How In-Person Attendance Drives Better Learning Outcomes

Header image for Poll Everywhere blog about in-person attendance.

The education landscape has seen its most dramatic shifts ever in the last couple of years due to rapid interest in online or hybrid learning and advancements in technology such as Zoom or Canvas. Education technology companies are improving their software to be more inclusive and accessible to all students.  Now more than ever, it is easier for students to learn and engage with class material from anywhere. 

However, does this mean that in-person learning is obsolete? Absolutely not! In-person learning is still an incredibly valuable learning experience that nurtures students both academically and socially. In-person learning provides students with the opportunity to engage with their instructor and peers, create connections, and develop their soft skills. 

We are going to breakdown what is in-person attendance, how in-person attendance drives better learning outcomes, and our tips for improving in-person attendance.

What is In-Person Attendance?

In-person attendance refers to the physical presence of students in a classroom setting. Students are in the presence of their instructor and peers, allowing collaboration and discussion to happen organically. In-person attendance is often facilitated using a call sheet or an attendance management system like Poll Everywhere

While online and remote learning have gained popularity, the benefits of attending in-person classes extend beyond the confines of virtual spaces. In-person attendance fosters a sense of community, enables face-to-face interaction with educators, and creates an environment conducive to active learning.

How In-Person Attendance Drives Better Learning Outcomes

While online or hybrid learning provides flexibility and autonomy, in-person attendance provides many benefits to students too. According to a 2022 Pew Research report, 65% of students would prefer in-person learning over remote learning. Additionally, according to the Review of Educational Research, attendance is a better predictor of college grades than any other predictor of academic performance. 

So how can in-person attendance improve learning outcomes?


1. Engagement and Interaction:

In-person attendance promotes active engagement and interaction among students. Classroom discussions, group activities, and direct communication with instructors enhance the learning experience. This level of engagement is often challenging to replicate in virtual settings, making in-person attendance invaluable for comprehensive learning.

2. Real-Time Clarifications:

An advantage of in-person attendance is the immediate clarification of doubts and questions. Students can seek clarification from instructors during or after class, ensuring a deeper understanding of the subject matter. This real-time interaction contributes significantly to improved academic performance.

3. Building a Supportive Learning Community:

The sense of community is crucial for student success. Collaborative learning, peer support, and networking opportunities are fostered in a physical classroom, contributing to a supportive academic environment. This supportive community is pivotal in overcoming challenges and achieving better learning outcomes.

4. Accountability and Discipline:
Regular in-person attendance instills a sense of accountability and discipline in students. The structured routine of attending classes helps develop time management skills, which are essential for academic success. This discipline positively impacts overall performance and future professional endeavors.

Tips to Encourage Students to Attend Class

Encouraging students to attend class can be tough, especially in higher education. Here are our tips for getting students to attend in-person:

1. Create Engaging Learning Environments:

Educators can enhance in-person attendance by creating dynamic and interactive learning environments. Incorporating multimedia, hands-on activities, and relevant case studies makes classes more engaging, encouraging students to actively participate.

Poll Everywhere is a seamless and interactive student response system that promotes active learning in classrooms. With different Activity types ranging from Multiple Choice to Word Clouds, Poll Everywhere allows educators to create all types of classroom activities. 

2. Highlight the Benefits of In-Person Attendance:

Communicating the advantages of attending classes in person is essential. Emphasize the unique learning experiences, networking opportunities, and immediate support available in a physical classroom setting.

3. Utilize Technology to Augment Learning:

Integrating technology into in-person classes can appeal to tech-savvy students. Interactive presentations, online resources, and virtual tools can complement traditional teaching methods, making the learning experience more appealing.

Poll Everywhere’s Attendance Management feature makes taking attendance easy. Students can check-in via the Poll Everywhere app and immediately start participating in the instructor’s Activities.

4. Offer Incentives for Attendance:

Implementing a reward system, such as bonus points or small incentives for consistent attendance, can motivate students to prioritize in-person classes. Recognition for attendance achievements creates a positive reinforcement loop.

Read more: 8 ways to improve student attendance in college.

In-person attendance is here to stay

The impact of in-person attendance on learning outcomes is multifaceted and significant. By understanding the importance of physical presence in the educational journey, educators can create environments that foster academic excellence and prepare students for future success. Encouraging and prioritizing in-person attendance is an investment in students' holistic development, contributing to a well-rounded and enriched educational experience.

Want an easier and faster way to track in-person attendance? Poll Everywhere’s Attendance Management feature allows students to check in to class via geolocation technology that confirms that they are physically present in the classroom. Once students are checked in, they can continue to participate in Poll Everywhere activities like normal. Educators can download the Attendance Report and import it to their LMS. Get started with Poll Everywhere and try Attendance Management today!