This study investigates the impact of class attendance and the use of optional formative assessment tasks on student performance. We hypothesise that a positive relationship exists between students’ attendance rates and their success on assessment tasks. We also hypothesise a positive relationship between the extent to which students use formative assessment tasks (in the form of on-line multiple- choice question sets) and their success on summative assessment tasks. The question of whether attendance and the use of formative assessment have a complementary or substitutional impact on results is also investigated. The results indicate that after controlling for other factors likely to affect student performance, attendance at class and use of on-line formative assessment tasks do affect student performance. However, there is no further synergistic performance improvement to be achieved from both being a good attendee and a high user of the self-assessment quizzes.
Further, attendance and self-assessment opportunities do not act as substitutes for each other. That is, students cannot compensate for poor attendance by making greater use of the self- assessment opportunities and vice versa.