This content was published: February 17, 2016. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.
No Show survey results
Posted by Andy Freed
In mid-Janury 2016, the Distance Learning Advisory Council (DLAC) sent out a survey to all instructors teaching at least one online class. Members of the DLAC had heard from several sources that there was confusion over the No Show policy. First, we’d like to highlight some of the results of the survey, then propose some statements that might help improve understanding of the No Show policy and how to implement it in your online class.
The survey was sent to 406 active online faculty from Winter 2016. We received 186 responses, or a45% response rate. Based on the response rate, this is a topic that people had opinions about.
Are you aware of and understand PCC’s No Show policy as defined in the Grading Guidelines?
Did you know that NS is important to managing Financial Aid and preventing fraud?
No need for any chart or graph here. 98% responded yes.
In a typical 10+ week class, do you submit NS marks to remove students from your roster?
The reason for those who selected “Sometimes” include
- Sometimes all the students show up
- Sometimes I forget
- Sometimes I struggle with logging in vs. being active
For those who said they never do them, the indicated reasons included
- We’re in a closed program
- The students just re-enroll anyway
How do you determine if a student has attended or not attended your online class?
|A discussion post asking the students to introduce themselves||71%|
|If they have logged in to the class at all||51%|
|A quiz about the syllabus/calendar or other course materials||32%|
|An assignment related to the course curriculum||24%|
|A required email to instructor||17%|
|Other (please explain)||14%|
|I don’t (?!?)||1%|
- I monitor/require activity in a 3rd party tool (e.g. MyLabs, WeBWorK)
- I have mandatory meetings in online office hours
- I check the classlist for login activity
- I employee a mix of all of these
How do you communicate with your students about what the participation requirements are related to the No Show process?
|Course Info Page (CIP)||34%|
|Other (see below)||18%|
- I don’t do any of these!
- I call the student if they aren’t responsive
- I send multiple emails in the PCC email
In a 10+ week class, what deadline do you give students to complete their participation requirement to prove attendance?
For instructors who selected other, several indicated that they were ignorant of any deadlines, and others indicated that they publish one (e.g. Wednesday) but don’t issue a No Show until later.
In a 10+ week class, how much do you consider the following issues when submitting No Shows?
|Response||Not at all||Somewhat||A lot|
|NS can affect course enrollment and course cancellation||69.5||22.5||8|
|NS may affect overall course success and completion rates||59.5||24.5||16|
|The student may not know course expectations by NS deadline||44.7||42.8||12.6|
|Too much work in the first week might scare off students||77||19.3||3.7|
|Getting dropped might affect student Financial Aid eligibility||48||32||20|
|Students can probably be re-enrolled if there is an error||13.6||42.6||43.8|
Question 8 and 9
The following questions were about managing No Shows in short-term classes; classes that can last between 1 day and 8 weeks. There were fewer responses to these questions, but some very striking themes.
- When possible, instructors do No Shows at the end of the first day of class
- In some cases, issuing a No Show isn’t possible because the deadline is before the first day of class
- In short-term classes, there isn’t enough time to get a sense if students are participating by the deadline
Do you have any ideas about how to make the No Show more effective?
There were several consistent themes in the free responses to this question.
- Make No Shows automated (if the student hasn’t logged in by the deadline)
- Extend NS deadline to Monday of week 2
- Notify students about NS requirement in email from DL dept. (we do)
- Be more direct/strict with faculty
- It’s working just fine!
Summary of Results
The results of the survey indicate a variety of practices around attendance policy, the No Show mark, and communication, which mirrors what we hear from instructors and students. Another theme we’ve heard from instructors is a desire to have clearer expectations from the institution on how to manage No Shows. In the What Works document that the DLAC authored last year, there are some tips in Section 5 (Course Monitoring) that may be useful. However, we wanted to expand on these with some proposed language for feedback.
Proposed guidance for instructors
- System access is not adequate, student must submit substantial course work during first week
- Instructor uses professional judgement to define substantial work. Examples can include a combination of
- Introductory post in discussion
- Module 1 and syllabus quizzes
- Email academic integrity notice
- Access to 3rd party tool
- Syllabus/Course intro and Course Details Page will clearly state course attendance requirements in order to avoid a NS that includes required activities and timelines
- If a student appears inactive, try to contact the student via
- PCC email
- Documented phone call
- If you are suspicious that a student might not be authentically engaged but are hesitant to issue a No Show, contact our Faculty Help Desk
- Use the Course News and PCC email if you have an earlier participation deadline (before Wednesday)
If you have any feedback on these items, or questions, please share in the comments.
Items to investigate
Based on the feedback, The Distance Ed. Department will also investigate the following options, which may have system or time-conflicts. Still, we’re going to get an accurate update.
- Automating a No Show drop
- Extending the No Show drop deadline to the second week
- Adding a second/later deadline or if there is a way to administratively drop a non-participant