Your  Account:

Using Attendance Tool

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

  1. 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).

 Introduction topic in the Contents area

  1. Click "Create learning activity” in the bottom left of the topic.

 create learning activity link at the bottom of a topic

  1. From the list of possible activities click on Attendance.

 Attendance activity in list of all activities

  1. Optional: change the Name and add a Description.

 name and description boxes

  1. 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.

grade section in settings

  1. 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.

 Groups and grouping settings within Common Module Settings section

  1. Click on "Save and display" on the left side (under the Description) to set up the sessions for which you want to take attendance.

save and display button

Adding Sessions

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.

  1. To add new sessions, click the Add session tab.

 add sessions tab

  1. 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 their sessions.


  1. Enter the Date and Time of the first session (if creating multiple) or of the individual session.

 date and time of session

  1. To set up multiple sessions, click on Multiple Sessions and select the checkbox for "Repeat the session above as follows"

multiple sessions options

  1. For "Repeat on" select the days of the week to the days the class meets.
  1. Set "Repeat every" to 1 if your class meets every week.
  1. Enter the date of the last session for "Repeat until."
  1. 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.
  1. Scroll down and click the Add button.

 add button

  1. A list of class sessions will now display in the Sessions tab.

sessions list on Sessions tab

  1. To change the start date or duration of an individual session, select the settings icon in the Actions column for that session.

 click gear icon on the right of the session to edit

  1. 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.

delete multiple sessions

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.

  1. Select the Status Set tab.

 Status set tab

  1. 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.

status set options

  1. To add a new status, fill in the fifth line and click the Add button.
  1. Click Update when finished.


Taking Attendance

  1. Click the Attendance link in the topic you added it to. 

 attendance link in topic

  1. Click on the gray play button in the Actions column for the desired session.

click the gray "take attendance" button to the right of the session

  1. 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"

set status, save attendance

  1. Click the radio button to log the attendance status for each student and enter any remarks.
  1. Click Save attendance at the bottom of the list.


Viewing the Report

  1. Click on the Attendance link in the topic you added it to.

 attendance link in topic

  1. 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 finished.

report tab