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(NPR)   Thinking about skipping that 9:00 lecture class? Better be sure your university isn't electronically monitoring your attendance first   ( npr.org) divider line
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14803 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Aug 2010 at 4:08 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-08-30 12:25:08 PM  
Unless they are installing chips in students what is stopping somebody who wants to sleep in from having a buddy take his ID card and swipe him into class?
 
2010-08-30 12:29:04 PM  
Meh. I had plenty of professors that took attendance, including one that failed people who missed more than 3 classes. I'd rather deal with something like than than have to deal with assigned seating or calling roll.
 
2010-08-30 12:29:52 PM  
What if you can do all the homework and pass all the tests without going to class all the time?
 
2010-08-30 12:30:14 PM  
This wouldn't happen if classes were small enough that the professor could notice if the someone else was signing the sign in sheet, or-revolutionary idea- could take attendance.

Lectures, especially now that they are all streaming online, should never be mandatory, because there is almost no participation.
 
2010-08-30 12:33:03 PM  
I had a 8am class with a four star general. It had a sign in sheet that he removed promptly at 8:00. If you were there at 8:01, you were absent for the day. If you had more than three unexcused absences, you failed the class.

It was a required class for my major, and he taught it every semester at 8:00am.

Of course, it only had about 25 students in it, and he had awesome stories, so it was worth showing up to.

/csb
 
2010-08-30 12:36:29 PM  
*cool story bro mode on*

I went to a college where class sizes were 15-20 people, it was definitely noticed if you weren't there, and the professor would come and sit next to you if they thought you were unprepared. Also your grade automatically dropped if you missed more than three classes.

*cool story bro mode off*

Attending class, unless it's an online class, is pretty farking basic. If you can't be arsed to show up, then the university doesn't need to devalue its degrees by giving you one.
 
2010-08-30 12:46:03 PM  

IrateShadow: Meh. I had plenty of professors that took attendance, including one that failed people who missed more than 3 classes. I'd rather deal with something like than than have to deal with assigned seating or calling roll.


I had a few, particularly in the general education stuff (English, etc). Most of the ones in the computer science department took this approach: You are adults. You are paying to be here. If you miss classes and can still pass the tests somehow, that's fine. If you miss classes and fail the test, you'll know why. I don't care whether you receive the education you paid for or not.
 
2010-08-30 12:53:23 PM  
if the class is all lecture (particularly if it is a class larger than 30-40 people) and I can pass the requirements (ie tests/quizes/papers) why should anyone care if I attend or not?
 
2010-08-30 02:12:40 PM  
I went to a big university and often times, more than half the class would skip out on the big lectures. I would force myself to go no matter how hung over you were, because the professors would outright just tell you what they wanted to hear on tests and papers. It was such an absurd advantage and it saved a bunch of time studying and writing papers later.
 
2010-08-30 02:33:08 PM  
""When I started here, I was of the mindset that this is college - students should decide for themselves whether they should show up or not," says associate professor Brandon Cruickshank, who has taught Chemistry 101 in a cavernous classroom at the university for 15 years. "This is no longer high school."

And it should still be that way. I hate to say it, but a university grading on attendance is BS. Students pay tuition, if they miss class it's on them to make up the work. When I was in college some 20+ years ago, the instructor would have pop quizzes every week at random. They were simple, but really in place just to make sure you attended class. You couldn't make them up so you learned pretty quickly not to miss class (which was stupid in his class anyway since his tests were 50% on lecture).
 
2010-08-30 03:52:30 PM  
If they don't learn the material, fail them. If they can learn without showing up, pass them. I don't see what is so difficult about this.
 
2010-08-30 04:12:42 PM  
I stopped skipping classes the minute I realized I was paying for them (and I just finished paying for them last year).
 
2010-08-30 04:13:37 PM  
So I guess they'll skip their art/design building when installing this system, then.

What? 8Draw showed up to his 8am class on monday and hasn't been detected leaving the building yet? And it's wednesday at 4am?
 
2010-08-30 04:14:15 PM  

Cagey B: Attending class, unless it's an online class, is pretty farking basic. If you can't be arsed to show up, then the university doesn't need to devalue its degrees by giving you one.


THIS. Yes. Thank you. Amen.
 
