June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Educational Research and Methods
26.1410.1 - 26.1410.25
Student and Faculty Perceptions of Attendance Policies at a Polytechnic UniversityThe goal of an attendance policy is to improve the academic success of students. However,current literature does not provide clear conclusions whether enforcing an attendance policyactually improves student performance. This study explores student and faculty perceptionsregarding the utility of attendance policies in undergraduate courses at a polytechnic university.Anonymous surveys were completed by 89 faculty members and 455 responses from fiveschools (Engineering, Engineering Technology and Management, Computer and SoftwareEngineering, Architecture, and Arts and Sciences) on a single campus. Comparisons between theperceptions of students and faculty members are presented, as are comparisons between theperceptions of lower-level and upper-level students. Variations in perceptions based on major arealso highlighted. Finally, trends in perceptions regarding attendance policies in lower-levelversus upper-level undergraduate courses are revealed.Students, regardless of major, class standing, or course level, reported attending more classes incourses that had attendance policies. The most significant impact of an attendance policy onclass attendance was observed at the freshman level. While 84% of freshmen reported attendingat least 90% of the classes in a course with an attendance policy, only 67% reported attending atthat rate in a course without one. Qualitative data containing student and faculty attitudestowards attendance policies are also analyzed and discussed.Even though class attendance appeared to have improved as a result of attendance policies,students’ perceptions about these policies varied significantly. Overall, the majority of students(51%) believed that, for a course with an attendance policy, the policy positively affected finalgrades. For a course without an attendance policy, the majority (57%) felt that the lack of apolicy had no impact of final grades. Faculty members’ perceptions about attendance policieslikewise varied. Overall, 61% of the faculty members surveyed reported having an attendancepolicy in one or more of their courses. The majority of faculty members believed that anattendance policy led to improvements in students’ grades in lower-level courses, but not inupper-level courses. Collectively, this study can help instructors make better informed decisionsabout the use of attendance policies in their courses.
Lowder, L., & Khalid, A., & Ferreira, D. R., & Bohannon, J. L., & Stutzmann, B., & Atiqullah, M. M., & Singh, R., & Yee, T., & Acharya, K. R., & Chin, C. A., & Karim, M. A., & Keyser, R. S., & Colebeck, D. (2015, June), Student and Faculty Perceptions of Attendance Policies at a Polytechnic University Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24747
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