Related: Activity - Attendance, How To - Faculty

How do I track class attendance?

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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. You have two options here, to add a single session or to add multiple sessions. I recommend adding multiple sessions. You can also indicate that students may mark their attendance.
  8. Under the “Add Session” screen these are what the following settings indicate:

    1. The checkbox to create multiple attendance sessions at one time.
    2. The date of your first class meeting with the time your class starts in 24hr/military time (so 3:00pm would be 15 00).
    3. The length of time your class meets in hours, then minutes.
    4. The last day of class or the last day of your term/academic session.
    5. The days of the week your class meets.
    6. Update your frequency, only if you do not meet every week. Note: Frequency is not how many times per week you meet; it’s whether you meet every week, every other week, every four weeks, for instance.
    7. Add a description, if you wish. This is not required.


  9. Here is an example of how this screen might look completed (clicking on most images will make them larger):
  10. Click the “Add Session” button at the bottom of the screen. You should see a message telling you that your session were successfully created. Click “Continue.”
  11. 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.
  12. 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:
  13. 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.
  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). That 84.375 is the grade that Moodle would put in the gradebook for the Daily Attendance activity, if you had told Moodle that the attendance activity was worth 100.

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