cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Attendance Overhaul

Attendance Overhaul

(20)
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.
310 Comments
jamie_lichtenst
Community Member

In addition to adding an "excused/unexcused" option for absence, tardy and left early, I'd like the instruction to be able to change the point value of a tardy or left early. Even if Canvas has a default point value, I'd like both a global setting where a faculty member could change the percentage a tardy counts against a student and a way to change it in the moment - i.e. give a faculty member a way to bump up the penalty for "leave early" if a student leaves halfway through a class.

Minimally I'd like to know how Canvas currently handles tardy designations so I can make sure my syllabus properly reflects it.

gouldjo
Community Participant

Please include accurate grade reporting for courses with several cross-listed sections! 

Currently, when teachers take attendance, it is section-by-section.  The Roll Call Attendance grade that is written corresponds to just the most recent course section where attendance has been entered.  This often causes wild swings in the scores reported to the gradebook, which then pass to the Total grade, causing inaccurate grades for many students.   Large courses with cross-listed courses (STEM classes with labs and lectures, humanities classes with lectures and discussion sections) especially rely on the Attendance tool.  It is important that it accurately reports a students performance to the gradebook.   Thanks! 

aclark2
Community Member

This isn't a feature request!  This is a zero day bug report!  The attendance feature in Canvas was apparently designed by someone who has never taught and has not had a conversation with a teacher about attendance.  

Attendance is almost useless without the ability to view a summary report or running tally in a grid, with students down the side and class days across the top.  

I don't understand why Canvas has responded that this feature "is not expected to influence development within Canvas at this time."  

richard_gardner
Community Participant

I concur completely. There are feature requests; and then there are no-brainers. This is a no-brainer. I’m continually amazed it was designed like this in the first place.

debbie_ellis
Community Participant

Adam, I agree with you, too. Although we haven't started our Canvas implementation yet, I have read several times that Roll Call is probably one of the weaker features in Canvas. Why wouldn't Canvas want to bring this feature to the same level of excellence as other features? I mean no offense to third-party vendors, but why are we forced to license a third-party product to get the feature sets that we need?

ziamandc
Community Member

Completely agree with this conversation - the attendance feature is ridiculous, and does not allow me even to do mandated reporting for the state.  Instead of just fixing it, we have to go on these threads and comment and comment and comment so Canvas will consider making it a workable feature?  I have teaching to do.  I'm sorry, but compared to all the great features of Canvas, this stands out as a colossal fail, and on top of it, a waste of our time too. 

eshay
Community Participant

I agree with Adam Clark‌ and Debbie Ellis‌. We have an 80% attendance requirement at our university, but our course has a 100% attendance policy for labs. The class has over 100 students and is split into two sections for each of the two-hour-long labs. Thus, every student has attendance taken three times in one day. We need to be able to track all three hours of attendance for each student.

I read earlier in the thread a request for students to be able to punch in a code for attendance, rather than a faculty member entering the attendance manually. That would be fantastic!!! Currently, we have to give an "attendance quiz" for the lecture attendance and then manually transfer the students' attendance into Rollcall. We then have a paper sign-in sheet for each hour of the lab, which is then transferred to an Excel notebook. The registrar wants all of the attendance in Canvas, but it just isn't possible without a lot of jerry-rigging and wasted time. This is an ongoing problem for multiple courses in our medical school.

I concur with the suggestions that we should be able to see a full spread of attendance, just like the grades. Some type of letter or symbol should denote "excused", "late", "left early", "leave of absence", "lab made up with a tutor", etc. for easy reference. The students NEED to be able to see this as well. This is particularly critical because our students fail the course (even if they earned an A) if they drop below 80% attendance. They need to be able to constantly monitor their attendance status. For us, it is also necessary to keep lecture and lab attendance separate, just as we have to keep the lecture and lab grades separate, even though they are included in one course in Canvas. Only at the end of the semester are the scores combined, provided that they have passed each section individually.

