Improving pre-class learning engagement and tutorial attendance

I notice that as the end of semester nears, tutorial attendance and engagement with pre-class learning materials is once again waning, but certainly not as bad as the pre-flipped learning days. This is a perennial problem. What to do? In the penultimate post, I said: “One idea we came up with for next year is to require each student to submit to me via email at least 2 days before class, a question/query on the pre-class learning materials accompanied by a short paragraph explaining what they don’t understand. Students get 2 points for this each week over 10 weeks, which equals 20% of their final mark”. That’s fine for guaranteeing pre-class engagement with materials, but whether it is done via email or a program like Annotate, it does not require tutorial attendance. I asked the students what’s best to keep them turning up to tutorials: “make it so that students can only submit the question and short paragraph in hard copy in person at the beginning of the tutorial”. Good idea. That’s almost equivalent to marking attendance, but without doing so. I need to keep on thinking about this.

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