Background: The effect of availability of lecture recordings on academic outcomes is not clear and it is not known whether these recordings change the association between lecture attendance and academic outcomes. Few surveys of lecture attendance or lecture recordings use by students are linked to academic outcomes. The aims were (i) to determine any association between lecture attendance and academic outcomes for students who had access to lecture recordings, (ii) to determine any association between accessing lecture recordings and academic outcomes and (iii) to use a survey to determine why students attend lectures and/or access lecture recordings in a course in medical laboratory science.
Methods: Consenting students signed in when attending lectures and/or completed an online survey. Pearson's correlation coefficients were calculated to determine whether there was an association between attending lectures or accessing lecture recordings and academic outcomes.
Results: Consent rates were high for both the sign-in (90%) and survey (64%). The main findings were that in 2017 and 2018: (i) the average lecture attendance was 39 and 27%, respectively, (ii) there was no association between lecture attendance and academic outcomes, (iii) there was no association between accessing lecture recordings and academic outcomes. Survey respondents were almost equally divided between those attending lectures weekly, sometimes or not. Reasons for attending lectures included greater perceived learning and interaction with staff and other students, while reasons for not attending related to inconvenience or other commitments. Lecture recordings were accessed to clarify, revise or catch up on content, or as an alternative to attending lectures. One-third of students provided additional feedback on accessing lecture recordings, and the most common themes were 'flexibility' and 'useful'. Lecture slides (PowerPoints), independently of lecture recordings, were used extensively by the students.
Conclusions: From this study, it does not seem that either lecture attendance or accessing lecture recordings are major determinants of academic outcomes for most students. As students vary in their lecture attendance and use of online resources including lecture recordings and lecture slides, academic staff should continue to provide a range of resources for students.
Keywords: Academic outcomes; Lecture attendance; Lecture recordings; Lecture slides; Medical laboratory science students; Survey.