Improving Student Attendance  

There is much debate in the academic community about ways to improve student 
learning.  Based on limited research that suggests class attendance will enhance 
student learning, the authors began examining ways to increase student attendance.  
Using basic management principles of rewarding desired performance and presenting 
consequences for undesired behaviors, class attendance policies were modified to 
test whether different approaches would yield improved attendance.  The results 
indicate that giving rewards for excellent attendance and negative consequences 
for poor attendance significantly improved attendance.  The use of rewards alone 
was less effective than the use of rewards and punishment but more effective than 
punishment alone.  The implications for attendance management by faculty and 
administrators are discussed.