CourseKey Blog

28Jul 2016

To Take or Not to Take Attendance? That is the Question

Roll call, random participation quizzes or a sign-in sheet are several ways to track who is showing up to class. Why do some mandate and track attendance and others do not? Let's explore the policies, reliability and availability of different methods being used in education today.

Mandatory vs. Voluntary Attendance

In a previous blog, we discussed the connection between attendance and student success and it's no surprise that the more frequently students attended class, the better their outcomes were at the end of the term or semester. But does this mean attendance should always be mandated and tracked? 



Some institutions, like for-profit, for example must track student presence. Some make it mandatory in order to use the data for funding or administrative purposes. The decision is easy, when it's made for you. 


Others are forced in the opposite direction due to large class sizes, making it nearly impossible to get an accurate count without wasting a significant amount of class time. However, this may be the environment with the most to benefit from having this knowledge. When it is difficult to get to know students on an individual level, the ability to identify those missing significant instructional time can help educators identify who may be in trouble before it's too late.

05Jul 2016

A Curious Case of Classroom Facilitation: Traditional vs Progressive

Traditional vs Progressive Pedagogy...what's the deal?

The long-standing debate between which type of pedagogy - traditional or progressive - is becoming more relevant than ever before. Faculty are taking their stance along the spectrum, somewhere between these extremes based on their beliefs, experiences and classroom environment.


Rather than pit one pedagoligcal preference against the other, let's look at some of the major differences between the two.



Traditional Classroom Facilitation:                                                                

  • Teacher as the expert                                          
  • Structured and formal systems 
  • Rote memorization and learning 
  • Focus on content
  • Measurable outcomes 
  • Emphasis on textbooks
  • Exams 


Progressive Classroom Facilitation: 

  • "Hands-on learning"
  • Focus on problem solving and critical thinking 
  • Organic systems - experiences 
  • Collaborative learning projects 
  • Highly personalized environment 
  • Intangible outcomes - building life-long skills
  • Learning material frequently changes based on the class, current events, topics