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Attendance Overhaul

Attendance Overhaul

(25)
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.
326 Comments
james_coyle
Community Member

A data report of a view that shows the percentage of attendance without the clumsy formatting of the current report would be a great improvement.

jeremy_r_rhodes
Community Member

This may already be present, but I don't have time to read through all the comments.  I'd love the ability to run an attendance report that shows me each student's number of absences.  Currently, I have to click the "more" button beside each name, one by one, if I want to see which students are struggling with attendance.

tsamoff
Community Participant

I'd also like the option of entering a date-specific note and even a time-in or time-out for each student. In fact, if we could specify the duration of a class time, this sort of analytic data would be very helpful.

tillis_james
Community Member

I have an entire faculty asking for the excused absence option.  They have snow days, football days, blah blah days.  I can't even get the badges to show up in the Attendance report and neither can the Canvas Support reps. 

This really should have been an option from the very beginning, and I'm confused as to why it has taken from 2015 to now and still nothing has been done.  3 years folks, and this doesn't seem to be a major fix.

The excused absence simply would count the same score as 'present', and the unexcused would count the same as an absence, however the excused or unexcused would be noted for documentation sake.

Is there an attendance fairy we can contact?

Tillis

djohnso2
Community Member

I need two of these right now: New categories and the overview of semester attendance. Moodle allowed both.

dspiel
Community Participant

Kona's statement of Attendance being useful/effective is being way to kind....   It is essentially useless and needs to be updated immediately.  These issues have been around since moving to Canvas 4-5 years ago and hasn't been touched.  It was stated that it was something that would be moved up the radar of fixing once they realized how important it was to the Professors and States in keeping attendance for certain programs required by law within those States and still no movement.

richard_gardner
Community Participant

Yes, we just adopted Canvas this fall, and today our "progress reports" are due--which means we have to look up our students' scores, and in doing this, I found out that Canvas has decided to figure in attendance into my grades, even though I never asked it to. What chutzpah! And I had to go digging to even find out that it was doing this, and had decided to count attendance as 100 points. 

richard_gardner
Community Participant

It is a no-brainer (sorry if that sounds rude, but I really mean it) that the attendance report should list the students ONCE, in the left column, and list all the class dates across the top, and then fill in the absent/present/excused. Only a few weeks into the semester, and my report is hundreds of lines long because each of my 60 students is listed once for each day of class, and it is nearly impossible to get a good idea of an individual student's attendance. Furthermore, why should the attendance report require me to check my email, and then download a document; why can't it just display on the screen like the gradebook? (Names down the left side, like in the gradebook, and class dates, instead of assignments, across the top). So I  decided to keep separate attendance on an excel sheet. Much easier.  None of this ought to be that hard to develop. 

james_coyle
Community Member

It took me a while to figure out that student view is limited or non-existent. If a student has a question about recorded attendance, they are unable to check their entire attendance record.

kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @james_coyle ‌ - Believe me, I am very far from trying to defend the Attendance system in Canvas--having voted up this proposal myself and complained about it multiple times to our various Canvas CSMs through the years--but while you do not have an easy way to do this if a student has a question, ironically students DO.  There is information on this in the student guide here:  How do I view my Roll Call Attendance report as a student?  (Now if only instructors had it this easy!)

james_coyle
Community Member

Thanks, for the help, Ken. I may need to show it to my students as well.

u0724164
Community Member

The excused absence is an important option to consider given that there are university-sanctioned events accompanied by an expectation that faculty will excuse them.  That being said, it is still important to record that the student was not present those days so that - if there is a particular topic the student is struggling with - one can consult the attendance record to see if there is a correlation (which there usually is).  Right now, we have been instructed not to indicate any of the three existing categories (i.e., present, absent, or late) but only to add a badge.  However, absences are not recorded, which can become statistically significant as they accrue.

MichaelB
Community Participant

Richard,

You are correct, the Roll Call report is almost unusable on the teacher's end.  If you haven't found this page where Ken Black set up a Google sheet to deal with the issue, you should look at it:  Easy to Use Google Sheet for Interpreting Your Roll Call Attendance Report.

The issues with Roll Call are exactly why my university is testing the Qwickly Attendance LTI.

physci
Community Member

I use GradeKeeper and I am very happy using this inexpensive user friendly software.

https://www.gradekeeper.com/index.htm

I wish if canvas could make a use of it.

kbink
Community Contributor

Hi Richard,  Attendance has been messing us up too.  While I'm not sure I've got all the tricks worked out, here are our notes on Taking Attendance in Canvas.  The section on Setting up Attendance might help.

marksentesy
Community Member

Requests

  1. That there be an option for the Roll call just to display the number of times the student has been present / absent. That this be visible on the grading sheet.
  2. That there be an option to convert any that are not marked present to “absent”
    • in a very large class, having manually to mark every absent student as absent takes too much time
rmurchshafer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hey Mark,

I just wanted to make sure you were aware that you can view the number of Presents and Absents by clicking the More button next to a student in the Attendance area.  It would be nice so have this visible all in one place for everyone at once; but it is currently there at least.

Regarding your 2nd point, that would be a nice feature.  I use a similar method in the gradebook with the "Set default grades" to fill in 0s for assignments not turned in.  

karl0171
Community Member

Can a feature be added that "turns off" the days that classes do not meet?  As an example, I have a T, Th class.  I'd like to not see MWFSatSun for this class.  And for my MW class not see TThFSatSun.  Is this possible? I have not found a setting for this.

Thank you.

hesse151
Community Member

Maybe I'm mistaken about some of these suggestions getting implemented, but this thread started 3 years ago...that's far too long.

MichaelB
Community Participant

This is why we are testing another LTI for attendance.  It's inexcusable that this feature has been so poor for so long.