2010-08-30 04:14:19 PM  

nekom: IrateShadow: Meh. I had plenty of professors that took attendance, including one that failed people who missed more than 3 classes. I'd rather deal with something like than than have to deal with assigned seating or calling roll.

I had a few, particularly in the general education stuff (English, etc). Most of the ones in the computer science department took this approach: You are adults. You are paying to be here. If you miss classes and can still pass the tests somehow, that's fine. If you miss classes and fail the test, you'll know why. I don't care whether you receive the education you paid for or not.


That what was always bugged me in the few classes I had back in university with manditory attendance. I mean it was my money I was spending to take the class so if I wanted to bail on it why did it matter to anyone else? I mean I doubt the local movie theatre would care if I bought a ticket and then didn't see the movie.
 
2010-08-30 04:15:16 PM  
Hey, why not just keep going? Screw attendance anywhere! No one should be allowed to yell at you for not showing up to work!

The BS is the idea that "I paid my tuition, I should get to decide if I go to class". This is the same crap that frags high school parents: "My taxes pay the teachers, so they don't have any right to fail my students!"

You want college, go to your classes. This is just another tool for the professors to tell if you're there or not, no different than taking roll.

/Of course, if the professors showed up sometimes, it'd be nice, too
 
2010-08-30 04:15:37 PM  
I am glad to see the tuition money is being put to good use.

I would promptly transfer to another school. Choosing whether or not to go to a class was the biggest perk of college. I can learn from a book.

Hell, the colleges should be using this technology to see what classes kids weren't attending and still passing. Then turn these classes into online courses and reduce their overhead.
 
2010-08-30 04:15:56 PM  

Kasira: If they don't learn the material, fail them. If they can learn without showing up, pass them. I don't see what is so difficult about this.


The difficulty is some of your professors actually care. Shocking, amirite?

Also, some professors at smaller universities gain promotions/tenure based on student feedback and performance. You may be astonished to know student feedback correlates with how well they are performing in the class.

If not for those two things, I agree with you.
 
2010-08-30 04:15:57 PM  
At NAU, only about 30 percent of incoming freshmen will earn a degree in four years. About 3 in every 10 students drop out after the first year.

Perhaps the resources, both time and money, of everyone associated with Northern Arizona University can be put to more productive uses. They don't seem to be accomplishing much now.
 
2010-08-30 04:15:58 PM  

SnakeLee: I would force myself to go no matter how hung over you were,


snicker.
 
2010-08-30 04:16:09 PM  
Brackett has mobilized student opposition to the project. She has launched a Facebook page, gathered 2,000 signatures and organized a rally against the plan.

I love how getting something up on Facespace is akin to accomplishing something these days.


Brackett says part of the college experience is learning to make your own decisions, and living with the consequences.

I agree with this. She made the decision to attend college, and sometimes the professor has an attendance policy. She can live with the consequences of violating the policy if she wishes.
 
2010-08-30 04:16:13 PM  
Goddammit if you're going to pay for a 100k education, we're going to make sure you're there all the time.
/I'd like to see some research behind professor attendance. I had a booze hound of a prof, the guy couldn't send an email out when he got his drunk ass home on a random Tuesday night to tell his students to not bother coming in for his 8am class. No, he'd just stand in front of the class looking hung-over/still drunk, and just tell us, do this, do this, and do this. Kay, get out of here.
 
2010-08-30 04:16:55 PM  

what_now: I had a 8am class with a four star general. It had a sign in sheet that he removed promptly at 8:00. If you were there at 8:01, you were absent for the day. If you had more than three unexcused absences, you failed the class.

It was a required class for my major, and he taught it every semester at 8:00am.

Of course, it only had about 25 students in it, and he had awesome stories, so it was worth showing up to.

/csb


I loved morning classes. I took 90% of my classes before 12, generally it was start classes at 8 am, be done by 12, get lunch, fark my girl friend, take a nap til 6, get dinner, party till 2 or 3, go to bed and get up at 7 for 8 am classes.

Sadly there were only two classes that even dared to begin before 8, one started at 7:45 and one at 7:30.
 
2010-08-30 04:18:34 PM  
This isn't about the student. This is about $$$

They can justify failing or academic probation for a lot more kids regardless of how they test.

