Why don’t students attend lectures? Profiling factors that link to student attendance

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Prentice, Garry
Richardson, Lee
deBurca, Brian
Issue Date
Dublin Business School
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Background: Lecture attendance has been a key factor in enhancing student performance (e.g. Arulampalam, Naylor & Smith, 2012), but is it as important as it used to be? This study examines student pattern of attendance in relation to class start time, gender, nationality, subject, mode and year of study, while considering the likelihood of assessment failure. Method: Attendance data (18,319 cases) from Arts and Business undergraduate degree modules across a 12-week semester in the 2015-2016 academic year are examined. Results: After a Latent Class Analysis indicated that students fell into non-attender, intermittent or frequent attender categories, Multi-nominal Logistic Regressions were conducted. In the overall sample, compared to frequent attenders, non-attenders were more likely to be evening students, at level 2 or 3, male, Irish, an Arts student and have earlier classes, and be a failing student. Conclusions: Profiles of students prone to non-attendance and increased risk of failure are identified and the implications discussed.