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Using the Attendance Module in Moodle

The Attendance module can be added to courses in Moodle to allow teachers to collect attendance information about their students for each class session. The Attendance module works by allowing you to create multiple sessions, where each session is a class period during which you need to take attendance. 

Each session has a date, a start time, and an end time associated with it. Sessions can be automatically repeated for the entirety of the course, so there is no need to create your class sessions one-by-one. The module can assign grades to students based on their attendance status, or it can be set to not require a grade. These instructions show you how to create a new Attendance module for a course with commonly-used general settings.

  1. Make sure that the Attendance plugin is installed by clicking Site Administration, clicking the Plugins tab, and then clicking Manage Activities. You should see “Attendance” appear in the list if the plugin is installed.

  2. Inside your course, click the Turn editing on link to enable editing.

  3. In the section of your course you would like to add the Attendance module to, click the Add an activity or resource link, then select Attendance from the list.

    Picture of Add an activity or resource selection

    Picture of Add an activity or resource menu with selection of Attendance

  4. If you want attendance to be worth a grade in this class, expand the Grade section of the settings page and set the Maximum grade setting to the value you want this attendance activity to have in the gradebook. If you do not want attendance to be worth a grade in this class, set Type equal to None.

    Picture of Grade Type setting with selection of Point

  5. Click the Save and display button at the bottom of the page.

    Picture of selection of Save and display button

  6. Click the Add Session tab.

    Picture of selection of Add session tab

  7. For this example, we will create attendance for a class session that meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays each week from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm. First, set the date for the first day the class will be offered, and set the start and end time accordingly.

    Picture of Add session settings with Date and Time filled in with sample data

  8. Expand the Multiple Sessions section and click the Repeat the session above as follows checkbox. Click the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday checkboxes and select the date that the class ends for the Repeat until setting.

    Picture of Multiple sessions settings with Repeat on setting filled in with sample data

  9. Click the Add button at the bottom of the page to create the sessions. You will be taken back to the main page of the Attendance module, which will now have a listing of all available course sessions. From this page you can click the trash can icon next to sessions you no longer need and would like to delete, and you can create new sessions by clicking the Add session tab and repeating the above steps.

    Picture of Attendance module main page with listing of all available course sessions from sample data

  10. When you are ready to take attendance for a class session, click on the triangle icon  next to the session. Click the bubble under the appropriate status for each student (P = Present, L = Late, E = Excused, A = Absent), then click the Save attendance button to record the attendance. You can also do the attendance in bulk by selecting "all" from the Set status for dropdown menu and then assigning attendance in that row.

    Picture of take attendance page with all bubbles under the four available status selections for each student circled

  11. If you want to use a different set of statuses than the default (Present, Late, Excused, Absent), you can click on the Status set tab and change the settings there. On this page, you can also assign a point value to each status if you are using the attendance module to record grades. After making changes to this page, make sure to click the Update button to save your work.

    Picture of the Status set tab with available settings displayed

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