Attendance monitoring frequently asked questions
If you know in advance that you are going to be absent you should report this through the Student Portal, guideance on doing this is provided in the 'view attendance data/log abscene' link on MySunderland - your absence will be automatically logged in the attendance monitoring database. This will allow us to distinguish between a 'known' absence and an unexpected one. Attendance monitoring staff will take this into account when deciding whether to get in touch with you about your absence record.
It is your responsibility to make sure that you bring your card with you to all sessions and register your attendance by either 'tapping in' on the fixed readers or 'swipping in' if a hand held reader is provided. This cannot be 'corrected' afterwards if you have forgotten your card or failed to 'tap in'. You can however log this as an absence via the Student Portal, you will not be given a mark for the session and won't be taken into account when deciding whether to get in touch with you about your absence record.
The same applies if you are unavoidably absent because of something which happened at the last minute and you couldn't notify it in advance.
You will need to 'tap in' again between classes. The system will know you've turned up for the first class but it won't know you're there for the second one if you don't tell it. So please 'tap in' again if the session shows as two different events on your personal teaching timetable.
Make sure that you're allowed to swap groups....the numbers may be carefully managed so that you can't, or you may need to check with your lecturer or the timetabling team...but if you are allowed to swap classes for a particular week (say because you've got a doctor's appointment or placement which clashes with your usual group session) you should 'tap in' to the group session you've attended. You should then submit an absence for the original class session you aren't attending using the student portal and selecting the absence reason - 'attending an alternative session' - please provide details of the alternative session date and time in the comments box provided.
One of two things should happen - the attendance monitoring team will see that you're logged an absence to attend an alternative session and should sort that out (you may get an email if there are any queries about what happened and your reason for swapping group) or it may be that the classes have been lined in the system so that the system will do it automatically. But if you 'tap in' you will be logged as having attended the alternative session even if it's not your usual one.
The fixed reader should display a 'thank you' when you 'tap in' to show that your card has registered your attendance, you should also hear a 'bleep'. If the system displays an 'error' message your card may not have registered. If you think that your card hasn't been accepted you can check your attendance record using the on-line student portal
You should ideally leave it a until the next day before checking to allow time for the data to be downloaded. If you think there's a problem you should report it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so it can be investigated or by visiting the Gateway Receptions either at City Campus or St Peter's Campus - staff on receptions will be able to check your card isn't damaged in some way.
The processes described above should deal with all the minor or occasional reasons for being absent. However if your absence starts to get more serious we will take more structured action.
Some degree programmes which are subject to professional body rules have additional regulations around minimum attendance requirements. Where this is the case, this will be made clear to you by your programme leader and in the handbook. If you are unsure about this please ask - any such rule will be in addition to the university regulation and will usually be more demanding.
Please remember that:
You also need to be aware that:
Those of you who were with us before September 2015 will remember having to sign into classes on paper registers. This was effective but cumbersome. It distracted students from the class, it took a lot of staff time to handle the paperwork (time which we would rather spend helping you) and it took about two weeks to convert the registers into data which we could use to see who might need further help and advice. The electronic system will do this immediately so that we can offer help more quickly.
The system requires a chip-enabled card. A big advantage of a chip-enabled card is that we will be able to develop its use for a range of different purposes so that you won't have to carry lots of cards around with you. We'll give you more information about this as we develop the functionality. The following link provides information about Campus Cards, how you upload a photo for your card, what to do if you lose your card and other useful FAQs
Please do not register your attendance at the reader any earlier than 10 mins before the expected 'start time'. The readers automatically switch to the next expected class 10 minutes before the class is expected to start so if you swipe in any earlier your attendance will be recorded at the wrong session. For example, if your class is due to start at 11:00am you can swipe in any time after 10.50am but no earlier.
The reader will display 'Thank You' once you have registered your attendance.
The reader will display an 'Error' message, please try your card again as you may not have given the reader enough time to register your attendance. If you receive an error message again please report it to the Gateway Reception either at St Peters Campus or City Campus. Staff on the Gateway will check your card at a test reader to clarify if the card is damaged, if the card is damaged in any way they will order a replacement. You can also check if your swipes are recording by logging into your attendance record on the student portal.
If for some reason your card is not available to collect at the start of term and you are unable to log your attendance at the readers you should report this by submitting an absence through the online Student Portal Please ensure you choose the absence reason 'Campus Card not available to collect' . The attendance monitoring team will pick this up and record it in the database so your attendance is not affected. Please note: you should only log an absence using the absence reason for a period of 1 week as your card should be available within that time.