Thank you.

jgriggs
Community Participant

The lack of functionality and flexibility in the Attendance tool proves to be, by far, the number one complaint I get from faculty members at my school.  I would love to read the contract Canvas signed so long ago that tied them to Roll Call. When does that contract end?

dholtzman
Community Member

The attendance report needs to be reformatted so that their is one row for each student in the class, one column for each date and all of the other information (instructor, semester, course, etc.) listed exactly once in the heading.   It needs to be made printer friendly.

abergeson1
Community Participant

Mark Attendance twice in one day:

Many of the science classes have labs on the same day as lecture.  There is currently no way to use the Canvas attendance roster that takes this into consideration. It would be great if this could be fixed and many of us could take advantage of this tool.

matt13
Community Member

Aaron - check out Qwickly Attendance, you can easily take attendance as many times in a day as you'd like and it fully integrates with Canvas.

www.goqwickly.com/attendance

ziamandc
Community Member

In response to Matt Hadgis - I do not appreciate having vendors participate in these forums.  I come to them for solutions, not to purchase products or advocate for the purchase of products.  Canvas is here to make our lives as educators simpler, to stream line information for our students, and enhance information availability.  Through these forums, they claim to listen to our feedback and make upgrades accordingly.  Please take your sales pitch to the Canvas administrators.  This forum is not the right place for you.

matt13
Community Member

My sincere apologies - I have simply seen so much frustration around this tool and have become aware that this is not something Instructure is actively working to solve. I truly respect folks time and wanted to help provide solutions.  I will no longer provide updates to this thread.

ziamandc
Community Member

Thank you Matt, and good luck trying to get the attention of Canvas to make fixes.  Maybe they can buy your platform and integrate it into Canvas.  So many other things work very well in Canvas, which is why it is surprising that something so simple is so broken.

At this point in the semester, I appreciate your respectful response.  Amidst the pressures of the moment, your response was welcome.

James
Community Champion

There is sometimes a fine line between offering a solution and pitching a product.

According to the What are the Canvas Community guidelines? 

Pitch ideas, not products.
Hey, we know there are a lot of amazing ed-tech tools out there. If you want to share ways these have been helpful in teaching, please do. However, if you’re a third party vendor or partner, this is not the place to generate sales leads.

I sometimes worry about the distinction between solution and product with my Canvancements. I'm offering them for free, not receiving any money for them, not tracking how often they're used, and so I convince myself they're not products I'm pitching, but solutions that some people can choose to benefit from. Thankfully, there are enough other people who have used them and recommend them that I seldom am the person who has to make the recommendation.

I will admit that my scripts are no where near the quality of a professionally designed solution. But let's face it, sometimes it is necessary to go outside of Canvas to get things done because what we want doesn't fit in with Canvas' road map. Canvas isn't doing anything about attendance and has stated in the Community that it's a place where they would like a third party to step in and develop something.

I appreciate knowing about the possible attendance solution so I can check it out. I agree that the posts have seemed a little too pitchy. Like Matt, I find it hard to sit back and see people in so much pain and frustration, knowing that I have something that can make their life easier.

matt13
Community Member

I completely concur - we offer a variety of free solutions for teaching and learning and love to be able to share - it's a sticky wicket!

Cheers!

amarchan
Community Participant

Ah, never mind then. Thanks for checking it out,

Anne

Sent from an IMLearning Device

eshay
Community Participant

Agreed! We have lecture and lab on the same day, so that means we take attendance three times - once for lecture and once an hour in the lab. Canvas has been a pain to work around this.

am_jagusztyn
Community Participant

Add attendance to be taken more than once in a day. Have notifications sent went attendance drops below certain percentages.

matnor
Community Member

We've started using Canvas early this year, 2019 after migrating from Google Classroom. We like Canvas very much. Roll Call has been enabled for taking student attendance only for the current July Semester 2019. This is for testing purpose. We found out that the attendance report does not link to Student SIS ID and Teacher SIS ID. The report can't be linked or exported directly to our SIS. It could be useful and used by our SIS if the report has both the Student SIS ID and Teacher SIS ID. I would like to request that both SIS IDs are made available in Roll Call report.

Thank you.

Matnor

Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNIRAZAK), Malaysia

About Idea Conversations
In the Canvas Community Ideas space, you can share, converse, and rate idea conversations related to software improvements to Canvas products.