The literature available on the relationship between student attendance and attainment is inconsistent. Nevertheless, there is some empirical evidence to suggest that attendance is a determinant of academic performance and progression. Colby published results of a study which examined the relationship within a single year 1 undergraduate module, and his findings showed a strongly significant relationship between attendance and attainment. However, Colby’s article, along with countless other attendance studies suffers inherent data collection limitations that are associated with paper-based attendance monitoring and manual data entry. UniNanny® is an electronic attendance monitoring system developed at the University of Glamorgan, which boasts high-quality data and minimises disadvantages associated with paper-based methods. The purpose of this study was to corroborate, or otherwise, the findings of Colby, though on a much larger scale, evaluating 22 first year modules within four separate award programmes, using attendance data gathered and stored electronically. The results of this study show a strong, statistically significant correlation between learning event attendance and academic attainment, thereby substantiating Colby’s findings. Data revealed that the more a student attends classes, the less chance they have of failing academic assessments, and the more chance they have of attaining high grades. Attendance was found to decline considerably over time, though early morning lectures were not associated with significantly worse attendance.
- attendance monitoring
- student attainment