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Class Attendance and Exam Performance: A Randomized Experiment

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  • Jennjou Chen
  • Tsui-Fang Lin

Abstract

The determination of college students' academic performance is an important issue in higher education. Whether students' attendance at lectures affects students' exam performance has received considerable attention. The authors conduct a randomized experiment to study the average attendance effect for students who choose to attend lectures, which is known in program evaluation literature as the average treatment effect on the treated. This effect has long been neglected by researchers when estimating the impact of lecture attendance on students' academic performance. Under the randomized experiment approach, the results suggest that class attendance has a positive and significant impact on college students' exam performance. On average, the effect of attending lectures corresponds to a 9.4 percent to 18.0 percent improvement in exam performance for those who choose to attend classes. In comparison, the improvement is only 5.1 percent, using the empirical method of existing studies, which measures the overall average attendance impact.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:39:y:2008:i:3:p:213-227 DOI: 10.3200/JECE.39.3.213-227
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Byron W. Brown & Carl E. Liedholm, 2002. "Can Web Courses Replace the Classroom in Principles of Microeconomics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 444-448.
    2. Coates, Dennis & Humphreys, Brad R. & Kane, John & Vachris, Michelle A., 2004. ""No significant distance" between face-to-face and online instruction: evidence from principles of economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 533-546, October.
    3. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    4. Peter Navarro, 2000. "Economics in the Cyberclassroom," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 119-132, Spring.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tin-chun Lin, 2010. "Does a student's preference for a teacher's instructional style matter? An analysis of an economic approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1320-1332.
    2. Oskar Harmon & William Alpert & Archita Banik & James Lambrinos, 2015. "Class Absence, Instructor Lecture Notes, Intellectual Styles, and Learning Outcomes," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, pages 349-361.
    3. William Bosshardt & Peter E. Kennedy, 2011. "Data Resources and Econometric Techniques," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 35 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1966-1985 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Arulampalam, Wiji & Naylor, Robin A. & Smith, Jeremy, 2012. "Am I missing something? The effects of absence from class on student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 363-375.
    6. Jennjou Chen & Tsui-Fang Lin, 2012. "Do Supplemental Online Recorded Lectures Help Students Learn Microeconomics?," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, pages 6-15.
    7. Ann L. Owen, 2011. "Student Characteristics, Behavior, and Performance in Economics Classes," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 32 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Alexandr Akimov & Sonja Kobinger & Mirela Malin, 2017. "Determinants of student success in finance courses," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:201701, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    9. Cuffe, Harold E. & Waddell, Glen R. & Bignell, Wesley, 2014. "Too Busy for School? The Effect of Athletic Participation on Absenteeism," IZA Discussion Papers 8426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. 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.
    11. Sam Allgood & William B. Walstad & John J. Siegfried, 2015. "Research on Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 285-325.
    12. 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.
    13. Christian Dreger & Yanqun Zhang, 2014. "On the relevance of exports for regional output growth in China," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(35), pages 4302-4308, December.
    14. Goulas, Sofoklis & Megalokonomou, Rigissa, 2016. "Swine Flu and The Effect of Compulsory Class Attendance on Academic Performance," MPRA Paper 75395, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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