Canvas - How to Take Attendance

This page explains how UW-Superior instructors can take attendance in Canvas for their in-person courses.


Setup the Attendance Tool

To begin taking attendance in your Canvas course, you first need to access the tool and configure some basic settings.

Open the Attendance Tool

There should be a link to Attendance in the course Navigation menu on the left-side of the Canvas interface. If that link isn’t listed in your course Navigation, add it using the following steps:

  1. Select the Settings Navigation link.
  2. Select the Navigation tab.
  3. Locate “Attendance” in the list of available Navigation items. [It may be towards the bottom of the list.]
  4. Drag and drop “Attendance” into the top list. You can also select the triple-dot menu to the right of the “Attendance” item and then click Enable. [You can change the order of your Navigation items by dragging and dropping each item.]
  5. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

Attendance should now be listed in the course Navigation menu on the left side of the screen.

Configure Attendance Settings

Next, you need to configure some Attendance settings inside the tool, but you only need to do so once. To complete the setup:

  1. Select the Attendance Navigation item.
  2. Select the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of the gray Roll Call toolbar.
  3. Select Roll Call Settings in the drop-down menu.
  4. Check the “Do not count attendance toward final grade” box (if it’s not already checked).

How to Log Daily Attendance for Face-to-Face Classes

Please follow the steps below to take attendance for the purpose of contact tracing. The directions below will walk you through setting up the day’s seating chart and then entering the attendance status of each student.

Note: Use of the Attendance Tool is not required for classes that do not meet in person, but these directions can be used to take attendance in any Canvas course, as needed.

  1. Select the Attendance Navigation item.
  2. Select the Class view tab in the top-right of the Roll Call panel.
  3. Adjust the date (located next to the calendar icon on the right side of the Roll Call toolbar) to today’s date.
  4. Select the Edit Seating Chart tab (located on the right side of the screen).
  5. Drag and drop the students to the square that corresponds to their seating location in the classroom.
  6. Click each student icon to toggle that student’s attendance status. Keep clicking the icon to cycle through the available options. The icon will show one of four colored symbols, each indicating a different attendance status:
    • Green Check-mark: Present
    • Red X: Absent
    • Orange Clock: Late
    • Gray Crossed Circle: Excused

Screenshot of Seating Chart

How to Take Attendance for Canvas Courses With Multiple Sections

If your Canvas course includes multiple sections, the attendance feature allows you to take attendance for each section separately. To view and take attendance for students in a specific section:

  1. Select the Attendance Navigation item.
  2. Select the gray drop-down menu box on the top-left side of the page that indicates the current
    section. Select the desired section from the listed options. [The list of students will
    automatically update to reflect the selected section.]
  3. Adjust the date to today’s date. [The date selector is located next to the calendar icon on the right side of the Roll Call toolbar.]
  4. Select the List view tab in the top-right of the Roll Call panel.
  5. Adjust the date to today’s date.
  6. Click each student icon to toggle that student’s attendance status. Keep clicking the icon to
    cycle through the available options. The icon will show one of four colored symbols, each indicating a different attendance status:
    • Green Check-mark: Present
    • Red X: Absent
    • Orange Clock: Late
    • Gray Crossed Circle: Excused
  7. Repeat step #6 for each section in your course.

Screenshot of Roll Call Section Selector


Why is Attendance showing in my Gradebook?

If you notice Attendance showing in your Gradebook even though you selected the “Do not count attendance toward final grade” checkbox, you may have the actual Attendance assignment configured as a graded assignment. To remove Attendance from your Gradebook:

  1. Click on the title of the Attendance assignment in the Gradebook. [You can also access the Roll Call assignment through Assignments in your Course Navigation.]
  2. Click Edit Assignment Settings.
  3. Change Points to 0 (zero).
  4. Select "Not Graded" from the Display Grade as dropdown.
  5. Click the Save button.
  6. Go to Attendance in your course Navigation menu.
  7. Click the gear icon and select Roll Call Settings.
  8. Check the “Do not count attendance toward final grade” box if it's not already checked.

Now the Attendance assignment should no longer be listed in your Gradebook.




Keywords:canvas, Roll Call, Seating Chart   Doc ID:116269
Owner:Michael M.Group:UW Superior
Created:2022-01-25 10:12 CSTUpdated:2022-02-06 20:50 CST
Sites:UW Superior
CleanURL:https://kb.uwsuper.edu/canvas-how-to-take-attendance
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