Discouraging Class Attendance in Large Section Required Courses: Please Don’t Come to Class

By Ronald S. Lemos.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Students who do not wish to be in class contribute to an unpleasant teaching environment. This is especially true in large section, required courses. A course management strategy is presented that encourages unmotivated students to complete course requirements, via the internet, without attending lectures. This approaches also benefits motivated students who occasionally must miss lecture sessions for legitimate reasons. Once the course has been structured to make attendance at lecture sessions optional, the challenge to the instructor is to provide a rationale and benefit for attendance. The benefits of this strategy include: a significantly more pleasant teaching environment, significantly improved teaching ratings, and the continuous challenge of making class attendance a valuable university experience for students. Reasons students do not need to attend lecture sessions include the following: 1. Attendance is not required or recorded. 2. Course notes (outlines of PowerPoint slides used in class) are available on the web. 3. Practice chapter quizzes (with answers) are available on the web. 4. Homework assignments can be accessed via the web. 5. Homework is submitted, graded, and returned via email. 6. The exams are based on the text readings. 7. Exam scores are available via email. 8. Student questions can be addressed via email. 9. Students who must miss occasional lectures for legitimate reasons are not significantly disadvantaged. 10. Attending class if sick, tired, or distracted is not recommended. 11. Most importantly, classroom lectures are designed for prepared students. Next, ten reasons are provided to encourage prepared and motivated students to attend lecture sessions. The criticisms and success of this approach will be described.

Keywords: Discouraging Class Attendance, Course Management Strategy, Teaching and Learning, Teaching Environment, Class Attendance Issues, Absenteeism, Instructor Ratings

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 10, pp.35-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.390MB).

Dr. Ronald S. Lemos

Professor of Information Systems, Department of Information Systems, College of Business and Economics, California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Dr. Ronald S. Lemos is currently Professor of Information Systems at the College of Business and Economics, California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) where he also served as Dean until 1996. Previously, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the California State University system. Dr. Lemos has held positions as Dean of the School of Management at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and Acting Dean and Associate Dean at CSULA. He has also held faculty positions at CSUDH, San Francisco State University, and Los Angeles Harbor College. Dr. Lemos received his M.B.A and Ph.D. in Information Systems from the UCLA Graduate School of Management. He received his B.S. in Accounting from CSULA and his A.A. from East Los Angeles College. Dr. Lemos has published articles and presented papers on a wide range of topics including computing, management, teacher education, and diversity in education.

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