Attendance is marked (present or absent) on calendar events, which makes it easy for both educators and students to keep track of attendance across various courses.
Designated attendance managers have access to all attendance data and can quickly follow up on individual student absenteeism. The attendance manager can also export attendance data for reporting, archiving or further analytics.
Here’s the step-by-step to set it up
Enable the attendance system for the site:
- Log on as System admin
- Go to Admin > Edit global settings > Features and security and enable Attendance system
Teachers and lecturers can now take attendance for their courses (which can be toggled in Course > Settings > Course properties and features)
Select attendance managers
- Log on as System admin
- Go to Admin > Profiles and click Edit on the selected profile
- Enable Attendance manager and click Save
Create a policy if you want only selected users to have this permission, and assign to individual users:
- Log on as System admin
- Go to Admin > Policies and click Add Policy
- Name the policy and select to allow Attendance manager. Click Save
- Select Individual users next to the newly created policy and add users.
Users who have Attendance manager permission, will see a menu item for Attendance appear in the Admin menu. Read more on Attendance managers below.
Select the default set-up when creating a new course
- Log on as System admin
- Go to Admin > Edit global settings > Set default course settings and chose to have Attendance reporting on or off by default.
If it is set to on, new courses will have attendance reporting enabled. If set to off, new courses will have this off. The setting does not apply to existing courses.
If courses have been created with attendance disabled, there are two options for taking attendance:
- Educators can manually enable attendance reporting for their courses
- Create a course template where only attendance report is enabled, and apply the template to the selected courses
The attendance timetable can be set up via integrations. Calendar events can be created through the Organization API (https://developer.itslearning.com/Working_with_calendar_events.html#7504012).
Enable attendance reporting for the course
To take attendance for a course, you need to first ensure that Attendance reporting is enabled.
- Go to Course > Course settings and ensure that the Attendance reporting is enabled
Attendance is taken on calendar events. Calendar events can either be automatically set up from an integration, or events can be manually created.
- Go to Calendar
- Select Add event, or click at the appropriate time in the calendar view
- Select to create an individual event, or a recurring event
- Ensure Take attendance for this event is enabled (enabled by default if course has attendance enabled)
- Click Save.
Tip 1! Create the timetable after enabling attendance reporting for the course. "Take attendance for this event" will be automatically selected.
Tip 2! Events created through the API will always have "Take attendance for this event" enabled, to ensure that the timetable is set up for attendance tracking.
Tip 3! You can also assign events to any course groups. Attendance will then only be taken for the members of the groups.
When attendance is kept for an event, it will not be possible to change the course or course groups associated with the event.
Now you are all set to start taking attendance
It’s simple and quick. We recommend you take attendance at the start of the lecture/event.
There are several ways to start taking attendance. Look for the clock icon:
Event list on Home page
Event list on Course dashboard
Attendance overview in Courses
Click on the attendance icon to open the Take attendance window:
By default, all students will be marked as present, so the lecturer only needs to mark those who are absent for that day.
It is also possible to take partial absence, in case the student is only participating in parts of the event, by changing the number of missed minutes.
Once saved, the attendance icon will change to reflect the status:
29/2 means 29 students present and 2 absent.
The calendar gives educators a good overview of their events together with the status of the attendance. The attendance icon will indicate:
- Events where attendance has not been taken
- Present/Absent indicator of attendance for an event
- Events that are excluded (for courses where attendance is normally taken)
Simply click the attendance button to start taking attendance, or make changes.
Overview of attendance for a course
Lecturers can find an overview of attendance for their courses in the “Status and follow-up” menu tab in the respective Course (Course > Status and follow-up > Attendance). It is listed in a reverse chronological format with most recent events shown first. Click Next to see attendance for earlier events.
Changing attendance for an event
There are two ways to change attendance for an event.
- Open the "Take attendance" window, and change the status of the student, or
- Change the event by clicking the corresponding cell in the attendance overview in courses
Removing attendance for an event
Lecturers can remove all attendance for an event at their discretion:
- Go to Course > Settings and follow-up > Attendance
- For the event that should be removed, click the dropdown icon on the column header, and chose "Not set". Attendance is now removed for all participants.
View attendance for a single student
Teachers and lecturers can now view detailed attendance records for students in their courses. From the attendance overview page, click on a student to get to the detailed view. You can then see the overall average, and status for each event. You can also change attendance for an event on this page.
Students can find their attendance information from the top right-hand menu.
This is what they see when they click on Attendance. It shows courses they are attending for which attendance is being tracked.
Clicking on a course will open the detailed report for the course
Attendance managers can access the attendance information from Admin > Attendance.
Attendance managers can get an overview of attendance in all the courses where Attendance reporting has been enabled. Archived courses are not included.
Under the Registered attendance column, an admin can see if attendance has been taken for events in a course. In this image - 6 of 29 means that of the 29 events that have been taught so far in Ancient History A, attendance has been taken for only 6 events.
A "taught" event, is an event that is marked for attendance taking, and has already taken place.
Clicking on a course will open the overview page for that course. Attendance managers have the same rights as teachers/lecturers, and can take and change attendance, and view detailed attendance for a student. An attendance manager can also see who the teacher is for any course.
Detailed view for a student in a course
The attendance manager can check recorded attendance for any student in a course. The attendance manager has the option of changing attendance on this page, by clicking on the event.
The absence percentage for a student in a course is calculated automatically. It is based on events in the past and does not take future events into account (as we cannot know if all events have been added to the calendar yet).
Absence percentage = (number of minutes absent) / (number of minutes given) %.
- Number of minutes absent is the sum of minutes from all events where the student was absent (taking partial absence into account)
- Number of minutes given is the sum of minutes from all events recorded for this student. Records marked as Not set are not included.
Partial absence means that a student was absent for parts of the event, for instance, 1hr in a 4hr event. In this example, the 1hr is counted as absent minutes, while the remaining time is calculated as present.
Partial absence is marked with an hourglass-icon. The number of minutes partially tracked is written below the image. Minutes are not shown if a student was absent for the entire lesson.