Attendance Tool

The Attendance Tool enables instructors to create registers and track students’ attendance in lectures, seminars, and other activities in the course. More than one register can be created in each course (e.g., one for lectures and another one for labs), and each register can be customized to suit your needs. Below are some frequently asked questions on the Attendance Tool.

NOTE: Attendance tracking is not automatic – instructors need to manually enter attendance data for each session where attendance is taken.

> Why would I use the Attendance Tool?

  • You can use this tool to track your students’ participation in course activities.
  • If you make a register visible to students, they can also see this information.

> What is a register?

A register is a tool used to mark attendance in your course. Each register you create is a grouping of meetings for which you plan to track attendance. For example, if you want to track attendance in weekly labs, you may create a register named Weekly Labs. If you also plan to track attendance in lectures, you may create an additional register named Lecture Attendance.

> How do I create a register?

To create a register, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on Course Admin on the navbar.
  2. In the Learner Management section, select Attendance.
  3. Click on New Register.
  4. Under Properties, enter a Name of your new register (e.g., ENG3050 Attendance) and optionally a Description.
  5. Under Attendance Scheme, select the System Scheme (with Present = 100% and Absent = 0% as the only options) or another scheme that you have previously created (see How do I create my own attendance scheme? in this resource).
  6. If you wish, you can enter a Cause for Concern value – the minimum attendance requirement for the course (e.g. 75%).
  7. Under Visibility, check Allow users to view this attendance register if you want to give students access to their own attendance data in this register.
  8. Under Users, you can choose to include all students in the course or specific groups of students.
  9. Under Sessions, add Session Names and optionally Session Descriptions (e.g. Lecture 1, Lecture 2, etc.). These sessions are the days the class meets and when you plan to take attendance.
  10. Click Save.
  11. Click Close to return to the Attendance page.

> How do I track attendance in a register?

Once you have created a register, you can begin recording attendance data. In a session where you want to take attendance, do the following:

  1. Click on Course Admin on the navbar.
  2. In the Learner Management section, select Attendance.
  3. Locate the attendance register you want to use and click on its name.
  4. On the Attendance Data page that opens, locate the session for which you want to take attendance. Click the calendar icon next to it.
  5. On the Set Attendance Data page that opens, set the Attendance Status for each student by clicking the down arrow next to their name and selecting the appropriate symbol.
NOTE: In order to set the attendance status in bulk, select students by using the checkboxes next to their names and then click the Set Status button. In order to record attendance for all users at once, click the Set Status for All Users button.
  1. Click Save.
  2. To view the up-to-date attendance data for your course, click on the the name of the appropriate attendance register to display the complete data.

> What is a scheme?

An attendance scheme provides the criteria for marking attendance in a register. The default scheme in Brightspace (named System Scheme) is P (100%) for present and A (0%) for absent. You can also create custom attendance schemes.

> How do I create my own attendance scheme?

To create a custom attendance scheme, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on Course Admin on the navbar.
  2. In the Learner Management section, select Attendance.
  3. On the page that opens, locate the Attendance Schemes tab directly underneath the navbar. Click on it.
  4. Click on New Scheme.
  5. Give your new scheme a name.
  6. Enter the Symbols you would like to appear when entering attendance data for each attendance status (e.g., L for late).
  7. Enter the Status Full Name for each attendance status (e.g., Late).
  8. Enter the Assigned % for each status (e.g., 75 for late, 100 for present, etc.).
  9. Click Save. The new attendance scheme is now ready to use in any of your attendance registers.
  10. Click Close to return to the Attendance Schemes page.

> What is the ’cause for concern’ value?

The Cause for Concern percentage is the minimum attendance requirement for the course. If a student’s attendance drops below that percentage, the student will be flagged on the Attendance Data page. You can set the cause for concern to a desired value by following the steps below.

  1. Click on Course Admin on the navbar.
  2. In the Learner Management section, select Attendance.
  3. On the Attendance Registers page, click on New Register and follow the steps listed in What is an attendance register? above.
  4. If you have previously created a register, locate it on the list of Attendance Registers. Click the down arrow next to it, and select Edit Register.
  5. On the page that opens, scroll down to Cause for Concern field and enter a percentage that indicates your minimum attendance requirement (e.g. 75%).
  6. Click Save.

> Can I delete sessions, registers or schemes?

Yes. You can modify or delete any session, register, or scheme that you created. Note, however, that deleting a session, register, or scheme also clears all associated attendance data. Make sure that you no longer need the data before deleting any component of the Attendance Tool.

> Can attendance be linked to a grade book item?

No. Attendance recorded in the Attendance Tool cannot be linked to a grade item. If you want to use the attendance data to assign participation grades in your course, you have to manually enter the grades into the grade book.

For Memorial’s regulations with respect to attendance and assigning participation grades, see the University Calendar.