Hi folks - at the end of my presentation today (No Surprise: The Most Obvious Solution to Cultural Change) there was a lively discussion from the audience on if we should, and how we could, work to encourage/compel faculty to record attendance more regularly. The customizations Bob Taticek made for us, by bringing in attendance data from Banner, has led to some useful reports for advisors, administrators, and program directors/deans and helped inform elements of our early-alert system.
Certainly there are federal regulations (e.g., Title IV funding) which requires reporting on attendance, but there are still challenges with individual compliance. I posited that an early-alert system, specifically the faculty-advisor-student communication, will aid accountability without infringing on academic freedom. From our experience at Concordia University Wisconsin, we had a 6% increase in faculty recording attendance, once they knew this information was being used to intervene with students, thereby improving student engagement in their class and student success (who would be opposed to that, right?!) We still have the opportunity to improve upon those numbers, but it begs the question of how. Furthermore, data continually supports the notion that attendance is critical for student success. As administrators, does the end-goal of improving student success justify the means of improving it (i.e., requiring attendance & the recording of attendance)?
I'd welcome your thoughts on this topic -