After speaking with Canvas Customer Service today, January 25, 2020, I have learned how if we want to add an additional items to the list of items to click on, such as the Check Mark for being in attendance (√), Absent (X), or Late (), I need to have other users, teachers, agree with adding new items to the list. So, I am highly recommending, the adding of a "Sick" (S) item, and a "Military" (M) item to the list.
I would appreciate the assistance of other users, teachers, to agree to having these items added to the list. When we see that students are Absent, we assume they are not coming back, but this is not true in all cases. In many cases are out sick, and for me, as I teach also at a military base, and have active military students, whom are coming back, or are staying active with assignments which have been provided for them, although they are not actually in the classroom for a face-to-face course.
By also adding these items, when running a report, it will specifically provide a listing of those students is those additional categories of items, which shows they were not absent, and with knowing they are actually active students. If they were not to return at all we will see the change based on which attendance items would show it changes from a Sick or Military to absent.
Please help me help you with your attendance, as we need to have students active in our classrooms and be doing this will increase retention and encourage students to stay, as we won't drop them due to being either sick or in active military service.
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Hope this helps! Kona