Canvas: How to Take Attendance

This service is for faculty.

In the summer of 2020, we upgraded the Canvas attendance functionality to better support faculty preferences for attendance taking. The new features include options for faculty to manually take attendance from a roster or seating chart, as well as for faculty to request that students self-report attendance through their smartphone or laptop.

Benefits of New Attendance Feature in Canvas

Attendance (by aPlus+ Attendance) is a comprehensive attendance-taking solution and is deeply integrated into Canvas for you and your students. It is extremely flexible to accommodate a wide variety of attendance taking needs and course schedules. It has been preloaded with your courses' schedule timetables, which you can adjust at any time to account for changes in your course needs.

(Note that faculty who prefer the previously available attendance tool in Canvas, now called Roll Call (Classic Canvas Attendance), are welcome to continue to use that and do not need to change their practices.)

Watch the Getting Started Training Video (27:31)


Getting Started

Read our Frequently Asked Questions below to get started using the Attendance feature in Canvas.

  1. How do I get started?
  2. What attendance options are available?
  3. Can I change the attendance for a given student?
  4. How do I update my class schedule? (Referred to as Timetable in the Attendance tool)
  5. Can I use a seating plan to take attendance?

How to take attendance in Canvas using the new Attendance tool?

If you do not see Attendance in your left hand course navigation:

  1. After logging into your Canvas course, click Settings in the left hand navigation.
  2. Find Attendance in the disabled section.  Drag that to the enabled section, then scroll down and click Apply.
  3. Click Attendance in the left hand navigation.

What attendance options are available?

Attendance can be taken in multiple ways to fit your needs:

  • Manual entry by the instructor.
  • Entered directly by the student using self-registration (using a "secret code" or a simple button-click) during a window of time set by the instructor. Students can complete this from their own devices by simply logging into Canvas, accessing their course and choosing Attendance from the course menu.
  • Integration with Zoom for one-click import of Zoom attendance information (see Zoom section for more information).

The options for attendance are: 

  • Present - In-Person
  • Present - Online Synchronous
  • Present - Self-Reported
  • Late - In-Person
  • Late - Online Synchronous
  • Absent - Excused
  • Absent - Unexcused
  • Expectation - Asynchronous Work (use to indicate asynchronous course participation as defined by the instructor)

Faculty: manually enter attendance

taking attendance through class rosterTo take attendance through your class roster:

  1. Log into your Canvas course
  2. Click Attendance in the left hand navigation
    • Note: You may be prompted to authorize aPlus+ Attendance.  Approve this authorization.
    • Your course schedule, as recorded in Banner, is already pre populated and referred to as your course timetable.
  3. Find the date you want to take attendance for and select it.
  4. Your class roster appears.  In the drop down menu, select the appropriate attendance status for each student.
  5. Select the Save button in the upper right corner of the screen to save your changes.

Student self-reported attendance

Students can use their smartphone or computer to self-report attendance. If you want to utilize this option, you will need to choose which method you would like to enable for your course

To take attendance with a unique code assigned to each class session (default):

  1. Log into your Canvas courseattendance codes
  2. Click Attendance in the left hand navigation
    • Note: You may be prompted to authorize aPlus+ Attendance.  Approve this authorization.
      • Your course schedule, as recorded in Banner, is already pre populated and referred to as your course timetable.
  3. Before class, click Codes from the Attendance menu bar
  4. This screen will show the next 15 calendar-days worth of class sessions, and the corresponding auto-generated code for each session.
    • These are the codes you will provide to your students how and when you choose. 
    • ​​​Note: By default the code entry is available 15 minutes before to 15 minutes after the timetable times
      • This can be changed by clicking the down arrow on the far right.

To enable a button that would allow your students to record their attendance with one-click:

  1. Log into your Canvas course
  2. Click Attendance in the left hand navigation
    • Note: You may be prompted to authorize aPlus+ Attendance.  Approve this authorization.
      • Your course schedule, as recorded in Banner, is already pre populated and referred to as your course timetable.
  3. Before class, click Codes from the Attendance menu bar
  4. This screen will show the next 15 calendar-days worth of class sessions, and the corresponding auto-generated code for each session.
    • These are the codes you will provide to your students in whatever manner you'd like.
  5. Switch the Entry method to Button Click
    • Note: By default the button click is available 15 minutes before to 15 minutes after the timetable times
      • This can be changed by clicking the down arrow on the far right.

