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The Development Of A Formal Research Study On Correlating Student Attendance With Student Success

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Recruitment and Retention in Engineering Technology Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1194.1 - 14.1194.7



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Paper Authors


Donald Richter Eastern Washington University

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DONALD C. RICHTER obtained his B. Sc. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University, M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He holds a Professional Engineer license and worked as an Engineer and Engineering Manger in industry for 20 years before teaching. His interests include project management, robotics /automation ,parametric modeling and rapid prototyping.

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William Loendorf Eastern Washington University

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William R. Loendorf is currently an Associate Professor of Engineering & Design at Eastern Washington University. He obtained his B.Sc. in Engineering Science at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Colorado State University, M.B.A. at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and Ph.D. in Engineering Management at Walden University. He holds a Professional Engineer license and has 30 years of industrial experience as an Engineer or Engineering Manager at General Motors, Cadnetix, and Motorola. His interests include engineering management, real-time embedded systems, and digital signal processing.

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Jason Durfee Eastern Washington University

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Jason Durfee received his BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University. He holds a Professional Engineer certification. Prior to teaching at Eastern Washington University he was a military pilot, an engineering instructor at West Point and an airline pilot. His interests include aerospace, aviation, professional ethics and piano technology

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Terence Geyer Eastern Washington University

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Terence L. D. Geyer is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Engineering & Design at Eastern Washington University. He obtained his B.S. in Manufacturing Technology and M.Ed. in Adult Education in a specially combined program of Technology and Education at Eastern Washington University. His interests include collecting and re-manufacturing older technologies.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Development of a Formal Research Study on Correlating Student Attendance to Student Success


It is generally accepted that today's engineering technology students are very different from the students of 20 years ago. They are of the "digital age" and are assumed to have different learning styles than the traditional students of generations before, although one might suggest that the teaching methods of the past did not work well even for earlier generations. One of the long established tenets of teaching is that attendance in class leads to student success. A research study is being initiated to examine if this correlation currently exists and if so to what extent. This paper describes the formulation, methodology and design of this study to formally test the relationship of attendance with student success. This is the start of a formal five year research study to determine the impact of attendance in class, whether attendance has a correlation with student success, and does this correlation change during the progression of a student throughout their undergraduate experience. The study will involve students from Mechanical Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, Manufacturing Technology, Construction Management, and a service course to the general student body. Data will be derived from four different instructors who will teach approximately 20 classes per year ranging from freshman to senior students. One of the objectives of the study is to track an individual student over their entire undergraduate education. The study will also determine if this correlation changes as the student progresses.


Today's students are fundamentally different than those from the past. They have more technology at their disposal to either support their studies or distract them from studying. These "digital age" students also exhibit different learning styles that can be traced back to their technology and its use. Few visit the library to do research, but they all search for information online. They spend more time staring at screens whether it is a computer, cell phone, PDA, IPod, television, or movie than they do reading books. Technology has changed their expectations along with their classroom experiences. Perhaps even their need to attend class.

It is generally accepted that attending class has a positive correlation with student success leading to a better understanding of the course material. Studies by Cohn and Johnson3 (2006); Davidovitch and Soen4 (2006); Moore7 (2003); White, Thomas, Johnson, and Hyde12 (2008); and many others have investigated the effects of class attendance and discovered supporting results. Class attendance was one of the factors that students control leading to academic success as examined by Dollinger, Matyja, and Huber5 (2008); Yudko, Hirokawa, and Chi13 (2008); and Webb, Christian, and Armitage11 (2007). Incentives, penalties, and motivators for attending class were considered by Brooks, Burton, Cole, Miles, Torgerson, and Torgerson2 (2008); Gump6 (2005); and Moore8 (2005).

Richter, D., & Loendorf, W., & Durfee, J., & Geyer, T. (2009, June), The Development Of A Formal Research Study On Correlating Student Attendance With Student Success Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5099

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015