Keeping Track of Attendance – The Moodle Attendance Activity

Woody Allen might receive a passing grade for his oft-quoted comment that “80 percent of life is showing up.” However, we want our students to show up in our courses more than 80 percent of the time, and we therefore need to keep track of when students do and do not show up. Fortunately, Moodle has an Attendance activity that makes it easy for faculty members to record attendance for each class session. We recommend that faculty use the Moodle Attendance activity to record attendance because it has the following advantages over other possible solutions (for example, a paper register or an Excel spreadsheet):

  1. The Moodle Attendance activity automatically lists all the students enrolled in a course. Faculty members don’t need to create a separate list of students.
  2. The Attendance activity allows a faculty member to set up multiple class sessions at the same time, for which s/he will later record attendance.
  3. While taking attendance via the Attendance activity, the faculty member can mark all students as “Present” with a single click of the mouse. S/he can then change the entry to “Absent” for any students who were absent on that particular day.
  4. The Attendance activity is integrated with the Moodle Gradebook. Moodle assigns points to students indicated as being present, and it keeps track of those scores over time. Moodle then lists in the Gradebook the score each student is receiving for attendance.
  5. The Attendance activity provides reports of student attendance month by month, and students can also see (with a single mouse click) which classes they attended (or which classes they missed) for the month.

Faculty members can find step-by-step instructions on how to set up and use the Moodle Attendance activity here.

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