# My professor takes manual attendance for 150+ students

StatGuy2000
During my time at university, the only time that attendance was ever part of the grading was during tutorials, because it's during these times that assignments or quizzes were submitted.

I knew some professors did add a participation component in the grading system, but this only applied to relatively small classes, but this was also certainly not the norm.

Why don't you get good grades for a couple of years and then apply somewhere else?
I've already accumulated enough credits to graduate with a bachelor's next year. I think it is a bit too late/schools won't accept such late transfers.

My uni used to do this for the first years to count the attendance at the lectures. While the electronic clicker system is still in operation, they no longer take attendance because they found that students would give the clickers to their peers to register attendance for them. It confuses me that people go to such a bother. Surely by uni stage you have developed an interest for your subject and are mature enough to not care for these 'canny' tactics?
The other view is that surely by uni stage you're mature enough to decide whether you want to go to class or not, or if you need to or not. There's been plenty of classes where I'd have been much better off skipping lecture and just reading the material on my own.

SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
So at the beginning of every lecture, my professor calls out our names one by one to take attendance because attendance/participation is 15% of our grade, even though there are over 150 registered students in this lecture hall.. :(
Maybe if your school was on the leading edge of technology and personal expression, your prof could check everyone's attendance using this:

256bits
Gold Member
And if the class lasts an hour they are wasting 13% of the class on calling roll. ..... classroom.
I agree with ZombieFeynman, this is not a good argument.

That's 2 to 1 .
If I was the professor, I would still win, professor vote worth a majority of 51%..
:)

The other view is that surely by uni stage you're mature enough to decide whether you want to go to class or not, or if you need to or not. There's been plenty of classes where I'd have been much better off skipping lecture and just reading the material on my own.
Agreed. I don't usually skip classes, but the freedom to do so hasn't been hurtful. I'm an adult, I'm paying for the lecturer to be there whether I attend or not, and I'm perfectly capable of deciding whether it's worth skipping class or not. If I'm foolish and I skip class when I shouldn't, then I waste my money and get bad grades.

A lot of real world jobs are similar. My internship was quite flexible: nobody cared whether you got in at 7 am or 9 am, or whether you took off for a couple hours to do something personal like meet a friend for lunch. As long as you put in your hours, got your work done, and showed up to meetings you committed to, everyone just trusted that you were an adult who could make reasonable decisions. If you didn't get your work done because you were always coming in late and leaving early, nobody was going to start babysitting you. You would just get warned and eventually fired.

It's just part of being an adult: you get more freedom, but it's your responsibility not to abuse that freedom.

(Also, 10 min attendance out of every 50 min lecture is pretty ridiculous. If you're paying $500 for the class, that means you're paying$100 to just sit and study. It's not really wasted time, it's wasted money.)

pasmith
Homework Helper
The obvious low-tech solution, which has been in use in every course I've been on where attendance is part of the grade, is "Here is an attendance sheet. Put your name on it or you will be deemed not to have been present."

EDIT: And indeed the only such course was the Bar Vocational Course, and the Bar Standards Board had imposed the requirement that if you failed to attend, or arrived sufficiently late for, more than some specified number of sessions then you failed the course.

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JonDE
Just wanted to throw this out there. I'm attending a junior college right now and the policy there is that all classes have mandatory attendance. The rule is supposed to be 5 absences and you are dropped, although all the professors I have, have stated that as long as you give a reason they wont drop you. But, every one of them takes attendance every day.

In a freshmen class I took, we passed around an attendance sheet, and kids just had their friends sign for them. The nice thing about taking attendance is that it gives the teacher a chance to learn names. After the teacher knows names, i would much prefer a brief quiz in each class if attendance has to be taken.

Your professor must have the patience of a turtle. I would just pass the list and have everyone put their initials on it next to their names.

EDIT: A Bluetooth module at the entrances could also work if everyone has a smartphone. An application in the smartphone would identify itself with the Bluetooth module at the doors and show you whether you have been registered as present or not (or even late).

When I was young, I hated attendance check by my professors. I skipped or dropped those elective classes. And those that were compulsory to take were just a real pain to endure coming in on time. Later in life I've realized no matter how much freedom or what types of work I am offered, I need to finish any within a given time-frame I or some else already set up for me to trade for money, for food and for joy. Also, being quite attentive during someone's performance is a good sign of showing one's respect. Things you have to always remember are that there are no such subjects or courses requiring students to take that are not a programmed part of your major; students usually don't see how important they are until later, which is why I think they need to be pro-active in their communication with their professors or related associates to understand why they should take the course and to eliminate such behaviors or misunderstandings as not to be so lazy for classes.

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ZombieFeynman
Gold Member
That's 2 to 1 .
If I was the professor, I would still win, professor vote worth a majority of 51%..
:)
Sure, and I think the students have largely no option. That's the beauty of being the professor, you get to implement whatever inefficient, asinine policies you want. It doesn't mean it's the most educational modus operandi.

I brought a watch today and timed it. It was just under 15 minutes; 14 minutes and some seconds change.