Canvas How-To: Attendance

Setting Up Attendance in a Course

Whether your course is occurring live over Zoom or in person, use Canvas's Attendance tool to keep track of student attendance. In general, the workflow is as follows:

Enable the Attendance tool > Add students to the course 'seating chart' > Select the date to score and mark each student's attendance

Enable the  Attendance tool through the Navigation tab in the Course Settings so that you can use it in the course. (In case you need help with the Navigation tab and Course Settings, please follow the appropriate guide linked below.) Once the tool is enabled, use the Roll Call feature within Canvas to easily track and award points for attendance. Encourage students to upload a picture to their user profile to help setup the seating chart feature, which makes it easier to take attendance. 

Attendance page in Canvas

How do I enable the Attendance tool through the Course Settings?

How do I use the Roll Call Attendance tool in a course?

How do I create a roll call seating chart using the Attendance tool?

Editing Attendance Settings

The Roll Call feature will automatically create an assignment in Grades to record the points for Attedance. If you use Attendance as a graded item, be aware that in this function for now, the tool creates a single column of 100 points which it updates as you use the tool. If you are using a points calculation method for your grades, be warned that altering the attendance points is tricky and can cause some odd errors, though the change is possible if you follow the Canvas Guide faithfully. 

steps to adjust attendance points

How do I edit the Roll Call Attendance assignment?

Taking Attendance

Visit the Roll Call feature in the course by clicking on the Attendance navigation link to record student attendance. This is where you can use the CLASS tab to setup the seating chart to make taking attendance a lot easier and faster.  Mark students present, late, excused, or absent. 

Taking students' attendance in Canvas

How do I take roll call using the Attendance tool?

Want to learn more?

View all Canvas Guides for Attendance