Attendance

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    Many instructors who teach face-to-face and blended courses use attendance data as part of their students' overall grades. Also, some institutions and programs have attendance policies that require instructors to track the number of class meetings students have missed.

    Instructors and institutions also use attendance data in these ways:

    • International students who must maintain visas may need to meet attendance requirements.
    • Institutions may need to prove “seat time” for federal funding or accreditation.
    • Many institutions and instructors use attendance as they focus on student retention.

    For each class meeting, you can mark whether a student is present, late, absent, or excused. The attendance records for each student appear in a single column next to other grades. On the Attendance page, profile pictures appear so you can easily identify students.

    You can use attendance as part of calculating grades just as you can for an assignment grade column.

    Access attendance

    Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about accessing attendance.

    Control Panel > Course Tools > Attendance

    When you access the attendance feature for the first time, you decide if you want to add attendance to the Grade Center. On the Attendance page, select Add Attendance and the Settings panel opens.

    You can change the default settings for the grade display and for Late in the grade schema. You can't change the percentages for Present and Absent at this time. Save your settings or close the panel if you don't want to make changes. An attendance column appears in the Grade Center, but you mark attendance from Control Panel > Course Tools > Attendance.

    At any time, you can change the schema in the Settings panel, save, and then refresh the page. You'll see your newly selected schema reflected in the grade pills on the Attendance page in the Overall view.


    ULTRA: Access attendance

    Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about accessing attendance.

    On the Course Content page, select Mark attendance in the Details & Actions panel.

    When you access the attendance feature for the first time, you decide if you want to add attendance to your gradebook. On the Attendance page, select Add Attendance and the Settings panel opens.

    You can change the default settings for the grade display and for Late in the grade schema. You can't change the percentages for Present and Absent at this time. Save your settings or close the panel if you don't want to make changes. An attendance column appears in the gradebook.

    At any time, you can change the schema in the Settings panel, save, and then refresh the page. You'll see your newly selected schema reflected in the grade pills on the Attendance page in the Overall view.

    Add attendance from the gradebook

    In a new course where no grades exist in the gradebook, select Add Attendance.

    You can add attendance when other grades exist. In grid view, you can add an attendance column next to an existing column. Select the plus sign to access the menu and select Add Attendance. In list view, select the plus sign wherever you want to add attendance and select Add Attendance.

    After you add attendance, the add option won't appear again.

    Delete attendance

    In the Ultra gradebook, you can delete attendance if no attendance records exist. In grid view, select the Attendance column heading to access the menu and select Delete. In list view, access the attendance row's menu to select Delete.

    Tour the Attendance page

    By default, when you open attendance, you'll see the Meeting view for the current day even if you haven't finished marking a previous meeting. In the Overall view, you can view several meetings and see overall course statistics. You can mark or edit attendance from either view.

    Meeting view

    In the Meeting view, you can mark each student's attendance. You can also use the menu in a status's heading to mark all students present or absent. Then, you can change individual students' statuses as needed or clear all marks. Your work is saved as you go.

    As you mark students' attendance, their attendance grades are posted automatically. If you change students' attendance or clear marks, students see the changes immediately.

    Meeting view is the only view that appears on small devices.

    Select the date column header to access the menu and perform these actions:

    • Clear all student marks for a meeting
    • Choose another status for all students
    • Exempt the meeting
    • Edit the meeting
    • Delete the meeting

    If you mark all students the same status and want to change to another status, you'll receive an override confirmation.

    Statuses

    • Present: Set at 100%. You can't change the percentage at this time.
    • Late: Default is set at 50%. Adjust the percentage in the Settings panel.
    • Absent: Set at 0%. You can't change the percentage at this time.
    • Excused: Counts as Present for scoring purposes. Excused won't negatively impact a student's overall attendance grade. The grade pill displays a null or empty value (--).

    The Meeting view scores are always percentages regardless of the schema you chose in the Settings panel. Because the Meeting view shows only one status, you'll see the percentage because it's the weight of that one status.

    Use the Previous Meeting and Next Meeting arrows to navigate between meetings.

    Select student names to view summaries of their overall attendance records. You can see how many class meetings each student has missed. Each student's Overall Score appears with the schema you chose in the Settings panel. This view is read-only.

    In the Ultra Course View, you'll see an icon next to students with accommodations.

    Overall view

    In the Overall view, you can mark attendance, view attendance history and class summary statistics, and create new meetings.

    As you mark students' attendance, their attendance grades are posted automatically. If you change students' attendance or clear marks, students see the changes immediately.

    The most recent meeting you need to mark appears on the right side of the screen. The column is purple until you add marks for all students.

    You can use the menu in a column heading to mark all students present or absent. Then, you can change individual students' statuses from their cells as needed. Your work is saved as you go.

    If you mark all students the same status and want to change to another status, you'll receive an override confirmation.

    In the Ultra Course View, you'll see an icon next to students with accommodations.

    Student summary in grade pill

    The grade pill for each student displays the overall attendance grade with the schema you chose in the Settings panel, such as A+ instead of 100. Select student names to view summaries of their overall attendance records. You can see how many class meetings each student has missed. This view is read-only. If you change students' attendance or clear marks, the students see the change in their overall grades immediately.

