Absenteeism of undergraduate medical students in large class format lectures: causes, solutions and the way forward

  • Rehana Rehman Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Tabassum Zehra Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Amber Shamim Sultan Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Russell Seth Martins Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Rahila Ali Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
Keywords: Absenteeism, Medical students, Faculty, Environment, Technology enhanced learning, Medical education

Abstract

Despite compulsory attendance rule and strict policies, absenteeism from lectures is an ongoing phenomenon which is becoming a point of serious concern because it is associated with inadequate learning and poor academic performance of medical students. Student absenteeism  springs from a variety of contributing factors that need to be addressed promptly and collectively. This review gives an overview of some of the factors that account for absenteeism interrelated with students, faculty, curriculum and learning environment. We propose that ‘Need Based Standardized Faculty Development Programs’, ‘Innovative teaching and learning methodologies’, ‘Good governance’ and ‘Institutional commitment should aim to replace the traditional passive mode of instruction with active learning and inquiry-based approach to ensure considerable attendance of medical students. We are optimistic that the suggested measures will help to improve the quality and delivery of lectures for better attendance and a shift from traditional way of teacher centered learning, to self-directed learning.

Author Biographies

Rehana Rehman, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Associate Professor, Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Tabassum Zehra, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Assistant Professor, Department for Educational Development, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Amber Shamim Sultan, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Senior Instructor Department for Educational Development, and Department for Surgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Rahila Ali, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Senior Instructor, Department for Educational Development, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

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Published
2021-09-30
How to Cite
1.
Rehman R, Zehra T, Sultan A, Martins R, Ali R. Absenteeism of undergraduate medical students in large class format lectures: causes, solutions and the way forward. PJP [Internet]. 30Sep.2021 [cited 18Jan.2022];17(3):70-6. Available from: https://pjp.pps.org.pk/index.php/PJP/article/view/1290