My University has recently started recording lectures and posting them online. We have also, in the past few years, noticed a considerable drop in lecture attendance across the whole Physics and Astronomy department (even in courses that are not recorded).
I expect that the advent of recorded lectures is a significant contributor to this. However in the tutorial classes as well as lectures, it wasn't uncommon for attendance in the course I was TA for this semester to be below 50%. Myself and the lecturers are at a loss.
I am not necessarily against offering pittance marks for attendance, however I think that it is rather poor practice as it does little to encourage students to become genuinely interested in the material. Encouraging students to discuss science among themselves and become emotionally invested in the topic is the best way to get them out of bed and attending classes.
Does anyone have any "success stories" to share where they have significantly increased the level of student engagement in their course(s)?