At my school, we're really struggling with how to track attendance in our online courses in a way that meets with our state virtual schools attendance requirements. Our state's requirements are bi-weekly back and forth between the student and teacher, and to monitor that the student is making progress.
Most of our teachers have about 200 students split between about 7 or 8 different Canvas courses. We really need this to be tracked in a way that is as painless as possible so we can do weekly attendance data entry into a non-Canvas system each week (which we unfortunately have to do by hand since the district tool we use does not have an import option), and what we're running into is that too many different things "count" for attendance by law and there's no way to quickly get a class-level report of who had what number of back-and-forth interactions with teachers that week.
(The student-by-student Interactions Report has some but not all of the data we need, but would involve clicking through each student individually as well as not tracking things like whether or not a teacher and student commented back and forth to each other in a discussion forum and whether or not a given assignment was given feedback by a teacher as opposed to being, say, autograded by Canvas or graded without feedback given. It also doesn't show which students set up appointments in the Canvas Calendar, and there's no way within the appointment tool for me to mark whether or not a student showed up for their appointment either.)
Right now, different teachers are trying to track this in different ways, and none of them work well. I'm using two weekly "attendance assignments" that students can complete (and I can respond to) as one of the interactions, and I then have to go through on Friday and poke around various places to see if they did anything else that "should count" (I used to go in and also mark them as completed when I interacted with students, but it got messy because Canvas would auto-flag them as "missing" at the due date even if I'd marked them as complete so I started waiting until the end of the week instead). Other teachers are using printed rosters and checking names off each time they interact with a student. Still other teachers are searching student-by-student in various places on Fridays as a starting point.
It's a lot to keep track of, keep organized, and keep clearly communicated to students and parents. We are open to spending money on a third party tool that produces precisely the reports we need or setting things up differently in Canvas itself, but we'd really like for attendance tracking to take up less time than it does right now. (It takes me 2 1/2 to 3 hours a week right now, and other teachers report a similar amount of time spent.)
Has anyone found any good ways to handle all or part of this problem in their online programs?
Hi Linnea, Addy from EZCheck.me (EZCheck.me ) here. I believe we have just the tool you're looking for!
EZCheck.me provide a simple Check-in interface that can be used both at physical and remote - learning lessons. It uses a secured QR code that the students scan with their smartphones in class or via screen-sharing.
You can view our sample clip to learn more: EZCheck.me - Smartphone Base Check-in Platform - YouTube
You are welcome to test-drive the tool for free - just sign in at our site for a free account. If you have any questions I'll be happy to assist you - drop me a line to email@example.com
Ezcheck is an excellent solution for classroom attendance management. It's easy for teachers, students, and academic administration alike. Their support is excellent and their price is unbeatable.
This will not work - we need to have all things that legally "count" as attendance for our state metrics to be surfaced in a single report, not an external tool that can count as Yet One More Way for a student to check in. We need a report that we can tune to check exactly our legal requirements for attendance and give a roster view of who was "here" today by any of those metrics.
So, we need the report to be something like:
Example Student A: Here! (turned in assignment [name] at [timestamp], received teacher feedback on that assignment at [timestamp])
Example Student B: Here! (commented on class discussion board [name] at [timestamp], received teacher reply on their comment at [timestamp])
Example Student C: Needs teacher action! Turned in assignment [name] at [timestamp], has not received teacher response yet
Example Student D:Absent (no valid activity)
and so on.
Thank you for your detailed answer, thompsli!
We currently provide a downable attendance report Excel file, that is formatted slightly different then what you described, but does contain all the information you mentioned.
Can you please shoot me an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can send you sample of our current report to see if we could adapt it to your needs?
Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you,