How does the instructor know that I have logged into the class so that I can get credit for being present to class. Is there something that I need to check off when I'm actually viewing course material?
You should probably talk to your instructor to what is considered for being present. It is possible for the instructor to simply see that you logged in, but it's also possible that something was set up for you to submit something or mark something as complete to indicate presence. Speaking with your instructor or possibly taking a closer look at your syllabus might provide an answer.
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