The Student Room Group

Can your grade be affected by attendance?

My girlfriend is in her first year of Architecture, and her tutor is threatening to reduce marks for people who have low attendance. My initial reaction is that isnt fair at all, she always has her work done before the deadline and to a very good standard.
In my first year of Physics, I only had 30% attendance but I still got a 1st - so for some people it doesnt matter too much as long as you have your own sort of approach to your studies.
On some of her previous work on sustainability and energy of structures, I was able to help her out as I study physics to produce some work that easily met the criteria and went far beyond that. However, she got a B and the tutor failed to justify which criteria she did not meet which is ridiculous.

Should I tell her to report this to a senior tutor?
It comes down to politics. Universities are now judged on attendance and no doubt their funding is also linked to it. I would imagine that she has signed some terms and conditions that require her attendance to be up there. There is no excuse really. And if you are paying £9k+ for the pleasure, why wouldn't you attend? Bonkers!
Original post by ByEeek
There is no excuse really. And if you are paying £9k+ for the pleasure, why wouldn't you attend? Bonkers!


Well I dont attend but I still achieve high, so do many other people. I thought university would be more relaxed than this; they hyped up us becoming adults and entering higher education but bind us to a silly thing like attendance when there are no cause for concern in regards to academic records.
Original post by Dante991
Well I dont attend but I still achieve high, so do many other people. I thought university would be more relaxed than this; they hyped up us becoming adults and entering higher education but bind us to a silly thing like attendance when there are no cause for concern in regards to academic records.


You are right of course. Try telling that to an employer! Why bother going to a university at all? You could save yourself a whole load of money by just reading a book instead.
Original post by Dante991
My girlfriend is in her first year of Architecture, and her tutor is threatening to reduce marks for people who have low attendance. My initial reaction is that isnt fair at all, she always has her work done before the deadline and to a very good standard.
In my first year of Physics, I only had 30% attendance but I still got a 1st - so for some people it doesnt matter too much as long as you have your own sort of approach to your studies.
On some of her previous work on sustainability and energy of structures, I was able to help her out as I study physics to produce some work that easily met the criteria and went far beyond that. However, she got a B and the tutor failed to justify which criteria she did not meet which is ridiculous.

Should I tell her to report this to a senior tutor?


If she is being picked on by a member of staff then it should be reported.

Some courses tie in attendance and grades; i.e. 5% or 10% of the module mark comes from having full attendence. I'm not sure if that's the case here?

The fairness of whether her mark gets reduced based on attendence depends on the answer to the question: why does she have low attendence? If it's for illness or other such issues then she should not be penalised in that way; it's discrimination.

If she's not attending because she can't be bothered - even if her work is of good quality - then no offence but I can see where the tutor is coming from, because it's very frustrating to try and meaningfully teach a class when people don't bother to turn up. Look at it from the tutor's point of view, it's not a great or encouraging attitude - does she actually want to be there? Lecturers often discuss assessments in class so if she did miss something important how would she know about it?

Teachers make lesson plans tailored to the number of students enrolled in their class, and not showing up can mess up planned group activities, or whatever, which then affects the learning experience for everyone else there too.

It can also affect the course itself. The university's administration isn't going to be happy with the course and the teachers if there is low attendence. Low attendance is sometimes a sign the course is ****, so if that get's noticed, great, but if it's just because students are too lazy to turn up then it's not really fair.

University isn't just about handing in good quality essays and projects - debates in seminars, taking part in workshops, asking questions in lectures - are as much a part of the learning experience as independent learning.
Reply 5
Original post by Dante991
My girlfriend is in her first year of Architecture, and her tutor is threatening to reduce marks for people who have low attendance. My initial reaction is that isnt fair at all, she always has her work done before the deadline and to a very good standard.
In my first year of Physics, I only had 30% attendance but I still got a 1st - so for some people it doesnt matter too much as long as you have your own sort of approach to your studies.
On some of her previous work on sustainability and energy of structures, I was able to help her out as I study physics to produce some work that easily met the criteria and went far beyond that. However, she got a B and the tutor failed to justify which criteria she did not meet which is ridiculous.

Should I tell her to report this to a senior tutor?


An attendance penalty can only be applied if this is stated up front in the module brief. If it isn't, then the entire group should involve the Student Union who should be able to speak to senior department academic management on the students' behalf. An attendance penalty cannot be applied in retrospect, without warning, on the whim of an annoyed lecturer.

Having said that, many unis will have an expectation of lecture/seminar attendance. Some have set attendance thresholds and if you drop below them, you can be penalised. I know that Bristol and UCL have these and they can result in disciplinary hearings and academic penalties. Below a certain attendance threshold UCL won't let you submit assignments, so it doesn't matter how good your output is.

