Safety in numbers

August 19, 2010

Tom Franklin makes an interesting and important point about the attendance of students at lectures (Letters, 5 August). My own extensive experience as an external examiner indicates that students who often fail courses do so because of poor attendance. It could be argued that those who cannot get to lectures are also unlikely to study on their own.

A number of years ago, I collected more than 200 observations of teaching sessions that had been graded on a 1-5 scale. They indicated clearly that the highest-graded sessions also had the best attendance. These findings were published in Assessing Quality in Further and Higher Education (1994).

Allan Ashworth, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford.

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