Academics

Center for Effective Teaching and Learning

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Discussion Notes, Fall 2017

September 21, 2017 Takeaways

Student Attendance, Case by Case and Compulsory Attendance Policies - An Interesting Finding

  • Melissa Rasmussen at the Pharmacy school has done research in the area of attendance. Lower performing students tend to use exams as an excuse to skip classes that aren't testing. Ironically, these are the students that need to be attending. 
    • Students miss class when they feel they can read lecture material from the text and/or watch recorded tegrity lectures - seemingly no value to class attendance.
    • Punitive  attendance points don't work as well as positive points.
    • Faculty have tried quizzing daily with policies in place to drop the 1-2 lowest scores.
    • Active learning class activities make class time more meaningful. 
    • Need for expressing value in attending. Research has shown that paying tuition plays no role in attendance.
  • Attendance Policy Discussion
    • Overall, attendance has the ability to foster the idea of community-building with a sense of need and being welcomed.
    • Having a policy in place and given to students up front is helpful for faculty to be intentional with how they deal with attendance issues, but the policy itself hasn't solved the problem.
    • Require students to communicate when they will miss class.
    • Upper level class expectations higher than entry-level classes.
    • Group work and attendance correlation affects everyone.
    • Participation log has helped students express their perceived value in attending.
    • Some faculty begin all student grades at 100% and deduct as the semester moves forward.
    • Quiz at the end of class lecture to show mastery of content.
  • What happens when students miss for legitimate reasons in classes where daily quizzes are assigned? (fairness)
    • Communicate with student that the lowest quiz score will be dropped at the end of the semester.
    • Option to attend virtually when feasible
      NOTE: Canvas has a collaboration feature that makes it possible for students to attend virtually with very little setup. See Rebecca Johnson or Edita Sicken for assistance.