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Daily In-Class Sheets Track Attendance and Improve Student Engagement

Mon Jan 30, 2017 at 07:30 AM

Daily in-class sheets allow you to track attendance in large classes and provide a great way to engage students actively in the day's lesson. 

How to Incorporate In-class Sheets in Your Course

  1. Include attendance as part of the final course grade. Require in-class sheets daily to create a complete attendance record for each student.
  2. Use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everyone's attendance.
  3. Ask questions periodically during class; students write the answers on their sheet (a sheet of notebook paper). Tip! Ask a question at the beginning and end of class to check for late arrivals and early departures.
  4. Students turn in their sheet at the end of every class. Give the sheets back at the next class; students keep them as proof of their attendance.
  5. Complete, thorough, organized, and legible answers = full credit (a checkmark the grade on the sheet). Incomplete, brief, disorganized, or unintelligible answers = partial credit (a fraction or percentage as the grade on the sheet).
  6. To speed grading, check for completeness, not correctness, but correct answers must also be written down if given. Tip! Each item on the sheet should be numbered so that you can quickly tell if the sheets are complete.
  7. If you have time, provide brief comments periodically to let students know you are actually reading the sheets.

Types of Items to Include on In-class Sheets

  1. Solve problems based on the current lecture.
  2. Solve problems based on the previous lecture.
  3. Express an opinion about an interesting issue discussed in class.
  4. Answer a thought question about an academic issue.
  5. Answer a question based on the student's personal experience as it relates to the subject matter of the lesson.
  6. Design a question based on a discrepant teaching event
  7. Ask something fun to establish a connection with your students. (How was your winter break?).

Save and adapt a Google Doc version of this teaching tip.

About the Author

Helena Riha is a Special Lecturer in the Linguistics Department and the International Studies Program. Helena has taught at OU since 2008. She has taught over 3,200 students in 15 different courses, and she is currently developing a new online Gen Ed course. Helena is the 2016 winner of the OU Excellence in Teaching Award. Outside of the classroom, Helena enjoys watching her fourth grader build Lego Star Wars sets, and she works toward her fitness goals at Orangetheory Fitness

Edited and designed by Christina Moore, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University. Updated June 2021. Others may share and adapt under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC.

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