Factors influencing student non-attendance at formal teaching sessions

Diane Sloan, Helen Manns, Tony Mellor, Mike Jeffries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Motivated by falling levels of attendance at classes, this paper explores student reasons for non-attendance within Undergraduate Programmes at a post 1992 UK university. Questionnaires collected demographic profiling information and factors students thought influenced attendance. Closed questions established how important attendance was in influencing grades and how motivated students considered themselves to be. Findings reveal variables including age, gender, level of study and work commitments had no significant impact on reported attendance, levels of interest and motivation were important. Students identified lectures as the session they were least likely to attend and unseen exams the assessment type most likely to encourage attendance. Unprompted reasons for non-attendance included illness, tiredness, socialising; with institutional factors such as the impact of other university work, timetabling and topic. Key interventions include attendance monitoring, marks for attendance, alignment of lecturer style to content delivery, and establishing an explicit link between lecture content and assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2203-2216
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number11
Early online date4 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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