How do students self-report their attendance?

  1. Log into your Canvas course
  2. Click Attendance in the left hand navigation
    • If the method is set to unique code, enter the code provided by the instructor in the field displayed
    • If the method is button click, click the "Submit" button.

Import attendance from Zoom

When you schedule your Zoom sessions through Canvas, you can use the button at the top of a given class session to import attendance information automatically from Zoom.

  1. Click the Zoom buttonusing zoom to schedule attendance
  2. Find and select the Zoom session you want to important into the Attendance tool.  You will see zoom sessions that occurred within 24 hours of the session start day/time for the session you selected. 
  3. Click Record as attended.
    • You will only see a zoom session AFTER the zoom session has ended.  You will not see a Zoom session listed during a Zoom session.
    • If you don't see the zoom session you expect, you will need to ensure there is a timetable entry for that Zoom session
  4. All students who can be identified will be marked as attended with the Present - Online Synchronous status. For any students who could not be identified you will need to manually mark their attendance as appropriate.

Important Notes

  1. We strongly recommend that, when setting up your zoom sessions, you use the Only authenticated users can join meetings setting. This ensures that your students have claimed their Zoom account, which the attendance tool uses to match Zoom session attendee names to your class roster when importing attendance information.
  2. Enabling the Only authenticated users can join meetings setting prevents ANY non-St.Thomas participants from joining your meeting. If you have any outside guests joining the meeting, you will need to disable this setting for that Zoom session.

Can I change the attendance for a given student?

Yes, you have full control over the attendance statuses for all of your students. You can change them at any time. We recommend updating attendance as soon as possible.

How do I update my class schedule? (Referred to as Timetable in the Attendance tool)

  • Based on the information in Banner, your default course timetable was imported into the Attendance tool for you. 
  • You can add to or update this as needed throughout the semester. 
  • It is recommended that you do as much editing as possible before the semester begins.

By default, the Attendance tool will "correct" any edits you make to timetable information that came from Banner; you will see your edits revert when you exit and re-enter the Attendance area. If you wish to edit session that were created by Banner, choose Attendance Settings and uncheck the Import attendance sessions from student information system box and click Apply.  When you uncheck that box, you will be in control of the Attendance timetable and Banner imports will no longer affect it.

To Edit a given class session:

  1. Select the session(s) you need to edit
    select attendance session
  2. Select the Edit Selection option
    choose edit selection
  3. Choose the type of edit you need to make
    edit choices
  4. Click Apply Changes

To add a class session

  1. Click the Add Session option
    Add sessions
  2. Fill out the session form
    session form
  3. Click Validate

Can I use a seating plan to take attendance?

Yes! You can create and use a seating to take attendance for some or all of your class sessions

  1. Access the seating plan by finding and opening a session from Sessions
  2. Select the Seating Plan option next to List view
  3. in session informationthe window that pops up, select how the seating plan will be used.
    • Occasionally – this means that the seating plan does not persist from session to session. This option is useful when using contact tracing so that if the instructor is varying where people sit, that a previous plan does not inadvertently get used, therefore making contact tracing inaccurate.

    • Always – this means that the seating plan persists from session to session.

    • Student Defined – students will be able to define where they are sitting in the room via the student portal to aPlus+. This does rely on students taking care with their entry.

  4. The room can then be set up. This is not designed to be an accurate floor plan of the room, rather a way to determine, relatively, who sat close to someone else.

  5. Students can then be placed in the seating plan by dragging and dropping their icon.

  6. seating planAttendance can still be collected via all of the options. Codes, Scanners, or Manually. You can select the students in the seating plan to set their manual attendance if you wish.

  7. If you are allowing students to set their location in the room, they can do so via the code entry in the student portal in canvas. There may be challenges with this on a practical level as it is relying on students for accurate data entry.

 

 

To report a problem with A+ or receive additional troubleshooting, please contact the Tech Desk
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Details

Article ID: 114370
Created
Thu 8/20/20 12:31 PM
Modified
Mon 1/11/21 11:50 PM

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