A Systematic Review of the Relationship Between Lecture Attendance and Academic Outcomes for Students Studying the Human Biosciences

Sheila Doggrell

Abstract


Historically, lecture attendance was considered a predictor of better academic outcomes. However, it is not known whether this is true for the human biosciences or whether it still applies with the introduction of lecture recordings. The aims were to determine (i) any association between lecture attendance and academic outcomes for students studying the human biosciences, and (ii) whether this was altered by the availability of lecture recordings. There were 27 studies of the association between lecture attendance and academic outcomes in 32 courses, and for 24 courses (75%) there was a positive association. The positive association occurred in a similar percentage of undergraduate courses for allied health students and science students (72%) and courses for dental and medical students (82%), who are predominantly postgraduate students. Eleven studies reported the use of lecture recordings with a positive association between lecture attendance and academic outcomes being reported for 11 of the 16 courses (69%). From 16 studies/courses not reporting the availability of lecture recordings, 13 did show (82%) a positive association, and three did not show (18%) an association between lecture attendance and academic outcomes. In conclusion, as most studies show a positive relationship between lecture attendance and academic outcomes, it seems reasonable to continue to provide face-to-face lectures, and encourage students to attend. To date, there is no definitive evidence that the availability of lecture recordings alters the positive relationship between lecture attendance and academic outcomes.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30722/IJISME.28.01.005