I ran some statistics on my USU 1320 class to see what kind of correlation there was between class attendance and student success. Of course doing so required making certain assumptions:
a) I asked that students in class today only put their name down on a sheet I passed around if they were “regular attenders”. The vast majority of the 103 students in class today said that they had missed 3 or fewer classes. I assume that those who put their names down were being honest about this.
b) I assumed, for the sake of having some data to work with, that students who were not in class today were not “regular attenders”. This may not be true; there might be some regularly attending students who happened to have not come today. But I assumed that all 67 students who were absent today were not regular attenders.
So here is what I discovered: While this little statistical study did not control for various factors, it at least points to a very strong correlation between attending class regularly and better grades.
The overall class average on Exam 3 was a 20 (C+).
The average of those who were in class on Friday: 21.7
The average of those who were not in class on Friday: 17.2
That means that those in class who considered themselves “regular class attenders” average a B- on the exam. Those who were not in class (who, for the sake of argument, we are presuming to not be “regular class attenders”) averaged a D+. Quite a difference.
Of those 67 students who did not attend, there were 19 Fs and 15 Ds. So 28% of the non-attenders got Fs. 22% got Ds.
Of the 103 students who did attend, there were 2 Fs and 15 Ds. So 2% of attenders got Fs and 15% got Ds.
Again, quite a remarkable difference. The non-attenders accounted for 67% of the total Ds and Fs, even though they make up only 39% of the class.
The lesson: come to class. You actually learn something by doing so.