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.