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Comparative study of assessment, attendance and performance in business courses
This paper examines the links between assessment, attendance and student performance in two undergraduate intermediate level courses Macroeconomics and Business Finance and a post graduate course namely Theory of Accounting. A regression model was developed to examine the effect of attendance on student performance. Regression models predict at least a 25% increase in performance for students with high attendance compared with those with low attendance. There was a strong positive relationship between attendance and student performance in all the three courses, with the model predicting that a student with a 100% attendance in tutorials will thus score higher marks than those who don’t attend tutorials. This would result in a grade higher for those with good attendance which was consistent with literature. However, the correlation between attendance and marks is not linear, given that some students were self learners, whether undergraduate or a post graduate course. Teaching strategies were introduced to boost attendance in macroeconomics from Term-1-2010. The introduction of an exam into the assessment for Macroeconomics had no effect on attendance or student performance when compared to assignment based assessment. However, the introduction of an exam had a large negative effect on enrolments with a fall of over 30%. The introduction of an exam has had a relatively minor effect on attendance and the failure rate, but a significant effect with a fall in enrolment by 30%. To improve attendance the relationship between attendance and student performance should be demonstrated to the students since the best way to change behaviour is by motivation and self interest.