Tag Archives: attendance

Where the heck are my students?

Photo: Wondering where the students are, courtesy JP de Ruiter (pictured).

Disclaimer: I’m not a teaching-and-learning expert; you can think of this post as an interested person hashing out possibilities in print. If you know more than I do, please use the Replies!

I’ve been standing in front of classrooms for about 25 years now, and I’ve become increasingly irritated by the fraction of my students who aren’t filling the seats in front of me. In my typical course on a typical day, somewhere around 1/3 of my students are missing*. Get that: a third of my students aren’t even present in the classroom. All that buzz about lectures vs. “active learning”, learning styles, assessment design, and on and on: aren’t they just a distraction from the big issue, which is that no technique can reach a student who isn’t even in the classroom?

So how do I get my students into the classroom? Continue reading