Public Release: 

Does good attendance equal good grades?

American Physiological Society

(Madison, Wis.) June 19, 2018--Studies of classroom attendance patterns in undergraduate students have shown that attendance and performance go hand in hand--attending class is the key to reaping the rewards of academic achievement. However, many of these studies were completed before the advent of the internet and the explosion of online learning. Researchers will discuss the changing nature of medical student engagement in the physical classroom and effective teaching approaches today at the American Physiological Society (APS) Institute on Teaching and Learning in Madison, Wis.

Medical school faculty have reported recent declines in classroom attendance as more online educational content has become available. However, medical student attendance habits have not been as extensively studied. Researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Medicine explored the learning styles and test performance of medical students who were able to choose between attending lectures and small-group learning sessions and receiving the materials in a digital format. They found that high-performing students were more likely to skip non-mandatory in-class sessions, and their performance on the final examination did not suffer for it. Their findings suggest that attendance is not a solid predictor of the students who do best.

"We conclude that different facets of self-regulated learning predict attendance, with highly confident students being the least likely to attend and that attendance at in-class sessions is no longer a good marker for those who will do well in a course," the research team wrote.

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Christine A. Kauffman, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the UCF College of Medicine, will present "Classroom attendance patterns and examination performance in pre-clinical medical students" in a poster session on Tuesday, June 19 at the Madison Concourse Hotel.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The third Institute on Teaching and Learning will be held June 18-22 in Madison, Wis. To schedule an interview with the conference organizers or presenters, contact the communications@the-aps.org>APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

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