in range of a beacon at the time of a timetabled activity. Attendance is only stored in the app on a successful check-in – when someone is in the right place at the right time.

The app records whether you attended the session in your timetable; just like the paper registers did. The App only uses Location Services to find the beacons in the classrooms. It is the beacon which tells your device which room you are in, based on a Bluetooth signal from the beacon to your device.

The app records if you attended the session, your name and your email address. It also records how you checked in (automatically, manually or at the Info Point).

The data is stored securely in the University attendance monitoring system. This is the same data that was collected and stored using paper registers.

You can see your attendance data for the current week in the "Attendance Capture Record" under the Attendance tile in iExeter.

You can also see your attendance in the "Attendance" tab in My Progress tile in iExeter.

A privacy impact assessment was completed for this project which ensures that all privacy concerns were managed and that the process is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation. 

Using the system

You need to check in for all centrally timetabled teaching sessions. These are Lectures, Seminars, Tutorials, Practicals, Workshops, Wraps, Syndicates.

You do not need to check in for Induction sessions, Careers, Assessments, Exams, Revision, 1-to-1 tutorials, Drop-in sessions, Help classes, or Field trips.

Absence can be reported through the Absence Reporting tool in iExeter in the My Course tile. In some cases you will need to provide evidence to support your claim. More details are available in your course handbook.

Students will receive more information about how to use the system at the start of term 1 of the 2018/9 academic year. Staff will be able to access online training materials prior to September 2018.

All students who are attending on undergraduate or postgraduate taught programmes at the University must use the system. The only exclusions to this are students without personalised iExeter timetables (MyTimetable) – they will continue to use alternative methods.

The system allows you to log in via a smartphone or tablet. If you don't have access to these, you'll be able to register your attendance with your nearest hub Info Point or education support office following your teaching session.

We recommend that all students download iExeter so they can view their personalised timetables, assessment submissions and more with ease.

iExeter is available as a smartphone or tablet app and also as a desktop version, but only the smartphone/tablet app has the Attendance function. 

If you cannot use iExeter on a mobile device, please go to your Info Point or Education support office and they can check you in.

Students can use any smartphone or tablet to access their iExeter information within range of the beacon.  If you don't manage to check in at the start of your taught session, please go to the nearest Info Point afterwards and they can check you in.

You don't have to, but it doesn't affect your device's battery. You will be notified of your upcoming timetabled activities so you will need to enable Bluetooth in order to check in, but you do not have to have it on continuously.

Student Impact

The current student attendance policy is outlined in the General Regulations for Students and there is also Guidance for Tier 4 International Students. Please refer to your student handbook for the most relevant information to your programme (particularly in relation to professionally accredited programmes).

The digital check-in tool was piloted across the whole of 2017/8 at both the Exeter and Penryn campuses in Business School (UG year 1&PGT), Medical School (year 3 UG) and Life and Environmental Sciences (year 1s & 2 UG) departments. Overall 500 students participated and following the completion of the pilots (which lasted for a term each) we interviewed the SSLC chairs/year reps (representatives of the student cohort) and the academic teaching staff involved. An example of some of the feedback which was presented to a meeting of the SSLC Chair and Education Sabb at Academic Executive is as below:

  • The concept was good.
  • The training information was really helpful.
  • They didn’t think that anyone had an issue with not having a smartphone.
  •  It was easy to use and they had set up automatic log in.
  •  They didn’t mind having their attendance monitored and thought that it was good as it encouraged attendance.
  •  They would like to keep using it in future It was easy to use, much better than paper registers 

The Guild VP Education and FXU President were included in all of the project and approval of the new process via Taught Faculty Board in February 2018. Please see the full TQA document at http://as.exeter.ac.uk/academic-policy-standards/tqa-manual/lts/attendance/.

We also consulted with the University Data Protection Officer and completed a Privacy Impact Assessment.