We have a university policy that requires that we take attendance every class. The unique nature of this master's-level lab class means that I have 60+ students spread across multiple rooms. It is neither practical nor desirable to stand in front of each room and take a roll call.
We've worked around this by creating a simple one-question quiz ("Are you here?") that requires a daily pass code written on the whiteboard. This works, but it would be vastly improved if Canvas supported this feature better.
Current challenges include:
- You cannot duplicate a quiz in Canvas, so each quiz must be created manually. The lab meets daily, which means that I have approximately 75 unique quizzes to create. This is obviously time consuming and error prone.
- Once created, the 75 quizzes blow out my grade sheet and make scrolling sluggish and glitchy.
- Attendance isn't graded like a normal grade. Students can accumulate a certain number of unexcused absences, and then, per policy, their grade drops by two levels (e.g. A- to a B, B+ to a B-, etc.) for each unexcused absence thereafter. This means at the end of the term, I must export the attendance quizzes to Excel, calculate the thresholds and manually delete each of the 75 quizzes from Canvas.
So the better way would be a built-in module within Canvas that does the following:
- Lets me set up class days in Canvas (e.g. M-F, 9:30am-12:30pm from Sept 1 to Dec 1)
- Lets me set up attendance "quiz" open times (e.g. 9am), close times (e.g. 9:45am) and, optionally, tardy grace period (e.g. 15 mins)
- Add holidays and no-class days
- Have Canvas autogenerate access codes for each class day
- Let me establish a grading policy (e.g. 5 unexcused absences, 2 letter grade drop thereafter)
- Lets the students log in and enter the attendance code from their phones or computers
- Lets me go in and mark absences or tardies as excused
- Lets students know how many unexcused absences they have remaining before taking a grade hit
- Rolls this up in a *single* column in the grade sheet
A fancy version of this feature would send out notifications and nag-o-grams to students.
I realize this is a highly specific requirement, but surely, ours is not the only program that works this way. If you share this need, please upvote this feature idea.