Why is recording student attendance important?

Research Literature

First and foremost, the scholarly articles that have reported on the relationship between student attendance and ‘performance’ (grades, completion, etc) highlight the fact that there is a very clear correlation between student success and student attendance.

A review of the research literature published by the American Educational Research Association (Credé et al (2010)) concludes: “Class Attendance is a better predictor of college grades than any other known predictor of college grades; including SAT scores, HSGPA, studying skills, and the amount of time spent studying”. It then goes on to say: “Indeed, the relationship is so strong as to suggest that dramatic improvements in average grades (and failure rates) could be achieved by efforts to increase class attendance rates among college students.”

Put simply, the evidence shows clearly that class attendance is the primary indicator of likely success for students in higher education. So, if we can improve student attendance, we can improve their chances of success; a real Win:Win for students and their institutions


We are interested and we care – staff and student welfare

Knowing the link between attendance and success, institutions who record attendance are able to demonstrate that they understand the importance of this key metric of student success and are committed to helping their students to succeed in their studies. The literature also shows that early, timely and sensitive interventions improve outcomes for students and gathering attendance tracking data facilitates this approach.

Using attendance tracking data effectively not only enhances successful academic outcomes, it can help to reduce the debt that students generate during their studies by minimising the need for any extension of studies.

Attendance data can also provide invaluable pastoral information by highlighting students who may be having personal challenges unrelated to their studies. This includes not only the potentially conflicting demands of their studies, their work and their families, but also medical and other issues that might otherwise go undetected until a crisis point is reached.


Fiscal Prudence

A key element of the Win:Win that attendance tracking delivers is a clear improvement in institutional funding. There is a positive impact on revenue generation arising from better retention and reputation.

This is a major benefit when it comes to maintenance costs and capital expenditure on estate development. Activity monitoring provides information on the way the teaching estate is used and inform scheduling decisions to make efficient use of the space available, maintenance decisions about ‘what and when’ and, capital expenditure decisions about what ‘size and shape’ of estate best suits the needs of students and staff alike.

We acknowledge our responsibilities to stakeholders

Every institution has a wide range of stakeholders including those providing funding for students to enable them to study. Major stakeholders in this category include Federal and State Financial Aid in the US and the Student Loans Company in the UK. Where public funds are being invested in higher education, those providing access to these funds place obligations on institutions in receipt of these funds to assure them that the money is being used appropriately. This enables them to provide, in turn, accountability and assurance to their respective taxpayers.

Attendance tracking data can provide this assurance, since it demonstrates that institutions in receipt of such funding take their obligations seriously. This can be extended to employers providing tuition fee and other financial support to support investment.


Our development team have been hard at work building amazing features just in time for the New Year.

Whether you’re an existing SEAtS user or you want to find out more about the No.1 Student Success Platform, we’ve got a collection of exciting updates to share.

You will find something to help you at each stage of the student journey, with features including productivity boosters, tools for managing cases and much more.

What’s new in SEAtS?

  • Mobile App Updates
  • Custom Fields
  • Personalised Email Templates
  • Data Permissions
  • Lightening fast user experience
  • Build your own workflows

Read more

Are students afraid to ask for help?

The first semester can be overwhelming for students; managing workload, making new friends, homesickness, social anxiety, academic stress, meeting deadlines. While graduates look back at the challenges of the first semester with a great sense of pride and achievement, it is difficult to appreciate the lessons at the time. Many students struggle with the transition to higher education, so it is incumbent on the institution to provide services that help students along the way.

Perhaps the greatest lesson of all in life is knowing when to ask for help, rather than viewing it as a weakness. In this social media age, we assume that everyone else “makes it look so easy”, but behind every success is a network of helpers. No one achieves success alone. Offering a friendly reminder that the door is open is a great start but it takes courage to walk through the door, and unfortunately, many students view asking for help as a step too far. The challenge for institutions is seeking out those who need help the most.

So how do you help students who do not know that they need help, or who are too afraid to ask? Midterm results are a good measure but by then the student may have dealt with such enormous stress that they may feel that the course is not for them.

Attendance is the first step in measuring student success. Turning up for class shows that a student is motivated, able to manage their time, and consistent. These attributes lead to healthy student outcomes. Poor attendance is a sign that a student isn’t fully engaged and might need help.

