The Role of Attendance in Lecture Classes:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

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27 Scopus citations


A review of prior research on the role of attendance policies in large lecture classes (including psychology) is presented. This research showed that although students often did not attend class, various policies were effective in getting students to the classroom. Moreover, some research showed that an attendance policy did not lower instructor course evaluation scores compared to when there was no attendance policy. With regard to academic performance, a common finding was a positive correlation between attendance and performance. However, research using experimental designs and archival studies that compared classes with and without policies showed that there was not always an improvement in performance. The importance of pedagogical and practical goals in deciding to implement an attendance policy is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-42
Number of pages3
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • attendance
  • course evaluations
  • lecture classes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Psychology


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