Why Do This?
The Attendance activity allows you to take attendance online, view the attendance
record for individual students or all students, and for students to view their own
attendance record. You can set up all the possible sessions in advance, create your
preferred status options (Present, Late, Absent, etc.), and associate points with
each status option. If the Attendance activity is graded, the grades will automatically
be updated in the gradebook each time attendance is recorded.
The optional Attendance block gives you quick access to the Attendance activity, and for students displays a summary
report of their individual attendance.
Creating the Attendance Activity
- In the Contents area, click the title of the topic where you would like to add the
Attendance activity. You only need to create the Attendance activity once. Since you
will be accessing this activity multiple times throughout the term, we recommend adding
it to the very first topic (by default it is titled Introduction).
- Click "Create learning activity” in the bottom left of the topic.
- From the list of possible activities click on Attendance.
- Optional: change the Name and add a Description.
- Click on the Grade section on the right and set the Maximum Grade (the total points you want to assign for attendance overall). If you do not want
to have this graded, set Type to None instead of Point.
- Optional: if you have a combined container and wish to take attendance by section/group
(and the groups and Grouping are already created), in the Common Module Settings section set Group Mode to Separate Groups an select the appropriate Grouping.
- Click on "Save and display" on the left side (under the Description) to set up the sessions for which you want
to take attendance.
If you clicked on "Save and Display" in the previous step, you should see the Sessions
page with the current week displayed. If you clicked the "Save and Return" page or
are returning after creating the activity at an earlier time, simply click the Attendance
link on your course homepage.
- To add new sessions, click the Add session tab.
- If you are using groups, choose the group you wish to create session for first. Once
done, return to create the sessions for the next group. Repeat until all groups have
- Enter the Date and Time of the first session (if creating multiple) or of the individual session.
- To set up multiple sessions, click on Multiple Sessions and select the checkbox for "Repeat the session above as follows"
- For "Repeat on" select the days of the week to the days the class meets.
- Set "Repeat every" to 1 if your class meets every week.
- Enter the date of the last session for "Repeat until."
- Allowing students to record their own attendance is a relatively new feature is not
currently recommend as there is no way to prevent students from not attending class
but still logging in and recording their own attendance.
- Scroll down and click the Add button.
- A list of class sessions will now display in the Sessions tab.
- To change the start date or duration of an individual session, select the settings
icon in the Actions column for that session.
- To delete a session, click the X in the Actions column for that session. To delete
multiple sessions, check the box next to each session you wish to delete, then choose
Delete from the Choose drop down at the bottom of the list of sessions. Click OK.
Setting Status Options
You will want to set the attendance status options before you begin taking attendance.
By default, the status options are “Present,” “Late,” “Excused,” and "Absent," but
these can be edited or deleted.
- Select the Status Set tab.
- Change the Acronym, Description, and Points as desired. If you are not allowing students to take their own attendance, you can
ignore the "Available for students" and "Automatically set..." columns.
- To add a new status, fill in the fifth line and click the Add button.
- Click Update when finished.
- Click the Attendance link in the topic you added it to.
- Click on the gray play button in the Actions column for the desired session.
- To bulk set the status, click the desired radio button at the top of the list of students,
next to "Set status for all users"
- Click the radio button to log the attendance status for each student and enter any
- Click Save attendance at the bottom of the list.
Viewing the Report
- Click on the Attendance link in the topic you added it to.
- Click on the Report tab. The report will show all students (rows) and sessions (columns). The last row
shows the summary of attendance for each session. Alternatively, click on the Summary tab in the upper right to view the summary. Based on the information in the report,
you might want to send a message to specific students about their attendance. To do
so, on the left check the box next to each student you wish to message, scroll to
the bottom and click the "Send a message" button. Compose your message in the Message Body box and click "Send message" when