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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.
307 Comments
Naomi
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Moderating

Hi @glennber,

It looks like you've posted a very similar idea: Identify virtual students in Roll Call. Could you describe how this idea differs from that one? 

Naomi

pepe69
Surveyor

idk imm  6

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Archived
 
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Archived
 
glennber
Surveyor

@Naomi I didn't see any mention of handling / identifying Virtual students, whether all virtual or hybrid.

cstewart32
Surveyor

There needs to be a better report for attendance.  Having a large amount of students in a section, it would be advantageous to have a normal attendance sheet which shows the list of students with dates along the top and shows absent, present, tardy across in each box for the student.  When assessing attendance over the semester (number of attendance count towards participation), having to go through a spreadsheet that lists the student repetitively for each day of attendance (with a large number of students) creates a very lengthy list and is cumbersome.  I talked with the help chat today and realized that this is our only export option at this point.  It seems there would be a better report showing each student and across the top having the date (like a regular semester attendance sheet). 

melissao
Surveyor

Yes!

pham
Surveyor

I would be nice to have a sort by first name function in the attendance tool. 

TammS
Surveyor

I'd like to have an option where you can click on a students name and find the students last day of attendance, without having to scroll through the dates of lecture. I'd also like to have an option that would allow to mark a student with an "excused" from attendance. 

kanuabb
Surveyor

The attendance record in Canvas gives data that is too complicated to navigate. The Excel data is difficult to navigate and extra information for each student. For example, if you are looking for the number of absences, present, late, etc. for each student, it is not possible to extract that information from the downloaded Excel. Is it possible to create a downloadable Excel sheet that gives a summary of each student showing the number of times present, absent, and late, etc.? This is an update that will be extremely useful for every faculty. At the moment, you can download an Excel file for each student, but you still have to manually count each absent, present, or late.

jbrown
Explorer II

It's seems like it would be possible to improve the download. It's unusable for most people unless they have advanced spreadsheet skills.

I appreciated the work-around and helpful documents shared by @kblack here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Question-Forum/Attendance-Reports-Are-Not-Clear/m-p/233147 

Maybe the developers could read that post and reformat the download! Or, overhaul this tool. Right now, it is just barely useful enough for some to keep using it.

jdaggs
Surveyor

I agree.  The attendance feature is not helpful at all.  Also, could we get an excused option, and automatic deductions? 

miller3637
Surveyor II

Yes please, to all of this.

dbkimbro
Surveyor

I teach college, and while I appreciate that I can use badges to track student attendance in Roll Call Attendance, 1) the reports that are generated are almost impossible to easily read, and 2) the function of badges would work much better if students could see the badges they've earned. I use badges to track when a student is absent, the reason they're absent, as well as when they've reached a maximum level of absences that the course allows. I can see the badge that the student has hit five or six absences, but I then still have to do the extra work of separately e-mailing that warning to the student. If the student could see the warning badges as they were accruing absences, it would take a tremendous load off of instructors who work with several students a semester.

jbraverm
Surveyor II

It would be helpful if the Canvas Attendance / Roll Call function report included the badges.  I would need that for each specific day attendance was taken.

ctitmus
Community Team
Community Team

Hi @jbraverm 

According to our documentation, "Roll Call Attendance Badges are included in course reports if they were created at the most immediate account or sub-account level and have been assigned to students." and "Roll Call Attendance Badges are included in account reports if they were created in the account and have been assigned to students."

If this is not what you are experiencing, please submit a ticket. Or if there are more specifics to add to your idea, please make those additions.

JACOBSEN_C
Explorer III

Can the Roll Call/Attendance app be updated to include student/user-chosen pronouns (chosen in their respective Canvas user settings), please?

joni
Surveyor II

I agree with those saying the Excel report is unusable - why can't teachers access the far more user-friendly "pie chart" and table records that students can see on their end? The only way to view this is to Act As User which is not available for our teachers. 

Currently teachers can see the percentage but not the record over time as shown to students.

Other big problems for me are the fact that assignment/grade notifications still go out every single time Roll Call Attendance is updated which is multiple times a day for students. It's obnoxious and has led to us directing teachers to set the whole assignment to Not Graded - which then removes the ability for students to check their percentage "score", and if parents have questions about the attendance record teachers are forced to grapple with the horrible CSV files... when I KNOW Canvas has the ability to display that data graphically!

This topic was originally posted in 2015 - why hasn't this been addressed yet? Has there been any movement or progress on this? 

atte0009
Surveyor

I agree with many of the suggestions in the original post, especially this one:

 

  • 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.

I would also like to reiterate the request others have made to give more options for partial attendance.  In my program, we count attendance in half hour increments, so it works fine for one hour classes in which a student is either present (full hour attended), tardy (0.5 hours attended), or absent, but in two-hour classes, we need to be able to mark students as present (two hours attended), tardy (1.5 hours attended), very tardy (1 hour) attended, extremely tardy (0.5 hours attended), or absent (0 hours).  We also have some classes that met for two hours twice a week and for one hour on a third day, so there needs to be a way to show that not all classes are the same length.  

schro861
Surveyor

I agree 100% with @atte0009! Right now the attendance functionality is so limited that it is not an option for most classes in my program...but it seems to have so much potential! The ability to give partial attendance, allow students the ability to view their own attendance report, and having a more user-friendly format for the Excel download would make the attendance feature usable and extremely useful for the instructors/staff in our program. We would finally be able to do away with attendance google sheets! 🙂