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Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2018 Mar;10(3):396-401. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2017.11.008. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Association between attendance and overall academic performance on a module within a professional pharmacy degree.

Author information

1
SAAD Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland BT52 1SA, United Kingdom. Electronic address: n.irwin@ulster.ac.uk.
2
SAAD Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland BT52 1SA, United Kingdom. Electronic address: k.burnett@ulster.ac.uk.
3
SAAD Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland BT52 1SA, United Kingdom. Electronic address: p.mccarron@ulster.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

As the higher education (HE) classroom begins to adopt newer internet-based technologies, the relationship between attendance and performance needs to be re-evaluated, particularly for professional degree courses such as pharmacy. In the present study, we aimed to establish if an association exists between attendance at all timetabled classes and academic performance, in a Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) module, as part of the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree course at Ulster University.

EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY AND SETTING:

Data on attendance, final examination and coursework performance were collected over two academic years (2013-14 and 2014-15) of the CPT module at Ulster. In total 67 students were analysed. The MPharm degree at Ulster University implements an attendance policy, both as a pastoral support tool and to reinforce the need for professional conduct as a pharmacist.

FINDINGS:

Student (2013-14 and 2014-15, n = 35 and 32, respectively) attendance on the module across both year groups was approximately 80%. We observed positive, and statistically significant relationships between attendance and performance on the examination, and especially in the coursework elements of the module. Student failure (below 40%) in the final examination was linked to attendance below an 80% threshold in nine of 12 cases. Reasons for not attending class varied, but illness was unquestionably the most commonly cited extenuation.

DISCUSSION:

Taken together, these data confirm a convincing association between student attendance and academic achievement.

SUMMARY:

Our studies promote the use of attendance monitoring policies for professional degree courses such as pharmacy.

KEYWORDS:

Absenteeism; Academic performance; Attendance policy; Internet-based technologies; Pharmacy

PMID:
29764646
DOI:
10.1016/j.cptl.2017.11.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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