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Attendance Overhaul

Attendance Overhaul

(19)
Right now attendance in Canvas isn't that useful/effective. Below are the ways it could be improved:
  • When viewing a specific student's information allow faculty to see a snapshot of the whole semester, including the specific date that a student was present, absent, late, etc. Knowing the number of days a student has been absent is useful, but for financial aid and other state regulated things we have to provide the specific date of last attendance. Right now this is very clumsy and time consuming.
  • Allow for additional states other than present, late, absent - ex: excused
  • Allow students to view their own attendance report. Right now students can't see their attendance information at all. Make it an option for faculty to allow students to view their own attendance for a semester by date. It would also be useful if there was an option to let students mark their own attendance - ex: they enter in the code for the day to show that they are in class.
  • Provide a print/save option for the entire roster that shows the attendance information by student and date.
  • Provide a more user-friendly data file of the attendance information. As it is right now it is quite messy and unless faculty are comfortable and familiar with excel they have a difficult time doing anything with the data file.
  • Make it an option whether or not attendance information is automatically added to the gradebook. Yes, I know the Roll call attendance assignment can be turned off, but it is confusing and many new faculty don't realize why it's there or what to do with it.
306 Comments
kakanczu
Community Member

To add a few more things with the much needed overhaul  @kona ​ mentioned:

  • Along with making it optional of whether the attendance will automatically be added to gradebook, WARN faculty that a 100pt grade item will be added and give them the option to adjust the points beforehand.
  • Update the attendance scores immediately. For example, currently if a student has a 100/100 on the Roll Call Attendance and then the faculty decides to switch the Roll Call Attendance to be worth 20 points the student will have a 100/20 until a new attendance grade is submitted. This massively inflates their grade until the class period.
  • Offer an option to not send an email after every class. If a student does not attend the first day, they will have a 0/100 and be notified. The attend the 2nd and 3rd class and now they have a 75%. It's a crazy number of emails.
parde
Community Member

I just submitted a new Feature Request for Excused Absence because I didn't see this one, and a search for "excused absence" did not find this thread.

I also think kakanczu​ has excellent points. We've needed all of those. 

I know we were supposed to limit Kitchen Sink requests, but there is a lot here!

kakanczu
Community Member

I agree that Kitchen Sink requests are generally not a good idea but in the case of Attendance it should be allowed. The idea/feature request that should be voted on here is summed up by "A complete overhaul of the Attendance tool."

ejackson
Learner II

This is definitely needed! Our faculty need to turn in their Attendance Reports to their Division offices at the end of each semester, and there is no good way of formatting a readable report for them to submit with the current Attendance feature!

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Excused is in there - "Allow for additional states other than present, late, absent - ex: excused"

594948
Community Member

We need the option to automate attendance for reporting.  We have to download ALL the attendance data for ALL the students for ALL the courses into our system which processes attendance for financial aid.  Also the excused absences option is manadatoryfor us. As it stands now the current attendance reporting is completely unusuable for us and we've had to abandon it and have been forced to create our own from scratch.  The current no-submissions report also does not capture all submission, only the gradable ones, so if instructors customize at all, it makes the report invalide for financial aid purposes.  This really needs to be addessed in a way that captures how universities need to use the data.  I would encourage developers to reach out directly to users during the development stage on this one.

kblack
Community Member

The entire "Roll Call" feature is one of my more frequent subjects of phone calls/help requests from faculty.  The entire 100-point issue is a fiasco from the get-go, not to mention that faculty can't see a listing of dates/number of times missed.  I finally had to create an Excel pivot table for a faculty member to see what should be relatively simple information to get.

parde
Community Member

I'm not sure why this post didn't come up in an search for Excused Absence. It may have been me adding "absence" to the search. Either way, that's why I commented and made sure to use the phrase "Excused Absence." I also posted a link to this Feature Request on the old community feature discussion - Kitchen Sink: Attendance/Roll Call : Help Center

 @franke ​ mentioned several of these items in that original 2013 post. I'm trying to help any of those who commented or liked that page find this one.

adetienn
Community Member

We also need the ability to indicate that a student attended only one half of a three-hour class session, having either left or come in during the break in the middle of the class session. Such a student would be present for one half, and absent or excused for the other half. They should not get full credit or debit for the full class meeting.

1086095
Community Member

A setting to  change how many points each day of attendance is worth would also be helpful.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Very good! Thanks! Attendance is honestly one of the #1 things faculty mention in terms of what they don't like about Canvas. I'd just like Canvas to take it and make it into something amazing like pretty much the rest of Canvas!

anthonem
Surveyor

Yes, please improve this tool! The above comments nicely describe problems our faculty are running into.

crafte
Adventurer II

I agree with all of the above. The attendance tool is the number 1 complaint we get from instructors. Canvas offers so many great features and then there is Roll Call... no need to say more.

bowmanr
Adventurer III

Since attendance automatically creates the roll call assignment, why not have it automatically create its own group and put the roll call assignment in the roll Call group instead of the first group in the list?   I agree with everyone else, it needs to be improved dramatically. 

millerjm
Adventurer

I have a document where I spec'd out what was good and bad with other LMS products (bb, canvas, sakai, angel) who had attendance tools.  I'm not sure if it's OK to post that here? 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Maybe if you removed the names of the company?  @scottdennis ​ or  @Renee_Carney ​, what do you think?

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hey  @millerjm ​

If you have something that you compiled that is related to this thread that you'd like to share, please do.  The more the merrier.  We'd love to see it.  As long as you won't be posting a proprietary document given to you in trust by another company, I say, please share.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Awesome! Thanks  @scottdennis !!

clong
Learner II

I'd like to see attendance improved in Canvas but for that to really matter for the K12 world and institutions where you get funded by your attendance rates there would have to be a rock solid integration with all the Student Information Systems out there. Otherwise we will have to have teachers submit their official attendance records in our SIS.

Right now we have Roll Call on but all teachers have to login to our SIS to submit their attendance, so most do not use Roll Call.

If a student is absent on a day an Assignment is Due it would be awesome if there was an indicator of this when you look at the gradebook and possibly some rules you could set based on type of absence. For example:

TR (Truant) = set to automatically give students zero credit on assignment.

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

As we roll out more integrations with SISs common to the K12 world, that is an important point, Chris.