Lecture attendance rates at university and related factors

Kelly, G. E. (2012) Lecture attendance rates at university and related factors. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 36 (1). pp. 17-40. ISSN 0309877X (ISSN)


There is a perception that university students have changed dramatically in their modes of learning in recent years, mainly due to their widespread use of the Internet as an information source, the change in student body due to the greater accessibility of third level education and changes in experience in second level education. Lectures, however, remain the central mode of traditional teaching and learning at most universities and thus attendance at lectures continues to be a subject of considerable importance. However, few studies report actual attendance levels in any comprehensive way. Herein, levels of lecture attendance in the colleges of Science in University College Dublin are documented from two probability-based surveys. The results of a questionnaire recording the attitudes of students towards a range of factors that potentially affect attendance are also presented. Factors that continue to influence attendance, that are in the control of the university, such as living on/off campus, the lecture schedule in the students' timetable, day of the week and transport problems are revealed. Factors in students' personal lives, such as engagement in part-time work, irrespective of purpose, are seen to be related to satisfaction with studies and lecture delivery. Suggestions for active measures to increase the level of lecture attendance, appropriate to the present day, are made. © 2012 Copyright UCU.

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