They are hiding it behind attendance but the only motivator is to be able to excuse more students. That way they are on the rosters for more years and more money. They will probably institute a GPA correction policy where if you take a semester off you can come back but all credits earned at c or below have to be taken again but you get to keep C+ or better. Schools have been doing this a long time
 
2010-08-30 04:18:43 PM  
There are several problems with treating Uni students as adults.

First is that they rarely act like adults. For many, especially first year students, the whole University experience is more about getting trashed every night than about learning anything. If you don't act like an adult, don't expect me to treat you like one.

Second, the same students who are biatching about being monitored are the same ones who whine about a test being "unfair" and it's somehow my fault that they missed a class. And no, your BS doctor's note doesn't fool anyone.

Third, in my experience as a chemistry/physics professor, there aren't many students who can actually learn the material to a passable level without attending classes. At the end of every term I see a bi-modal distribution of marks: those who came to classes and those who didn't.

You're spending a lot of money to get an education. Don't waste your money.
 
2010-08-30 04:20:13 PM  

Kasira: If they don't learn the material, fail them. If they can learn without showing up, pass them. I don't see what is so difficult about this.


The education itself is secondary to showing that you can follow orders, obey procedures, deal with deadlines, and juggle an incredible amount of stressful time-wasting bullshiat without killing yourself or 30 other students.

The brilliant employee who decides to sleep in instead of coming to the 9AM meetings but still manages to get all the work done is still unemployed.

It's supposed to be preparing you for the real world. The real world, for most people, sucks.
 
2010-08-30 04:20:16 PM  

8.5 tailed fox: I stopped skipping classes the minute I realized I was paying for them (and I just finished paying for them last year).


I knew a guy who did this, he calculated how much he was paying per class hour and it was over 500 dollars an hour. It's much harder to justify ditching when you realize that's what you're skipping.

Granted he went to an expensive as fark private University.
 
2010-08-30 04:20:57 PM  
I went to a small university where my class sizes were 15-20, although some of the core curriculum classes would have at max 65 students. I know that a lot of things factor into a "business" like higher education--attendance, enrollment, etc. But I think the majority of freshman are students that don't really want to be there--they see no value in the classes they take, they are a little immature to realize that they should take the opportunity to better themselves when they have no other skills or talents to draw off of, and may only be there because of pushy parents that force them to be.

I wonder if it would be better to let students work a little at a crappy job upon graduating highschool and let them realize--hey, I don't want to work at Wal-mart anymore, I'mma gets me an edumacayshun! and let them go on to college a little later. Maybe then they'd show up to classes, and wouldn't have to be monitored so heavily. Why waste money on technology when you can't pay your teachers? Why not get better teachers that lure in students with interesting methods/styles?

I think the value of classes increased, to me, as I had to wait til FAFSA no longer gave me a ridiculous EFC and I qualified for fiancial aids and student loans on my own. My parents didn't pay for a dime, other than a pair of binoculars for my ornithology class, and bought me some much needed clothes.

I say, make the kid pay for it, and they'll respect it more.

/The only time I missed classes was for school functions. (Outdoor learning/fieldtrips, not sports.)
 
2010-08-30 04:21:02 PM  
While in my day(*waves cane*) I would have gladly poured some beer on that scanner...

FTFA:"I feel like it's a move toward that - treating us as though we were juveniles."

You are, dumbass. That's why you're drunk, half-naked and yelling at your friends in the middle of my street at 4am. Because you are still a kid, with the freedoms(and responsibilities) of an adult. That makes you feel special, we know. But you're not. We all did it.

Now STFU, get off my lawn and take your goddamn keg cups with you. farking amateurs.
 
2010-08-30 04:22:19 PM  

Fark Me To Tears: Cagey B: Attending class, unless it's an online class, is pretty farking basic. If you can't be arsed to show up, then the university doesn't need to devalue its degrees by giving you one.

THIS. Yes. Thank you. Amen.


Why? Why does anyone else's lack of attendance devalue your degree? If they're able to pass the course and graduate without attending, does it some how devalue your education because you needed to attend lectures?

I personally loved when people didn't show. It meant more seats, less noise, and people who were there wanted to learn. If someone else wanted to get a C or a D by just showing up to the tests, that was their choice.

I hated forced attendance because you'd get every dumb asshole in the class who didn't want to be there talking to their friends.
 
2010-08-30 04:22:34 PM  
Man up, nancies!

When I had 8AM classes I always had plenty of time for a nap later in the day.

