Why do students miss lectures? : An exploratory study of a faculty at a post 1992 university

Keane, Jim and Rogers, Colin and Goodyear, Peter (2007) Why do students miss lectures? : An exploratory study of a faculty at a post 1992 university. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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A large number of factors are known to be influential on student absenteeism, but little work has been undertaken into understanding this behaviour at a more conceptualised level. In the UK, it appears that only one small scale study has been undertaken into reasons for absenteeism specifically from lectures, despite the growing concerns about this behaviour. This thesis attempts to both improve understanding of why students miss lectures in a Faculty at a post 1992 university, and to explain this behaviour in a more conceptualised way. Nine attributions categorised using three headings: 'student', `lecture' and `context' are first proposed from which three broad constructs are derived that, it is argued, give meaning to the experience of missing lectures for many students in the Faculty. The three constructs are disinterest, disquiet, and disengagement. Disinterest is about an approach to study and learning in the context of missing lectures and is understood as the 'Can't be bothered' attitude to attending lectures; disquiet is about the affective meaning of students missing lectures and is a 'Don't like it! response to the lecture experience; and disengagement is a rational assessment of lectures as having a low expected gain to the student as a 'What's the point? ' deduction in relation to attending lectures. It is possible that these three constructs allow for a reconstruction of the empirical data within a holistic framework interpreting the behaviour of missing lectures from either an etiological perspective, or from an individual psychoanalytical perspective. Low immediacy, instrumentalism, expectations, isolation, discomfort and goal ambiguity, are argued to be the important influences on disinterest, disquiet and disengagement. This thesis presents empirical evidence supporting disinterest, disquiet and disengagement as important constructs in the student's attendance behaviour, and considers how these constructs might be used to guide future research. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the issues for the Faculty raised by the research.

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10 Jan 2013 15:27
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20 May 2024 00:22