Faculty always ask our Client Success Team for ideas on how TurningPoint can help to improve class participation and attendance. Some instructors are particularly concerned that mobile responding may allow students to simply answer interactive questions from home and just skip class altogether. Luckily, we already have a built-in solution to that problem!

TurningPoint gives faculty the power to decide what students see on their mobile devices. Using the Display response buttons feature, faculty can display the full question and answers or just the answer buttons. Choose the response-buttons-only option to motivate student attendance.

Two views of TurningPoint on a mobile device showing the display response button feature

Want to give it a try? Here's how to take attendance with TurningPoint:

  1. Click Enable in the upper-right corner of the TurningPoint dashboard.
  2. Click Session Options.
  3. Under Participant Question Display, select Display response buttons only.
  4. Click Save.

Session Log Report

In addition, TurningPoint’s Session Log Report makes it easy to review student engagement throughout a session with data on messaging activity and join/leave times.

Many faculty have found these strategies to be useful. Give them a try to see if they work for you, too!

The importance of tracking student attendance

When students miss class, they miss out on vital information that is essential to their learning. Instructors also suffer, as they cannot gain a true understanding of whether or not course content is being taught effectively without the necessary feedback from these absent students.

Learning is an investment of time and energy that only students can bring to the table. If they do not come to class, they are effectively setting themselves up to fail by not participating in their education.

Research has shown that regular attendance and academic achievement are closely linked, and many universities find that monitoring student attendance allows them to identify students who need support at an early stage and put in place measures to help them continue their studies.

With an increased focus on student persistence and completion, many institutions are exploring options to track individual attendance and enhance student engagement without increasing the school’s administrative burden.

How TurningPoint supports student success

In addition to tracking attendance, TurningPoint seamlessly integrates with campus Learning Management Systems, such as Blackboard and Canvas, to build a clear picture over time of individual student attendance and engagement.

Response options are available to fit the needs of every learning environment, including mobile responding – which allows students to use their own cell phones, tablets and computers – and traditional clickers.

Higher education is about independent learning, and students have the right to manage their own time as they wish, even if this means missing classes. It is arguably an important rite of passage for students to have freedom and flexibility during their university years, particularly given the amount they are paying for their education. However, a laid-back approach to attendance can damage the students’ education and the university itself.

Having attendance tracked helps to strengthen the sense of academic community that is so vital to universities, particularly in fields where there is an emphasis on sharing ideas. Giving instructors the ability to easily track attendance helps to keep students engaged, minimize drop-out rates and increase student success.