The sleep is a hell of a lot easier to deal with in college than high school.
 
2010-08-30 04:23:10 PM  
I don't know that I really agree with attendance policies. It's understandable in the form of participation being factored into the grade, especially for subjects like languages where there is often some peer review. At least, I don't really agree with professors failing a student after something like three absences.

I think random quizzes make for a better attendance policy.

I had one prof in a large class that took attendance, but attendance wasn't mandatory and you could leave early if you wanted as long as you did so quietly. However, towards the end of the semester she would send the sheet back around towards the end of class and those who were signed in at the beginning and end of class were given a small amount of points added to the exam.

I know a lot of people are against bonus points, but once word got around that they were missing out on the opportunity many people opted to attend and stay the full time (most likely those that most needed it).
 
2010-08-30 04:23:44 PM  
I betcha the university has been taking heat from well-to-do parents of supposedly "smart" kids who have been failing out.

The "smart" kids bail out on their lecture classes, flunk the course, and the helicopter parents swoop in to coddle their spawn and try to make things right. This electronic attendance crap is probably born of that circumstance, no matter how altruistic the school makes it out to be. They just want to shut the parents up.

/Skipped nearly every Chemistry 101 class in freshman year.
//Flunked it, and a few other courses in spectacular fashion.
///My GPA was lower than most DUI blood alcohol levels.
 
2010-08-30 04:24:00 PM  
This would have caused me to fail out.

About half way through college, I finally figured out that I don't really learn from lectures very well. I learn FAR batter by doing things. So I stopped going to like 90% of the lectures, and instead spent that time doing the homeworks, projects, extra reading, etc. My grades went up 50% immediately.

I guess we don't want to pass people that can't learn through standard means. This is yet more evidence that college is the new highschool...
 
2010-08-30 04:24:24 PM  

impaler: What if you can do all the homework and pass all the tests without going to class all the time?


You still didn't show up. You fail.
 
2010-08-30 04:25:45 PM  
[realgeniustaperecorders.jpg]
 
2010-08-30 04:25:52 PM  

8.5 tailed fox: I stopped skipping classes the minute I realized I was paying for them (and I just finished paying for them last year).


This. Right off the bat I calculated the hourly rate that I was paying for each class. Once you do that you'd be crazy to ever skip a class (minus a legitimate illness/emergency, of course).
 
2010-08-30 04:28:49 PM  

Kasira: If they don't learn the material, fail them. If they can learn without showing up, pass them. I don't see what is so difficult about this.


Really?

FTA: "I don't see why we need to be told what to do anymore," says junior Rachel Brackett.

How about because when your snowflake ass turns into a snowball and gets a farking job, you will be expected to be there five days a week (at least), on time, showered, not wearing house-shoes, and not smelling like a frat kid's nut-sack that has been dipped in whiskey and vomit--and THEY will tell you what to do.

Your parents are dishing out good money, don't piss on 'em. If you can't make a class three days a week then maybe you need to start looking for a nice cardboard refrigerator box to live in after college. What you haven't seen how hard it is to find a job these days?

Grow up, damn.
 
2010-08-30 04:31:45 PM  

NuttierThanEver: if the class is all lecture (particularly if it is a class larger than 30-40 people) and I can pass the requirements (ie tests/quizes/papers) why should anyone care if I attend or not?


If they want you there, go. If you don't want to go, go to community college and fark off.
 
2010-08-30 04:33:14 PM  

Bullroarer_Took: ow about because when your snowflake ass turns into a snowball and gets a farking job, you will be expected to be there five days a week (at least), on time, showered, not wearing house-shoes, and not smelling like a frat kid's nut-sack that has been dipped in whiskey and vomit--and THEY will tell you what to do.


The only reason you are expected to show up to work is to get money. Like with school you have the choice to not show up to work, in which case you have to deal with the consequences of being fired. But in both cases the choice is the worker's or student's. If you need to be forced to go to school every day, then you are probably not going to be able to handle the world of work anyways.
 
2010-08-30 04:33:42 PM  
Hogwash!
 
