Beyond “Presenceism”: Monitoring student engagement in the new normal

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Traditionally student engagement in learning activities during term was measured by a simple metric, who turned up. Many universities employed varied techniques to measure this from the highly technical to the piece of paper passed around. What this meant through policies such as penalties or requirements also varied widely by institution or subject, all driven through the understanding that being present and engaged correlated to better performance. COVID and the move to distance teaching challenged our traditional measures, never has it been easier for a student to “attend” a lecture with no actual indication of their attention or even if they are still awake! As we begin to move back to campus but under the “new normal” in which students will increasingly choose when and how to access education it is unlikely a return to traditional monitoring will be useful or desirable. Here we present our Engagement and Alerting Tool (EAT) which is built around VLE data and monitors student engagement and virtual attendance. Beyond simply ensuring numbers in virtual attendance the tool offers the opportunity to identify students who show worrying patterns of or low engagement and target interventions and support resources accordingly. This rich source of information can be used to make better decisions on what has and has not working, what areas students may be struggling with and ultimately to individualise the support offered. The technical demonstration will show our approach being implemented using sample data and explain how individual Schools and academic entities within our University are using this near real-time data to better support learners both now and as we move towards hybrid learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2021
EventIrish Learning Technology Association Educational Technology Conference 2021 -
Duration: 27 May 202128 May 2021


ConferenceIrish Learning Technology Association Educational Technology Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleILTA EdTech 2021
Internet address


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