Low Attendance Rate, What Is the Problem
Low Attendance Rate, What Is the Problem
  • Reporter Reo Ye-jin
  • 승인 2012.11.21 23:12
  • 댓글 0
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Students dozing and even sleeping on their stomach during classes are easily seen throughout campus. Furthermore, it is hard to see a class with fulfilled students. Freshmen’s high absence rates were revealed through a recent investigation. By entering six random classes and counting number of students in the class at the beginning of the classes, we found only about 63% of freshmen attended basic required classes on average. On the other hand, about 94% sophomores attended their major classes. The basic required classes are designed for freshmen, while major classes are supposed to take by sophomores or higher year students.  However, there were some exceptions. Major classes that students from various majors are taking, such as some math classes, showed very low attendance rates.

Reason for Skipping Classes
The POSTECH Times surveyed freshmen and sophomores about why they skip classes. The survey was conducted on the first floor of the Residential College for two days. An inquiry and a survey asking for the reasons for their absences were limited to freshman and sophomore and it did not include liberal arts classes but only basic required classes and major subjects.
 Five multiple-choice answers were given so that students could attach a sticker to their answers. Students selected one answer for the best reason.  The five given reasons were (1) “in order to do homework or prepare for quizzes and tests of other subjects”, (2) “hard to wake up to go to the classes”, (3) “the classes do not check attendance or check by electronic attendance-absence recording system”, (4) “hard to follow class work”, and (5) already know the contents of the classes. Forty-six freshmen and sixty-four sophomores participated in the survey. In case of both freshmen and sophomores, about 40% of them said they miss out their classes because it is hard to get up before the classes start. On the other hand, more sophomores (20%) are absent due to their homework, quiz, and test of other subjects than freshmen (15%). Sophomores also had a higher rate (19%) than freshmen (9%) on the reason the class does not check attendance or checks by electronic devices. However, a higher percentage of freshmen failed to attend the classes because class work is hard to understand (22% of freshmen, 13% of sophomores) and because they had already learned the contents (13%, 8%). 
The Analysis
The highest percentage on the second choice which student are hard to wake up before classes start shows Postechians’ nocturnal habits. As we know, many Postechians sleep late and wake up late. They take naps in the afternoon and cannot easily wake up to attend class in the morning and after napping. More sophomores skip class to do homework, quizzes, or tests for other subjects because they may have more demanding classes than freshmen. Also, as sophomores learn major subjects, they think about their grades more. On the other hand, freshmen reported that classes are hard to understand and that they already know the contents of class. Therefore, they feel easy to skip classes and study alone or do not study. The second reason is likely the result of science high school students’ advance studying.

The Solutions
To encourage attendance, professors or teaching assistants can check their attendance directly. However, it can be time consuming. Professors can introduce information which will be given on the weekly quiz during the lecture or give extra points to those who attended classes. They can ask students to take lecture note during the class, roll them up, and give it back on next class. Moreover, POSTECH could stop offering morning classes.  
Sophomores showed relatively high attendance rates. It is because students can no longer follow class work by not attending class and trying to study harder as they learn about their major. Freshmen’s low attendance rate may result from hanging around with friends or seniors more at night by drinking, studying late, and having more classes in the morning. Additionally, as some students are not familiar with the way of university class and already know the contents of classes, they do not participate in class well. However, in order to adjust in university class and study better, they need to attend the classes and all students need suitable solutions.