Related: Activity - Attendance, FAQs, How To - Faculty

How do I track class attendance?


The Attendance activity in Moodle allows instructors to track course attendance and students to see a record of their course attendance.
Note: you can click on any image to view a larger version of the image.

  1. In your Moodle course, click the button to “Turn Editing On” in the upper right corner or click the “Turn Editing On” link in the “Administration” block in the left column.
  2. In the top section, click on the “+Add an activity or resource” link.
  3. In the pop-up box that appears, click on the “Attendance” option under “Activities.” Click the “Add” button at the bottom of the page.
  4. On the “Adding a new  Attendance” page, update the name field and assign the appropriate value for the grade. If you wish to use groups, enable them under the “Common module settings.” If, for any reason, you wish to restrict your students’ access to the attendance report, you can also set those specifications under “Restrict access.”
    attendance-activity-set-up_04If you do NOT want to grade the attendance, but wish to track it, change the value for “Type” under the “Grade” heading to “None.”attendance-activity-set-up_05
  5. When you are complete, click the “Save and Display” button.
  6. Next you will need to add sessions to your attendance activity. Click the “Add” tab (second from left) at the top of the page.
  7. On the “Add session” page under the “Add session” section, locate the “Date” field. This is the date of the first meeting of your course. For your convenience, you can click on the calendar icon on the far right to get a calendar view to choose the date of your first class meeting.

    Click on the date of your first meeting, if you use the calendar view.
  8. Next down in the ‘Time’ setting. This is the time window your course meets in 24-hour time. So if your course meets from 6:30PM to 9:00PM, it would look like the below image: (18 30 to: 21 00).
  9. You can choose to have students record their own attendance and you can also add a description. Neither are required.
  10. If you want to add all of the class meetings for your term, move to the next section titled, “Multiple sessions.” If you are only adding one session (like a make-up class, for instance), you can skip this session and scroll right down to the “Add” button.
  11. In the “Multiple sessions” section, you want to:
    1. Check the box next to “Repeat the session above as follows.”
    2. Check the box(es) next to the day(s) you meet.
    3. Put in the last day of class or the last day of the term in the “Repeat until” setting.
    4. If you meet every week, do not change the setting for “Repeat every.”
      The only time you would update this setting is if you do not meet every week. (You can remove individual dates after the sessions have been created for holidays, spring break, and such.) The only courses this applies to are usually the monthly or hybrid courses.
  12. Here is an example of how this screen might look completed (clicking on most images will make them larger):
  13. Click the “Add” button at the bottom of the screen. You should see a message telling you that your session were successfully created. Click “Continue.”
  14. Once the sessions have been generated, you will be returned to the “Add Session” screen. Click the “Sessions” tab to return to the main page for your Attendance activity.
  15. When you return to the main page of your Attendance activity, you may not see any sessions listed yet. The activity defaults to a view of the current week’s attendance sessions. Click on the “All” display option to show all of the sessions you just generated:
  16. Now you should be able to see all of the sessions you set-up. Your Attendance activity is now set-up.

Taking Attendance Each Session

  1. Click on the “Attendance” activity from your course’s homepage.
  2. Sessions that have not had attendance taken will have a green circle under the “Actions” column. Click on the green dot to take attendance.
  3. On the screen where you enter the attendance for that session for individual students, you can mark them one of the following:
    • P – Present
    • L – Late
    • E – Excused
    • A – Absent


  4. After each student’s name, select the appropriate level of attendance status. NOTE: If you click one of these column headings, all students will have their status changed to the status you selected.
  5. Add any remarks, as necessary. Be aware that if the “Attendance activity” is available to students, they will be able to see any remarks you make on the attendance for their own attendance. (Students cannot see each other’s attendance or attendance remarks.)
  6. When you are done, click the “Save attendance” button at the bottom. You will see a message that alerts you to the fact that attendance has been taken:
  7. NOTE: Should you need to adjust the Attendance after you have already taken it, you can click the green arrow which is now in the place of the green dot.
  8. This will bring you back to the taking attendance screen where you update your attendance. At this point, simply update whichever attendance entry you need to update. You will notice that Moodle gives you a summary in the bottom left how many students have been recorded at each level of attendance. Once you save your update, this change will be reflected in the summary.
  9. Click the “Save attendance” button.

Automatic Grading of Attendance Sessions

Moodle allots each attendance session two points, broken down as such:

  • Present – 2 points out of 2 points possible
  • Late – 1 point out of 2
  • Excused – 1 out of 2
  • Absent – 0 out of 2

For example:

If you have 16 attendance sessions, and student A has an attendance record of 13 P, 1 L, and 2 A, they would have earned 27 out of 32 points which is an 84.375 (27/32).

If you had told Moodle that the attendance activity was worth 100 points, that 84.375 is the grade that Moodle would put in the gradebook for the Attendance activity. If the activity was set-up to be out of a different number of points, say 20, the system would display a grade of 84.375% of 20 points which is 16.875 in the gradebook.

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