Although some people might think instructors taking attendance is unnecessary, I believe grading attendance does help students succeed, and attendance should be a part of a student’s grade.
As a student, attending all my classes and participating in them has benefited me since I started at Bellevue College. Seeing a perfect participation grade at the end of the quarter makes me feel rewarded.
Graded attendance is fair for everyone, especially students in in-person classes. Since students choose an in-person class that meets on a regular basis, it is the students’ responsibility to show up in these class meetings on time unless an emergency happens.
Showing up late or being absent disturbs the whole class. When a student comes in late, those who are already in the classroom might lose attention on their instructor’s lectures. Besides, the noise that late student makes can be disturbing to others.
In some classes where students conduct group projects. It gets even more frustrating when students are late or do not show up. It slows down the whole group whether the group is going to do experiments, presentations or research in that class. I had a class at BC last year when I was in a group of four, and the instructor asked us to utilize the class hours to do some research and prepare for the final presentation. I thought my entire group would show up in class; however, two of them were absent, and I wasted much time in class trying to communicate with them about the group project.
Instructors are also impacted when students are absent. Our instructors work hard outside the class to prepare for lectures, and they want students to attend. It is disrespectful when students skip classes or show up late. Instructors might feel that their students do not value their work.
Most importantly, students who are absent on purpose or without a reasonable excuse often waste their instructors’ time outside the class. They might not be able to understand some concepts by reading their textbook, thus, they ask their instructors if they missed anything important in previous classes. These questions are impolite without a reasonable excuse because these absent students are wasting their instructors’ time and energy to explain what happened in class.
In short, attendance does matter. It is wise to grade students’ attendance, as it is one good way or sometimes the only way to encourage students to respectfully show up on time and participate in class.
I do understand that emergencies happen and life can be tough. However, those who are absent without a reasonable explanation must accept that they may lose points on class participation.