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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.
New Member

(1) Allow for downloading Attendance report (just like Grades are downloaded, rather than it being sent via email.

(2) Allow instructor to unhide Attendance so that each student can see the dates they are marked present/late/absent. This feature may already be available but if it is I don't know where to tell the students to look for it.

New Member

We're having some issues with Roll Call Attendance:

1) Cannot take attendance more than once on the same day for the same course

2) If a course contains multiple sections with an overlap in students, it can really mess up roll call attendance



Display roll call attendance data in the same way as you can with Online Attendance. (Little grid with icons for each day, or better still, the option to make the grid be for every week for courses that have weekly classes.(

Community Member

Here to second... third... 1 billionth "Excused" absences.  It's important for my military servicemembers who I have to mark "not present" but are not to lose points for absences. 

My rolls can be required for state's evidence in court cases, so they have to be accurate.


Kathleen Schexnayder

New Member

Please provide a prompt/field for "Excused Absences," and allow us to provide the reason for the absence once we click on it. This would help us avoid trying to keep separate lists on student absences.


Wanda Johnson Stokes

New Member

I would like to have the ability to configure "the week" according to the meeting days. Typical sessions meet on either Mon/Wed/Fri or Tues/Thurs. I would like to have the option to configure the "week" so that when I access the attendance roll, it only shows the meeting days for that particular class/section. Thank you for your consideration.


Community Member

I would also like to suggest that there be a way to "drop the lowest" with rollcall attendance like one can do with grades. 

I teach college students, and I try to be inclusive by saying they can miss (so many) classes--no questions asked.  It helps people who can't afford to go to the doctor, or for people who just have minor illnesses or issues which shouldn't require one to go to a doctor (which can be impossible to get on short notice and prohibitively expensive even with insurance). 

New Member

Attendance - indicate it in missed classes (or indicate both attended and missed days), not in percentage, so that students know EXACTLY how many classes they missed.


This is very important and would save instructors and GAs so much time tracking this and answering students' emails

New Member

I reported today that we need this option because sometimes people let us know that they are going to miss a future class.

Here is what I got:

"For the excused status, that is something that can be accomplished simply by leaving the day unmarked for the student in question."

Well, this is not helpful when you need to indicate excused absence for a future date.

So, this option should be added.

New Member

Please number the students 

New Member

When you click on a the More button for a student's attendance, it would be really helpful if it listed the first day of attendance and last day of attendance in their summary.  Also, I would like to be able to write a comment for their attendance status each day. 

New Member

Please add a space for us to add a comment for excused absences.  For example, football team trip or Covid.  It makes a difference in how the student is allowed to make up work in my class.  

New Member

Apologies if this comment has already been added (couldn't find it)... Additional suggestions:

- Add the Test Student to Roll Call Attendance so that instructors can more easily see what students are seeing on their end;

- Add the ability to set automated idiosyncratic grading rules based on attendance (e.g., if attended 50% or more days, student receives 5 points extra credit; if attended 75% or more, 10 points extra credit);

- Separate student first and last name into different columns in the downloadable attendance report.