The Student Engagement and Attendance (SEA) system is a digital system that records your attendance to all your learning sessions including lectures, seminars and workshops.
Attending your learning sessions provides you with opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully complete your course and attendance can be a significant factor of success in your degree.
We know that a dip in attendance can be a sign that you may be experiencing problems and can help us to help you in any areas you may be finding hard – whether that is timetable clashes, an overload of work or personal situations which can make attendance difficult.
Please note: in light of Covid-19, the University will use this system to support NHS Test and Trace. Data will be held and used in accordance with the University’s Data Protection Policy. Read our University Test and Trace System guidance for more information.
How it works
SEA collects your attendance data and displays this either as an attendance or absence. This can be seen by module leaders and personal tutors so they can easily see your attendance history.
Using SEA helps us to:
- ensure we can take a proactive approach to supporting you when you need it
- enable you to maximise your potential, increase your success and achievements
If you repeatedly or regularly don’t attend your timetabled classes your personal tutor may contact you to talk about your absence.
If you are a tier4 student you may additionally be contacted by the tier4 team to discuss your attendance and the conditions of your visa with the University.
If you miss classes for an extended period of time your Personal Tutor will review your engagement with the Student Retention and Engagement Team.
How to access your attendance record
To access the Student Engagement and Attendance (SEA) system, you'll need to:
- sign in to the SEA system using [your username]@westminster.ac.uk and your usual password
- you'll see your calendar, showing the current week
- use the left and right arrows to move between weeks
- change the view to day or month
- click on an event to display more information
If you're unable to attend a class, you can record your absence in SEA. It's important that you do this, so we're able to see the reasons for your absence as we monitor your engagement.
If you forget your ID card but have attended, you'll also need to log this as an absence to record the reason you were unable to swipe.
Once a semester has finished, records for that semester can no longer be altered.
More guidance on using the system is in the following downloadable guide:
Why we monitor engagement and attendance
Throughout your journey with us you will be in contact with a range of systems and processes. This includes attendance monitoring as well as the Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard) and submission of your assignments.
Your Personal Tutor’s role is to support you throughout your studies and your engagement and attendance are indicators of how you are doing. Personal Tutors have access to a system called the Learning Analytics Application which displays information about your learning activities and engagement. This application has been designed specifically to enable your Personal Tutor to be proactive in the support they provide by making an early intervention to help you re-engage with your studies.
If your Personal Tutor thinks you need some support they will contact you directly to discuss your progress and anything that may be impacting your studies. Personal tutoring is part of our commitment to ensuring you are able to achieve your full academic and personal potential, but it is your responsibility to engage with them when they contact you.
NHS Test and Trace
The University will use this system to support NHS Test and Trace, to aid with stopping the spread of Covid-19. Details can be found in the PDF below, and all data will be held and used in accordance with the University’s Data Protection Policy.
How to record your attendance
You will receive your student ID card when you enrol and will need to use this to swipe into your timetabled classes. If you need a replacement ID card please visit your Campus Registry during their opening hours.
Remember you only need to swipe in at the beginning of your class – you don't need to swipe out when you leave.
You need to swipe in no earlier than 15 minutes before your class starts and no later than 15 minutes before the class ends. So if your class is 10am to 12pm, you can touch between 9.45 and 11:44am. Swiping more than 15 minutes before the class ends will not count.
The only exception to this is if you are taught in a studio when you can swipe in at any time within the scheduled studio time.
If you have two classes back to back in the same room, for example, a lecture followed by a seminar, you will need to swipe in at the start of each event in order to have your attendance recorded for each event.
Swiping in and then leaving the class is deemed as not attending.
If you are experiencing technical difficulties with recording your swipe into a class or you notice a discrepancy with your attendance record please contact the appropriate team as per the support flowchart, outlining where you believe there is an issue so this can be investigated. Further information can be found on our FAQ page.
2020–21 Process for recording attendance for online teaching and learning
To record your attendance when you have an online event, you must log into an activity/material for the required class within the module Blackboard site. (Information on what activities and materials you should access for each class should be available in the module handbook or in the module information area on the blackboard site eg announcements. If you are unsure what you should be doing for each class, please discuss with your class tutor).
It is advised that where possible you should access the learning activities at the time the class runs as shown on your CMIS timetable (as per Greenwich Mean Time). This is to provide you with the ability to engage with your tutor and peers when live events are taking place. However, the University acknowledges that students may not always be able to access the learning materials at this time, whether this is due to living in different time zones or navigating challenges around work/life balance.
Subsequently there is flexibility to help support you in your studies. For your attendance to be recorded for an online class you will need to:
- Log into an activity/material within the module blackboard site no more than 60 minutes before the class start time in your CMIS timetable (as per GMT) and within 7 days from the class start time. For example, if you have a class at 10am on a Tuesday you will need to log into an activity/material between 9am on the Tuesday and before 10am the following Tuesday
- Just logging into the module blackboard site is not a marker of attendance, you must engage with the learning activities within the site to be deemed as attended
- You must access the activity/material for 15 minutes or more to be deemed attended
- It may take up to 24 hours for your attendance to be updated in your SEA record
If you have two events in your CMIS timetable back to back for the same module, you will need to log in and log out of an activity for each event as per the above time window to register your attendance at the separate classes.
If you believe there is a discrepancy in your attendance record, please log a service desk call providing the details of the date/time of the class event in your CMIS timetable, details of the activity you accessed in blackboard and the approximate date/time you accessed it so that this can be investigated further by our IT Service desk team.
How your engagement is monitored
In addition to the recording of your attendance via the SEA system your personal tutor will have a learner analytics application to assist them with their monitoring and support.
This tool brings together data on your engagement from a variety of University systems which looks at your attendance, assessment submission and performance, mitigating circumstances, assessment offences, credits studied, timetable clashes and Virtual Learning Environment activity.
This will provide your tutor with a holistic view of your engagement with your studies and enable them to identify when they may need to proactively contact you to discuss this further.
Information on the use of your data on the learner analytics tool can be found on our privacy statement.
Please note in light of recent events the Student Retention and Engagement Team and the Tier4 Attendance Team will be working remotely and flexibly. We will therefore only contactable via email.
If you have a query regarding your engagement and attendance please contact:
If you are a Tier 4 student
If you are not a Tier 4 student
Information regarding what do and who to contact if you are withdrawn from the course due to non-attendance can be found on the Student Engagement and Attendance FAQs page.