While poor attendance is the first sign of a student who is in need, it is not the only sign. Test results, library attendance, access frequency to online documentation and attending college events collectively build a picture of student engagement and provide a more rounded view of tstudent progress.

We are talking about helping students as soon as possible. We are talking about sitting down with a student, understanding their concerns and letting them know that help is at hand. We are talking about empathy, connection, and relationship building.

Software facilitates relationship building between at-risk students and advisors using digital signals to alert staff of problems. Students who do not seek help are merely young adults who have not yet learned how to ask for help.

SEAtS pulls together a wealth of data, monitors progress, seeks out those most in need and delivers actionable insights for student success.

Student Success – A win:win for students and faculty in Higher Education

Higher education institutions (HEI’s) in the 21st century face many and varied challenges. The reporting demands alone are daunting and seem unending. Add to this a complex regulatory framework and ever increasing ‘accountability’ and you begin to get some idea of the challenging environment of global higher education.

Student Success is now the main focus of both external and internal stakeholders. Getting this key area right is a real win: win for HEIs and students. Student Success as a discipline is nothing new. But it is only in the last 5 years that there has been such a focus on it. Student Success offers a tangible KPI to assess HEIs’ performance. Both against their peers and the sector as a whole. Today’s students will enter an ever more competitive and uncertain employment market. The key metrics of Student Success are graduate outcomes today.

HEI’s gather huge amounts of data on their student’s performance participation and progression. These inform many internal and external stakeholders for statutory and other reporting requirements. Collecting the respective data is often the easy part. Giving the data context and making sense of it is the real challenge.

Periodic reporting to external stakeholders make this easier to manage. HEI’s can timetable the production of monthly, term and annual statistics and reports. New business units emerge to deliver on the stringent requirements of specific stakeholders. This itself can, in turn, create even more challenges when it comes to using and sharing key data; the ‘silo effect’.

How Predictive Analytics is changing Higher Education

Predictive analytics in higher education

Institutions are turning to Predictive Analytics to increase their bottom line and competitive advantage. In order for educational institutions to differentiate themselves and remain competitive, institutions must identify and understand the needs of their students. Traditional surveys are retrospective and only offer an insight after the fact. Real-time data like attendance and grades provide current and future insights.

Institutions can use predictive analytics to identify completion rates, student success after graduation, and even personalise the learning process for students.

There are numerous applications of predictive analytics in Higher Education. Below are the three main reasons universities and colleges are using Predictive Analytics:


Efficient student advising

Advisor caseloads are growing year on year.

In the US, The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) found that the national average caseload per full-time professional academic advisor was 296-to-1. The ratio jumped to 441-to-1 at community colleges.

Assigning advisors efficiently and automating communications can greatly reduce the caseload on an individual level.

Early Alert Systems identify at-risk students as early as the first semester and allocate appropriate advisors based on the student’s needs using predictive analytics, and strategic workflows.


Manage Enrolment

Finding students who are most likely to graduate is another application of predictive analytics in Higher Education. Student data helps schools forecast the size of incoming and returning classes. Institutions can also narrow their recruitment and marketing efforts so they are only targeting students who are most likely to apply, enroll and succeed. Predictive analytics helps Institutions anticipate the financial needs of incoming and returning classes to determine whether a student will accept the financial aid award offered to them.


Adaptive Learning

Predictive Analytics can be used to modify a students learning route based on their interactions to maximise student success. A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer the only option with instructors now capable of pinpointing students’ learning gaps and customising the academic experience so it can better align with how the student learns.


What is your preferred application of predictive analytics in Higher Education?

Where would you like to apply predictive analytics in Higher Education?

Let us know in the comments!

What is Predictive Analytics?

What is predictive analytics?

As the name suggests, Predictive Analytics makes predictions about unknown future events. Data mining, statistics, modelling, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence can all play a role in analyzing old and new data to make future predictions.

Patterns found in data can be used to identify risks and opportunities. Predictive Analytics models capture these relationships among many factors to assess risk with a particular set of conditions to assign a score or weight. By successfully applying Predictive Analytics, the organisation can effectively interpret big data for their benefit.

Is Predictive Analytics new?

