Impact of Students’ Class Attendance on Recalling Previously Acquired Information

Camellia Hemyari, Kamiar Zomorodian, Ali Sahraian, Zahra Mardani, Bahador Sarkari, Nastaran Ahmadi



Background: In recent years, availability of class material including typed lectures, the professor’s Power Point slides, sound recordings, and even videos made a group of students feel that it is unnecessary to attend the classes. These students usually read and memorize typed lectures within two or three days prior to the exams and usually pass the tests even with low attendance rate. Thus, the question is how effective is this learning system and how long the one-night memorized lessons may last.
Methods: A group of medical students (62 out of 106 students), with their class attendance and educational achievements in the Medical Mycology and Parasitology course being recorded since two years ago, was selected and their knowledge about this course was tested by multiple choice questions (MCQ) designed based on the previous lectures.
Results: Although the mean re-exam score of the students at the end of the externship was lower than the corresponding final score, a significant association was found between the scores of the students in these two exams (r=0.48, P=0.01). Moreover, a significant negative association was predicted between the number of absences and re-exam scores (r=-0.26, P=0.037).
Conclusion: As our findings show, the phenomenon of recalling the acquired lessons is preserved for a long period of time and it is associated with the students’ attendance. Many factors including generation effect (by taking notes) and cued-recall (via slide picture) might play a significant role in the better recalling of the learned information in students with good class attendance.



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