With all the help I give to students that could keep them from coming to class I have been back and forth over what to do to entice them to come to class. Will it be the carrot, or the stick? Do I reward the students who come to class or penalize the ones who don’t? I have tried giving an attendance mark, based solely on if they use their clicker or not, I have also tried giving them a mark based on if they attend and if they are getting the questions right. The problem I ran into is that I have seen some students with multiple clickers in their hands, answering for a friend who is probably sleeping in that day. This is an obvious and hard to stop way to scam the system. Also, one student in last year’s evaluations made a good argument that a poor student doesn’t care about the 5 or 10 percent they can get by coming in, and a good student who can succeed without coming to class is just getting penalized. I took this to heart, as I’d rather not force students to come who don’t need to, I just want to encourage them to come as it is always easier to learn by physically attending class and some students need that litle nudge to come in every day. So what to do? This year I am probably going to go with the clicker attendance, but I am also giving students an opt-out option. If they want they can have the weight put on their final and it doesn’t matter if they attend class or not.
What do you think you would respond to as a student?