Hacking Roll Call Attendance

Coach Emeritus
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Situation: You have a class where you'd like to take attendance twice a day and use the Canvas Roll Call Attendance tool.

Problem: Unfortunately Attendance in Canvas doesn't directly allow you to take attendance twice a day.

Solution: Use the three attendance options (present, absent, late) and badges to hack your way to a solution!

How to do it: Create two badges, one for morning attendance and one for afternoon attendance - How do I use Roll Call Attendance badges in a course?

Then, when you go to take attendance use the following scheme:


  • Present = there in the morning and afternoon
  • Absent = not there at all
  • Late = there in the morning or afternoon
  • Badges = Click on the appropriate badge to indicate whether the student missed the morning or the afternoon or both!

It's not perfect and you may need to tweak the general idea to make it work, but I given the constraints of Attendance this hack does make it possible to take attendance twice a day in Canvas!

Shameless plug - if you haven't already, please vote and comment on the following feature idea -

Community Contributor

Hi Kona,

Cool hack!

We've been using Sections for creating multiple Attendance sessions,

such as for our Science offerings that may have lecture and lab time

happening the same day but at different times.

Best wishes,


Community Participant

I like the idea. Unfortunately badges don't show up in reports.

Community Champion

 @kona ‌,

I am a little late to the game but this is a great hack.  We are looking to start using this tool in some of our courses in the near future. However, one issue I have seen is that it looks like any admin role can update, or change the attendance in the course.  Have you seen the same issue?  How have you protected the integrity of the tool and attendance in your courses? 


Coach Emeritus

jschaffer, interesting question. Yes, as far as I'm aware I can go in and potentially change/enter attendance in a course. I'm not 100% sure because I've honestly never gone in and done that in a course that wasn't mine or a sandbox course. As for protecting the integrity of the course , I don't consider attendance any more of an integrity issue than grades and I can technically go in and change those as well. I guess the integrity thing comes down to the fact that as an Admin I have access to and permissions to a LOT of stuff, but that's part of my job. Someone has to have that job and we only have a handful at our Institution who have this level access. If I didn't trust them then they wouldn't have access and I'd like to hope that if someone questioned my integrity I wouldn't have my job. 

As a side note, all of us are tracked in everything we do in Canvas so if there was a question of what I'm doing (or not doing) someone (another Admin or Canvas Support) could tell you if I had gone in and changed/added something.