Using Canvas to take attendance in class

There are a few different options for using Canvas to take and keep track of attendance. Which option is the best for you as an instructor will depend on both your class size and your personal preference.

Have fewer than 50 students in your course? See our recommendations for small courses

Have more than 50 students in your course? See our recommendations for large courses

Small Courses

If you are teaching a course that contains fewer than 50 students, then the following options are available:

Use Canvas Attendance (Roll Call) tool

This is Canvas's built-in attendance tool and it is best used for relatively small face-to-face courses in which you want to manually enter in attendance. You can have your students appear as a list, or you can set up a seating chart view in this tool if your students are in the same seats for each class session. Please note that if your course is cross-listed (i.e., more than one course section combined into the same Canvas course site), then you will have to take attendance separately for each section. For more information, see Canvas Attendance (Roll Call) tool and Participation Badges.

Use a quiz that requires a passcode for each class session

You can create a quiz that requires a password and only supply that password in class. You may wish to restrict the quiz's availability to only appear for students during class time, or to only appear to students for one day (if you would prefer students to be able to complete the attendance quiz after the class session ends in case of technical difficulty). In Quiz Settings, enter the desired password under Quiz Restrictions and set the desired due and availability dates to appear during class hours.

Creating a survey is the same process as creating a quiz, but you will need to specify the type of survey in the Quiz Type drop-down menu when editing the Quiz Settings.  Choose graded survey if you want to assign a grade for attendance or ungraded survey if you want to take attendance this way, but not assign any points in the Canvas Gradebook.

Please note: you will need to create a separate quiz or survey for each class session in which you want to track attendance.

For more information, see How to create an attendance quiz or survey that requires a password.

Use i>Clicker to take attendance

If you are using i>Clicker in your class, you can easily use an i>Clicker assignment as a way to monitor attendance.For more information, click here.

Large Courses

If you are teaching a course that contains more than 50 students, then we recommend the following options:

Use a quiz that requires a passcode for each class session

You can create a quiz that requires a password and only supply that password in class. You may wish to restrict the quiz's availability to only appear for students during class time, or to only appear to students for one day (if you would prefer students to be able to complete the attendance quiz after the class session ends in case of technical difficulty). In Quiz Settings, enter the desired password under Quiz Restrictions and set the desired due and availability dates to appear during class hours.

Creating a survey is the same process as creating a quiz, but you will need to specify the type of survey in the Quiz Type drop-down menu when editing the Quiz Settings.  Choose graded survey if you want to assign a grade for attendance or ungraded survey if you want to take attendance this way, but not assign any points in the Canvas Gradebook.

Please note: you will need to create a separate quiz or survey for each class session in which you want to track attendance.

For more information, see How to create an attendance quiz or survey that requires a password.

Use i>Clicker to take attendance

If you are using i>Clicker in your class, you can easily use an iClicker assignment as a way to monitor attendance.For more information, click here.

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