A famous celebrity may have said that “80 percent of life is showing up,” but my guess is that we want our students to show up in our courses more than 80 percent of the time, and we want to keep track of when students do and do not show up. Fortunately, Moodle has an Attendance activity that makes it easy for you 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):
- The Moodle Attendance activity automatically lists all the students enrolled in your course. You don’t need to create a separate list of students.
- The Attendance activity allows you to set up multiple class sessions at the same time, for which you will later record attendance.
- The Attendance activity allows you to mark all students as “Present” with a single click of the mouse. You can then change the entry to “Absent” for any students who were absent on that particular day.
- The Attendance activity is integrated with the Moodle Gradebook. By default, Moodle assigns points to students whom you mark as Present (2 points), Excused (1 point), Late (1 point) and Absent (0 points). You can change that point schema and/or remove some of those categories. Moodle keeps track of those scores for you, listing in the Gradebook the score each student is receiving for attendance.
- If you are using the Attendance activity, you can see 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.