Student attendance is a vital part of the education process and is a key indicator of student success. Yet many colleges and universities do not record student attendance. In this blog we look at why recording student attendance is an important action for all institutions.
The Link Between Student Attendance and Student Success
First and foremost, the scholarly articles that have reported on the relationship between student attendance and ‘performance’ (grades, completion, etc) highlight the fact that there is a very clear correlation between student success and student attendance.
A review of the research literature published by the American Educational Research Association concludes:
Class Attendance is a better predictor of college grades than any other known predictor of college grades; including SAT scores, HSGPA, studying skills, and the amount of time spent studying.
– Credé et al (2010)
It then goes on to say:
Indeed, the relationship is so strong as to suggest that dramatic improvements in average grades (and failure rates) could be achieved by efforts to increase class attendance rates among college students.
Put simply, the evidence shows clearly that recording student attendance in class is the primary indicator of likelihood to succeed in higher education. So, if we can improve student attendance, we can improve their chances of success. This is a real win-win for students and their institutions.
Knowing the link between attendance and success, institutions who record attendance are able to demonstrate that they understand the importance of this key metric of student success and are committed to helping their students to succeed in their studies. The literature also shows that early, timely and sensitive interventions improve outcomes for students and gathering attendance tracking data facilitates this approach.
Using attendance tracking data effectively not only enhances successful academic outcomes, it can help to reduce the debt that students generate during their studies by minimising the need for any extension of studies.
Attendance data can also provide invaluable pastoral information by highlighting students who may be having personal challenges unrelated to their studies. This includes not only the potentially conflicting demands of their studies, their work and their families, but also medical and other issues that might otherwise go undetected until a crisis point is reached.