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Attendance Overhaul

Attendance Overhaul

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.
Learner II

My district doesn't make attendance available in canvas.  It sure would be nice if they did.


All I have now is : present, late, absent

I would like another button for present via Zoom or other Online tech.


If the indicator could be blue, that would be great.


Add comments for attendance such as stating the reason the student was Excused, sports, medical etc... If there is a chronic tardy student being able to write down the time to justify counting absent, documentation trails etc...


Also to indicate they are online versus in person.

Surveyor II

I spent hours a couple of years ago downloading and then reorganizing attendance information in Excel so I could see specific dates for each student's attendance. In short, I built an attendance grid, the same as instructors have been using for decades, at least. 

This sort of display should be incorporated directly in Canvas. Failing that, the download to Excel should at least organize so we have student names in the left column, with columns proceeding to the right that list class dates. Simple and easy, without having to battle Excel. 

If I chose to reprocess this information in Excel myself, as I did a couple of years ago, I would have to re-teach myself how to do it, a bad use of my time.  This is a fundamental and obvious feature.


As mentioned earlier by @ecolbeck and others, there should be a way to take attendance for several lectures of the same course in one day. In our case AM and PM would do, but I'm sure there are more complicated cases than ours.

Surveyor II

Many schools require us to indicate the last day of attendance if a student fails the class. Right now I have to go to the Attendance page and manually check each day for each student to determine the last day of attendance. If this could be automated that would be fantastic.