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Online Attendance FAQ

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Online Attendance FAQ


What is Online Attendance?


Online Attendance is a new dashboard in the course-level New Analytics space. This dashboard is available in Canvas courses when enabled by a root account administrator. 

Currently, account-level administrators can select one or more Online Attendance Criteria to define Online Attendance. When a student meets any of the selected criteria on a given day, that student is marked as “attended” for that day. 

Instructors can filter the Online Attendance dashboard to view data by course, section, or individual student. Instructors can also filter by day of week and students who met the criteria or did not meet the criteria. 

View the screencast overview here.


Why did Canvas build Online Attendance?


We built the Online Attendance dashboard to meet the needs of institutions and instructors who are in a remote learning, online learning, or hybrid classroom setting and want to define an attendance policy around students’ interactions with the Canvas learning environment. This dashboard gives instructors an at-a-glance view of which students are present in the online learning environment on class days. 


Where can I find the Online Attendance dashboard?


You can find the Online Attendance dashboard in your course-level New Analytics space. If your institution has enabled Online Attendance, you will see a new tab in New Analytics. 


Where is the Online Attendance dashboard enabled?


The Online Attendance dashboard must be enabled by an account administrator by going to the New Analytics LTI tool settings. This is found by going to the Settings page from Site Admin. Then go to the Apps tab. Click the “View App Configuration” button, and then click the gear icon for New Analytics. Click “Configure” and use the toggle to enable the Online Attendance dashboard. Select the Online Attendance Criteria your institution will use. 


Which Online Attendance Criteria can I choose from?


Online Attendance can be defined using the following criteria. Online Attendance Criteria must be defined at the account level, and the account-level definition of Attendance Criteria will apply to all sub-accounts and courses. When a student meets any of the selected criteria on a given day, that student is marked as “attended” for that day. 

  1. Course Access: Student views a page in course
  2. Posts: Student posts a new comment to an announcement or a discussion
  3. Assignments: Student submits an assignment
  4. Conferences: Student joins a Big Blue Button conference
  5. Pages: Student creates a page
  6. Quizzes: Student starts taking a Classic Quiz or submits a Classic Quiz


Does the criteria Assignments: Student submits an assignment include assignments that use 'external tool submission type'?


It depends. If the external tool is using the Canvas API endpoint for submission, it will count toward that criteria. For many tools that use assignment-level integration, this will be the case. 

However, if you are using a third-party tool that only passes average grades back to Canvas, those assignment submissions will likely not be included in the Online Attendance Criteria.


Are other conferencing tools included in Online Attendance Criteria?


Currently, only Big Blue Button conferences are included in Online Attendance Criteria. 


Are New Quizzes included in Online Attendance Criteria? 


Not yet, but we are working on this. 


Will sub-account administrators and instructors be able to set their own Online Attendance Criteria?


Not right now, but we are working on this. Currently, Online Attendance Criteria must be defined at the account level, and the account-level definition of Attendance Criteria will apply to all sub-accounts and courses. 

Instructors can see which Online Attendance Criteria apply to their course by clicking the “Settings” button in New Analytics. 


Is the Online Attendance dashboard automatically enabled?


No, the Online Attendance dashboard must be enabled by a Canvas administrator at the root account level. This feature is being released “off” by default, so it will not show up in your New Analytics space until it is enabled.


Does this online attendance data roll up at the admin level? 


Not right now. We know this is an important use case for many of you. Stay tuned to learn more about our next steps with Online Attendance.  


Is this data available in .csv format or via an API?


Not right now. As we learn more about how you use this report, we’ll make decisions about data downloads. Currently, New Analytics does not have an API. 


Is the data shown in the Online Attendance report available through Canvas Data or Live Events?


The Online Attendance data is made up of data points that can be found in Canvas Data. But because Online Attendance data is aggregated data, it does not appear in Canvas Data tables or Live Events. 

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