At my current uni there are no thresholds, but you can be withdrawn from your course for "Failure to engage" i.e. not attending lectures/seminars. The logic is that even if you get good marks by doing this, you are not fully involved in the study experience. Students getting good marks can improve the performance of a cohort by showing up and leading by example. Also, those with poor attendance records have been monitored over a number of years, and the majority will go on to fail to meet their potential, fail the degree or drop out in the second or third years. The uni's view is that such students need to be weeded out before affecting their stats. Withdrawing a student emphasises that it is the student's responsibility, whereas dropping out or failing are situations where the uni is seen as being at least partly responsible. It's pretty ruthless, but every league table point equates to bums on seats the next year.
(edited 6 years ago)
Original post by Dante991
My girlfriend is in her first year of Architecture, and her tutor is threatening to reduce marks for people who have low attendance. My initial reaction is that isnt fair at all, she always has her work done before the deadline and to a very good standard.
In my first year of Physics, I only had 30% attendance but I still got a 1st - so for some people it doesnt matter too much as long as you have your own sort of approach to your studies.
On some of her previous work on sustainability and energy of structures, I was able to help her out as I study physics to produce some work that easily met the criteria and went far beyond that. However, she got a B and the tutor failed to justify which criteria she did not meet which is ridiculous.

Should I tell her to report this to a senior tutor?


When my sister went to university (she studied nursing), everyone had to attend at least 80% of lectures/seminars, or else the online submission points would not become available to them and they would not be able to submit any assessments for their modules.
It depends on the course.

This semester, I made the mistake of skipping a bunch of lectures for one module and I did an assignment and apparently I was over the word count by 50%... simply because I missed lectures where the lecturer went through the assignment multiple times.... So yeah, don't skip lectures people!
In my course, they took attendance seriously. They had a register every class to monitor attendance, and if a student missed too many classes, they would get a warning or threatened to get kicked off the course. I think that you should try to attend lectures - after all you are paying the tuition fee so you make the most of the learning experience.
Reply 9
Original post by username1799249
It comes down to politics. Universities are now judged on attendance and no doubt their funding is also linked to it. I would imagine that she has signed some terms and conditions that require her attendance to be up there. There is no excuse really. And if you are paying £9k+ for the pleasure, why wouldn't you attend? Bonkers!
I absolutely agree, often my lesson is dependant on group discussion, not possible when only 2 people show up!
Original post by cheesecakelove
In my course, they took attendance seriously. They had a register every class to monitor attendance, and if a student missed too many classes, they would get a warning or threatened to get kicked off the course. I think that you should try to attend lectures - after all you are paying the tuition fee so you make the most of the learning experience.
I wish my uni did this, last year we had a group module. We had a group of 8 with only 3 of us doing the work yet they all passed, how is that fair? If you can't be arsed, get a job instead.
Original post by username1571649
My girlfriend is in her first year of Architecture, and her tutor is threatening to reduce marks for people who have low attendance. My initial reaction is that isnt fair at all, she always has her work done before the deadline and to a very good standard.
In my first year of Physics, I only had 30% attendance but I still got a 1st - so for some people it doesnt matter too much as long as you have your own sort of approach to your studies.
On some of her previous work on sustainability and energy of structures, I was able to help her out as I study physics to produce some work that easily met the criteria and went far beyond that. However, she got a B and the tutor failed to justify which criteria she did not meet which is ridiculous.

Should I tell her to report this to a senior tutor?
Hi,

It really does just depend on the university and the course. Your course of Physics is different to Architecture and could require different amounts of contact teaching. If you look at the module handbook from the module this lecturer teaches, it should state the attendance rules. Some universities are more lenient on attendance but across the board, there is an association with higher attendance and better grades. Universities then set these attendance policies in place to mitigate students not attending, in order to encourage them to get better grades. It might be helpful to figure out a way to encourage your girlfriend to attend, or at least encourage her to get in contact with the academic tutors or course leader, who can give her better advice about the course and its attendance rules.

If your girlfriend is not attending due to medical reasons, then this is something to bring up with your university’s disability team, who will be able to coordinate with the lecturer and the course on her behalf about attendance. For example, I am severely debilitated by a chronic illness, so I have been put down as not being required to attend.

However, outside of this, most universities won’t be willing to change their policies for one student if it isn’t serious.

I hope this helps 🙂

Estelle
Third Year Psychology
University of Huddersfield
Original post by University of Huddersfield
Hi,

It really does just depend on the university and the course. Your course of Physics is different to Architecture and could require different amounts of contact teaching. If you look at the module handbook from the module this lecturer teaches, it should state the attendance rules. Some universities are more lenient on attendance but across the board, there is an association with higher attendance and better grades. Universities then set these attendance policies in place to mitigate students not attending, in order to encourage them to get better grades. It might be helpful to figure out a way to encourage your girlfriend to attend, or at least encourage her to get in contact with the academic tutors or course leader, who can give her better advice about the course and its attendance rules.

If your girlfriend is not attending due to medical reasons, then this is something to bring up with your university’s disability team, who will be able to coordinate with the lecturer and the course on her behalf about attendance. For example, I am severely debilitated by a chronic illness, so I have been put down as not being required to attend.

However, outside of this, most universities won’t be willing to change their policies for one student if it isn’t serious.

I hope this helps 🙂

Estelle
Third Year Psychology
University of Huddersfield

Six years ago....

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