One of the many tools Canvas offers is a tool to record attendance in a face-to-face class. Roll Call Attendance, labeled “Attendance” in the side menu, is visible to instructors but not to students. A simple click can record an ongoing grade in the Gradebook for each student. You can find the simple instructions for using it here, and here are a couple of tips if you decide to use this tool.
The attendance will be tracked in the Gradebook as a percentage. Instructors can add attendance as a part of the overall grade by adding an Assignment Group for Attendance, then weighting it by clicking Set Group Weights in the Gradebook gear tool. Or, if you prefer to figure the ongoing Attendance percentage into a Participation grade later, you can leave Attendance out of the grade weights as is the default.
There are four default options to mark when in the Attendance tool: Present, Absent, Late, and Unmarked. Unmarked is the default status. When you click the icon by a student’s name the first time, the status changes to Present. Click it again and the status changes to Absent. When that missing student finally arrives, click the icon again for Late. One more click changes the status to unmarked, restarting the cycle.
In order to add easy notes to a student’s attendance record, you can also use badges in Roll Call. You can customize these badges in a number of ways – Excused Absence, Disruptive Behavior, Good Participation, Sleeping in Class – you can set these parameters. Selecting a badge will not affect the grade that is automatically recorded through Roll Call, but you can use it if you are determining a Participation grade.
Roll Call can also be used to create a seating chart, which can be useful in large classes if you have all students sit in the same seat in order to assist with recording attendance. Using drag and drop functionality, easily create the chart in Roll Call and make modifications when necessary. This chart will display each student’s Canvas profile photo and name. To record attendance, click on the appropriate space in the chart and cycle through just like you would in the alphabetic list.
If you would like assistance learning to use Roll Call Attendance or any other tool in Canvas, please contact Berlin Fang or David Christianson in the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning.