Point towards developing deeper approaches to

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point towards developing deeper approaches to learning, this appears only to be amongst a small number of students. Results suggest that students tend to take a more instrumental approach to learning and attend mostly to find out what they need to learn and to obtain information about assessments. The current study does not agree with the findings of previous research that suggests that students are either too busy or engage in paid work as influences that affect their ability to attend. Instead, without considering genuine sickness as a reason for absence, students in the current study mostly gave boring content and ability to access information elsewhere as reasons for not attending. It is therefore logical to assume that students in the current study perceive the attendance costs to outweigh the attendance benefits. Implications for practice. In their recent study van Schalkwyk, Menkveld and Ruiters (2010) note that it remains the responsibility of each student to make appropriate opportunities of the learning that is on offer within their programme and that each student is in command of their own attendance. They also suggest that with the future rise in tuition fees, non-attendance would appear to be ‘economically irrational’ (p:641). However, even with the previous
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SOLSTICE & CLTR Conference 2012, Edge Hill University 11 rise in the cost of HE there still appears to be a core of students that adopt a surface approach to learning and see a university degree as a means to an end, i.e. getting a good job. Perhaps then it is the role of the tutor to reflect on their own practices and change their approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in order to keep up with the changing motivations of students. We know that students are motivated to attend if there is information regarding assessments. Perhaps then there should be a shift to spreading assessments over the duration of a module or the introduction of more formative assessment in order to engage students for longer periods of time. Once students begin to attend more often it is then the role of the tutors to enthuse and engage the students in the content. Results from the current study highlight that students will not attend if they perceive the content to be boring. (Fjortoft 2005) summarises that students appreciate effective and engaging teachers and attend their classes which supports Gump’s (2004) notion that, thes e shifts in motivations serve as a reminder that it is the responsibility of the teacher to inspire the students and that tutors should make information come alive in the classroom. Finally in support of this Massingham and Herrington (2006) conclude that maybe the issues do not lie with attendance problems but maybe it is about improving teaching and learning processes.
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  • Spring '18
  • Edge Hill University

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