2010-08-30 04:33:54 PM  
Ha! I religiously attended my biology and chem lectures after I realized that the books were a ruse, a scam that the professors and the bookstores were in on together. You see they would hand out lists of books at the beginning of the year and you'd go and buy all of them and the professor would lecture and lecture, peripherally mentioning the books along the way, as if he had gotten some of his material from them. But, as it turns out, he was really just spewing some stream of consciousness BS that he would later test you on. So if you skipped the classes and just read the books you would absolutely fail. If on the other hand you lived in the 20th century (as I did when I went to college) each and every lecture was (audio) taped, so that if you missed class, or decided to skip, you could go back and listen to exactly what the professor said. Hell you could probably have gone in the day before exams and listened to the entire semester.
 
2010-08-30 04:37:16 PM  

mechgreg: That what was always bugged me in the few classes I had back in university with manditory attendance. I mean it was my money I was spending to take the class so if I wanted to bail on it why did it matter to anyone else?


That made me laugh.
 
2010-08-30 04:38:08 PM  

lennavan: 8.5 tailed fox: I stopped skipping classes the minute I realized I was paying for them (and I just finished paying for them last year).

I knew a guy who did this, he calculated how much he was paying per class hour and it was over 500 dollars an hour. It's much harder to justify ditching when you realize that's what you're skipping.

Granted he went to an expensive as fark private University.


My rule was that if I skipped a class, I had to write it down on a piece of paper. The same paper also had a per-class cost, so I could see how much money I was giving away by skipping a class.

If you pass, you pass. What's the problem? It's not like your degree has anything at all to do with what you do once you graduate.

/EE
//B- average
///Seemed more efficient that way.
 
2010-08-30 04:38:23 PM  
I teach college (mostly freshman) and hate doing any extra work to force students to come to class because I do believe deep down that they are (almost) adults and welcome to do as they please and face the consequences. I also hate assigning mandatory homework, that I know is busy work for the bright students, and making it a substantial part of the grade.

But I have come to find out that there is a sizable portion of the student body who won't work unless forced, and won't learn the material (in my case, math) unless they work. But the thing is that when you do force them to come to class and work, they learn the material and they learn how to work hard in the process.

So as much as I hate "penalizing" all the slacker/geniuses who can sail through college calculus without ever cracking a book, I also have to think about my entire class.

Dare I mention that I have also run across a lot more students who *think* they are slacker/geniuses than who actually are.
 
2010-08-30 04:39:11 PM  
I have over 180 semester hours of college, and missed all of 2 classes the entire time.

It used to irritate me a lot when a teacher would take 10 minutes of an hour class to do freaking roll call.
 
2010-08-30 04:39:20 PM  
this is old news
 
2010-08-30 04:39:46 PM  
"When I started here, I was of the mindset that this is college - students should decide for themselves whether they should show up or not," says associate professor Brandon Cruickshank...
But over the years, he's seen that attending class does matter. So now he factors class participation into his students' grades.


But then he saw that attendance mattered even more, so he increased its weighting in thier grades, so then he saw that attendance mattered even more, so he...

//equilibrium achieved when "show up" = A+
 
2010-08-30 04:40:18 PM  
How is this any more 'scary' than old fashioned taking attendance via names? I farking hate when people complain about 'intrusive' technology that's just doing exactly what can or is already done without that technology.
 
2010-08-30 04:41:00 PM  
"If you can't be arsed to show up, then the university doesn't need to devalue its degrees by giving you one."

If you can earn the degree without showing up to class, then I don't see how a university's degrees aren't devalued by virtue of the curriculum. At the very least, the class is a waste of my time. I "took" a few courses in undergrad in which I only attended a few classes. I still pulled off the A. Perhaps, I might have gotten more out of the class had I attended most or all of the lectures, but that wasn't going to be reflected in what future employers/graduate schools were going to see and emphasize. Further, I quickly learned from the classes that I did attend that the professor simply reiterated what the book said, albeit in his/her own words. Many are intelligent enough to understand what they read, and don't need someone else to simply spit it back at them.

I've also taken courses where it would have been close to impossible to pass without going to class. Inevitably, these were the courses where the class sessions supplemented the "homework," rather then simply reiterated it in another form. They either covered material wasn't covered at all in assignments, or offered a perspective or understanding that could not be gleaned from "homework." This, in turn, was reflected in the exams. Classes should be an independent aspect of the entire learning experience, not simply a conduit to repeat and rephrase the work done outside of class. Redundant classes are what devalue a university's degree, if anything - not passing courses while failing to attend classes.
 
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