Friday, October 16, 2009

Attendance at Tutorials

This semester I have been monitoring tutorial attendance closely and contacting students who have not attended. A common response I have received is that, as attendance is not compulsory, the student does not think it is important to attend tutorials. I am astounded by this view. How do students think they will acquire the understanding necessary to successfully complete the assessment items if they do not attend classes?

Evidence of the lack of attendance is in the following two graphs:

My problem is: how do I convince students that attendance at tutorials is the most important factor in acquiring the understanding to successfully complete the assessment tasks? I do not want to set "participation marks" to force attendance when there is not a pedagogical reason for having a participation mark.

1 comment:

Leigh Blackall said...

Really interesting, and a wonderful question. As a challenge.. is it possible that the value that was formally provided by the tutorials, is being met elsewhere. I know it is highly unlikely given the stereotypical culture of students, but it is non-the-less possible. There could be discussion going on elsewhere, they could be accessing other types of information as they read readings, prepare for assignments or listen to lecture recordings, they might even be asking questions in external forums. I wonder then, if the format for teh tutorial has changed, or if the value for the tutorial could be found again by occupying those spaces more... eg, tag this blog post with your class name and add the feed for the tag to your Moodle.. maybe even be more assertive and direct your students here to join the discussion about it?