Predictive Analytics has been around for a long time. We have been calling it statistics since at least the beginning of the 1900’s. The major difference has a lot to do with the advances in technology. We can do a lot more than we could even 10 years ago for a few reasons:

We can store more data
We can collect more data due to the internet of things.
Computers are fast enough to analyse big data in an acceptable time-frame.

Why is predictive analytics important?

Predictive Analytics provides an opportunity to identify future trends. This allows organisations to act on them ahead of time, thus increasing their bottom line and competitive advantage.

What is the difference between predictive analytics, descriptive analytics and prescriptive analytics?

Predictive analytics is about understanding the future.

Descriptive analytics is about insights into the past

Prescriptive analytics offers advice on possible outcomes.

Give me an example of predictive analytics?

The most obvious example is in financial forecasting where predictive analytics can be applied to predict the future price of a commodity. Take for example gas. We know how much gas has cost over the last 100 years, and we know what external factors contribute to price changes. Using an analytics algorithm, historical pricing data and possible scenarios for today and tomorrow are analysed to predict future prices. The accuracy of the prediction weighs heavily on the quality of the algorithm, as well as the quality of the data.

Could predictive analytics help me predict when I get to work?

Let’s say I want to predict what time you will get to work on Monday. You have provided me with a year’s data. This includes what time you got to work every Monday, how much sleep you got on Sunday nights, if you had meetings on Monday mornings, and if you went out of town for the weekend. I can make increasingly sophisticated predictions based on this data:

  1. The most naive prediction I can make is that you’ll get to work at the same time you did last week
  2. I can predict you’ll get there the average of the times you usually got there on Monday for the last year.
  3. I can propose a model that says the time you arrive is a function of some or all the information I listed above based on a year’s data:
    Arrival time = f (sleep, meeting, weekend)

How is Predictive Analytics being used in Higher Education?

There are many applications for predictive analytics in higher education. These include efficient advising, enrolment management, adaptive learning, space utilization, and funding models. Find out more in “How Predictive Analytics is changing higher Education”.

SEAtS Software is top of the class for Attendance Monitoring

SEAtS Software is the most popular commercial Attendance Monitoring System in UK universities.

Corporate Information Systems Group (CISG) recently published their annual report of all UCISA member institutions. The results confirm that SEAtS Software is twice as popular as its nearest commercial competitor.

SEAtS wants to reverse a worrying trend in colleges which has seen student retention rates decrease for the 4th year running.

A key indicator of student progress is attendance. SEAtS provides the hardware and software to record accurate attendance. Attendance data combined with dozens of other data points offer a complete digital progress report of each student. Workflows allow faculty administrators to automate contact with the student and escalate at-risk students for data-driven case management.

Early intervention increases student retention, and reduces the financial and reputational loss for both the university and the student.

EdTech has seen an explosion in popularity in Higher Education over the last decade, and SEAtS Software is leading the way.

Unitec Institute of Technology goes live with SEAtS in only 46 days

Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand is now live with SEAtS Student Success Platform after only 46 days implementation.

Unitec will use SEAtS to deliver the best possible student experience and outcomes, while supporting Unitec’s Student Retention, Engagement, and Compliance Programs.

Since going live, the SEAtS system has delivered the following key benefits:

  • Attendance tracking of 20,000 FTE students and over 60,000 students in total
  • Simple student check-in using SEAtS mobile app and Student ID Card readers
  • Integrated Data streams from both Peoplesoft SIS and Timetable systems.

SEAtS is student success, student attendance and learning analytics software in the cloud, on mobile, and built to work from day one. Learn more about all of our solutions here.

If you would like any further information on how you can put SEAtS to work at your institution, just drop us a mail or call us on the number below.

APP UPDATE: 10,000 v2 downloads in one week

v2 App Stats

10,349 students used SEAtS v2 mobile app in the first week of availability on the iOS and Android App Stores.

Students experienced 145,000 interactions with the new app in the first week.

The average interaction time was 27 seconds

70% of devices were iPhones

Students in the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Ireland are using the new app.


v2 Benefits

SEAtS new app surpasses expectation by reaching the 10,000 download milestone in only 1 week.

