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Class absenteeism: reasons for non-attendance and the effect on academic performance

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  • Astrid Schmulian
  • Stephen Coetzee

Abstract

Purpose - Other business education literature, particularly in the field of economics, has developed theories in respect of the reasons for non-attendance of lectures and the positive correlation between class attendance and academic performance. The aim of this paper is to determine the generalizability of these theories to a large accounting class in South Africa. Design/methodology/approach - This paper is a differentiated replication of the study by Paisey and Paisey, who provided initial evidence of the generalizability of these theories to a small accounting class in Scotland, employing a research questionnaire and the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. Findings - The reasons given for the non-attendance of lectures generally correspond with those previously reported. Certain differences that are identified are likely a result of specific country or economic factors. This study found a significant positive correlation between class attendance and academic performance; however, the correlation is low and not very meaningful. Further analysis reveals some difference between language groups suggesting that culture and ethnicity may have an effect on the relationship between class attendance and academic performance. Originality/value - This paper raises questions as to the generalizability of prior research on class attendance and academic performance. The findings of this study suggest other factors, including students' economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, are likely to affect associations between class attendance and academic performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Astrid Schmulian & Stephen Coetzee, 2011. "Class absenteeism: reasons for non-attendance and the effect on academic performance," Accounting Research Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(2), pages 178-194, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:arjpps:v:24:y:2011:i:2:p:178-194
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Satoshi Sugahara & Gregory Boland, 2010. "The Role of Cultural Factors in the Learning Style Preferences of Accounting Students: A Comparative Study between Japan and Australia," Accounting Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 235-255.
    2. Daniel R. Marburger, 2001. "Absenteeism and Undergraduate Exam Performance," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 99-109, January.
    3. Durden, Garey C & Ellis, Larry V, 1995. "The Effects of Attendance on Student Learning in Principles of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 343-346, May.
    4. David Romer, 1993. "Do Students Go to Class? Should They?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-174, Summer.
    5. Jennjou Chen & Tsui-Fang Lin, 2008. "Class Attendance and Exam Performance: A Randomized Experiment," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 213-227, July.
    6. Stephen Devadoss & John Foltz, 1996. "Evaluation of Factors Influencing Student Class Attendance and Performance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 499-507.
    7. Pm Horn & Ai Jansen, 2009. "An Investigation Into The Impact Of Tutorials On The Performance Of Economics Students," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(1), pages 179-189, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2013. "The impact of class absenteeism on undergraduates’ academic performance: evidence from an elite Economics school in Portugal," FEP Working Papers 503, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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