The influence of class attendance on academic performance and whether class attendance should be strictly enforced has already received much attention in existing literature. This study aimed to identify, within a South African context, typical reasons for the non-attendance of second-year accounting students as well as the effect of their absenteeism on their academic performance. A questionnaire was used to obtain feedback on the students’ perceptions of the main benefits of class attendance, their reasons for non-attendance and what, if anything, the lecturers could do to encourage students to attend lectures. Furthermore, statistical analysis of the data was done to determine whether a significant correlation exists between class attendance for a specific module for Accounting in the second year of study and academic performance in the assessments of that module. The analysis was done for the group as a whole. However, due to the differences in the composition of the two language groups, an analysis was also done for the two language groups concerned (Afrikaans and English). The results indicate a low positive correlation in all cases. It was concluded that there are a variety of reasons for class absenteeism. and although the correlation between attendance and performance is not significant, the students perceive lectures to add value to their educational experience. It was furthermore concluded that class attendance should not be enforced. Lecturing styles should rather be adapted, taking into consideration the changes that occur in the technological environment, to accommodate and facilitate a continuously improving learning experience.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2011.