Key benefits of SEAts v2 app:

  • Log in using university credentials for fast attendance recording.
  • Receive class notifications (class cancellation, change of time/room)
  • Request absence from class
  • Record extra curricular activity
  • Receive class notifications (class cancellation, change of time or room)


Student Success at your fingertips

Using SEAtS v2 app, students and faculty gain access to data that in real-time tracks progress for better outcomes.

Our mission is to increase student retention by making it easier for students and faculty to communicate with each other.

SEAtS strengthen relationships for student success.

List of Tier 4 Sponsorship responsibilities, and how SEAtS can help

Maintaining a Tier 4 sponsor Licence is a priority for all Higher Education Institutions.

According to PWC’s 2018 report on Managing Risk in Higher Education, UKVI compliance is top of all HEI risk registers.

SEAtS have worked with several HEI’s to create a reliable solution that removes Tier 4 licensing from their risk register.

Below are a list of Tier 4 Sponsor responsibilities that SEAtS Software helps resolve:

  • To take and keep copies of students’ passports, immigration status documents, visas or Biometric Residence Permits.
  • To keep an up to date record of students’ contact details.
  • To hold a copy of a student’s Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate where required by the student’s programme of study or research.
  • To check that students have registered as required and to report those students who fail to register on time to UKVI.
  • To monitor each student’s attendance and to report any discontinuation of studies or unauthorised absence to UKVI.
  • To report deferrals, suspensions, withdrawals and terminations of study to UKVI.
  • To notify UKVI of any significant changes in your circumstances, e.g. a change to your immigration status such that you are no longer sponsored under Tier 4, a change of programme at the University, early completion of your studies.
  • To notify UKVI of any information which suggests a sponsored student is breaching the conditions of his/her immigration permission.

SEAtS is the world’s most effective student success platform in Higher Education. International students contribute enormously and SEAtS prioritises UKVI for HEI and Student Success.

Learn more about how SEAtS delivers in UKVI, Student Attendance, Predictive Analytics, Early Alert Systems and Case Management.

SEAtS Software awarded place on G-Cloud 10

I am delighted to announce that SEAtS Software has again been awarded a place on the G-Cloud procurement framework, now in its 10th iteration.

G-Cloud is a government initiative which aims to make it easier for government bodies to buy cloud-based services, acting as a government-sanctioned marketplace. SEAtS was chosen as it met stringent standards of high quality, credibility and experience.

The primary goal of G-Cloud is to provide public sector organisations the opportunity to buy cloud services without needing to run a full tender or competition procurement process.

G-Cloud 10 is important for small and medium sized enterprises like SEAtS as it asks suppliers what they can offer rather than how they can meet a brief which encourages innovation.

Since 2012, more than £3 billion of cloud and digital services have been procured by public bodies through G-Cloud, with 48% of that spend going directly to SMEs.

Higher Education Institutions are subject to public standards of accountability. Basic procurement regulations ensure that money is spent in a way that is fair, open and good value for money. The tendering process can lead to a “race to the bottom” where price is put before quality; leading to inefficiencies and failed ICT implementation because the winning bid is simply unable to deliver on the cheapest price. The commonly used lowest price tendering approach can seriously damage software implementation, and damage reputation.

SEAtS Software are delighted to be a part of a government initiative that aims to improve public procurement efficiency, and cost management.

Visit SEAtS Software on the digital marketplace by clicking the link below and find out how we do business.

Download SEAtS new App Today!

I am delighted to announce that SEAtS new student mobile app for iOS and Android is available for download for even more efficient Student Attendance recording.

As you may know, SEAtS have been working on new architecture for the SEAtS Mobile iOS and Android Apps. We are now using the Microsoft Mobile Development Stack. This will give us the capacity to add new features faster in the future. We have got some exciting new features to share with you in this release. We will be adding many more exciting new features in the coming months. The SEAtS Product Marketing team will keep you updated on these new features via email.

You Ask, We Deliver
The feedback from customers was that many students struggled with the mobile code SMS, and an easier student on-boarding experience was needed. The SEAtS App now integrates with your Azure AD / ADFS security. The student will install the app and enter their university email credentials. It will then authenticate with the University Active Directory. SEAtS will continue to support text message sign-up for now. The student will then be able to access the SEAtS App and check in to class, view their attendance history and upcoming events.

NEW App Screens

Get in touch with us!

Like what you see? Chat with one of our student success experts today!