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Approaches to Measuring Attendance and Engagement

Grey, Simon; Gordon, Neil Andrew



In this paper, we argue that, where we measure student attendance, this creates an extrinsic motivator in the form of a reward for (apparent) engagement and can thus lead to undesirable behaviour and outcomes. We go on to consider a number of other mechanisms to assess or encourage student engagement – such as interactions with a learning environment – and whether these are more benign in their impact on student behaviour i.e. they encourage the desired impact as they are not considered threatening, unlike the penalties associated with non-attendance. We consider a case study in Computer Science to investigate student behaviour, assessing different metrics for student engagement, such as the use of source control commits and how this measure of engagement differs from attendance.


Grey, S., & Gordon, N. A. (2018). Approaches to Measuring Attendance and Engagement. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, 13(13), Article 2692.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 22, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2018
Publication Date 2018
Deposit Date Feb 8, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2019
Journal New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences
Print ISSN 1740-9888
Electronic ISSN 1740-9888
Publisher Higher Education Academy
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 13
Article Number 2692
Keywords Student Engagement; Learning Analytics; Computing Education
Public URL
Publisher URL


Article (471 Kb)

Copyright Statement
All content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0).

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