    Overall course summary

    The Overall view displays course summary statistics about your students' attendance. These statistics are included:

    • Course average displayed in the grade pill
    • Perfect attendance
    • Average or above average attendance: Students with perfect attendance are included
    • Below average attendance

    If a student has only excused records, no records at all, or is removed from your course, the student's attendance isn't included in the course summary statistics. The number of students listed for each statistic might not equal your total student count.

    If every student has an attendance record, the average/above average and below average statistics add up to all students.

    Unavailable students' information appears read-only and their previous attendance grades won't be included in the course summary statistics.


    Watch a video about marking attendance

    The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


    Video: Mark Attendance shows you how to mark attendance in Blackboard Learn.


    Edit a meeting

    Select the date column header to access the menu and select Edit meeting. You can choose a new date from the pop-up calendar. If you change the date of a meeting or select Go to Today, all meetings are chronologically sorted when you close and open the Attendance page.

    You can choose a meeting date in the future. If you have one or more meetings in the future, the Meeting view still opens to the most recent Today meeting.


    Add or delete a meeting

    In the Overall view, you can add a meeting if your class met outside of the established course schedule. You can also delete a meeting if you canceled class.

    Add a meeting

    In the Overall view, you can add more than one meeting for attendance on a day. For example, if your class met for a field trip after your regularly scheduled class, you can add a meeting and mark who was present. Select the plus icon next to an existing meeting's date to add a new meeting.

    Delete a meeting

    You can delete a meeting in either view, but at least one meeting must remain. You can't have an empty Attendance page. If you have only one meeting and you delete it, a new Today meeting replaces it.

    Students' overall attendance grades update to not include the deleted meeting.

    In the Meeting view, select the date column header to access the menu and select Delete meeting.

    In the Overall view, select a date column header to access the menu and select Delete meeting.


    Exempt a meeting

    In the Meeting or Overall view, you can exempt a meeting that no longer requires an attendance grade. Students' overall attendance grades update to not include the exempted meeting, even if you've marked some or all student cells. You can also clear the exemption in both views.

    When you exempt a meeting, that meeting's column header menu no longer contains options to mark all students present or absent. Also, the menu option Exempt meeting changes to Clear exemption.

    Exempt meeting columns appear gray and all grid cell menus are disabled. A null or empty value (--) appears for all students without a mark. If you marked students with a status, those statuses remain, but are read-only and you can't change them.

    On smaller devices, you can only view attendance in the Meeting view. When you exempt a meeting, you no longer see the status options until you clear the exemption.

    View attendance in the Grade Center

    Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about viewing attendance in the gradebook.

    You can view attendance in the Grade Center though you can't mark attendance. Students' accumulative attendance scores always appear out of 100 points. You can't delete the Attendance column, but you can hide it from your view.

    The attendance column is added automatically to the Attendance category. You can change the category on the Edit Column page.

    You can perform most of the same actions on the attendance column as other columns. For example, you can add a display name and change the settings, such as Primary Display and use attendance in calculations.

    More on calculating grades

    Access a cell's menu and select Grade User Activity to view a summary of a student's overall attendance records.

    You can see how many class meetings the student has missed. Each student's Overall Score appears with the schema you chose in the attendance Settings panel. This view is read-only. At the bottom of the screen, select Return to Grade Center to return to the grid.

    Though you can edit students' overall attendance grades from their grade cells in the Grade Center, no changes appear for any meetings you've already marked. So, if a student was present for all meetings and you edit the student's attendance grade cell and change 100 to 75, 75 becomes the overall attendance grade. When you open attendance, 75 appears as the overall grade, yet the student was present for all meetings. We recommend you make changes to individual meetings to change a student's overall score.


    ULTRA: View attendance in the gradebook

    Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about accessing attendance in the Grade Center.

    You can access attendance from the item list or grid view in the gradebook. The attendance column is added automatically to the Attendance category.

    You can use attendance in calculations and as part of the overall grade.

    More on calculating grades

    In list view, select Attendance to open the most recent Meeting view to mark attendance. In grid view, select the Attendance column header to access the menu and select Edit.

    In the grid view, you can't edit attendance cells. Select a student's attendance cell and select View student record to view a summary of the student's overall attendance record. You can see how many class meetings the student has missed. The student's Overall Score appears with the schema you chose in the Settings panel. This view is read-only.


    Mobile and tablet views

    In your face-to-face classroom, you can use your mobile phone or tablet to mark attendance while you stand in front of your class. You have access to a compact view of attendance that displays one meeting at a time, complete with your students’ profile pictures. No need to make notes for later or take attendance on your computer.

    At the top of the screen, you can select a status and mark all students in one action. Your work is saved as you go. Or, you can individually mark some students one status and move to the next status. Students are grouped by the statuses you assigned. Unmarked students move to the top of the list. If any students are unavailable, they appear in a separate section.

    As you mark students' attendance, their attendance grades are posted automatically. If you change students' attendance or clear marks, students see the changes immediately.

    Use the Previous Meeting and Next Meeting arrows to navigate between meetings.

    Student view

    Students can view a summary of their attendance and easily see how many class meetings they've missed.

    More on the student view of attendance


    Export attendance data

    In the Overall view, select the Export icon to download a CSV file with your students' attendance records. The download begins immediately without a confirmation.


    Attendance data in course archives

    Attendance data is included in course archives. When you archive your course, you create a frozen snapshot or permanent record of your course. An archive includes all the content, course statistics, users, and course interactions, such as discussions, attendance, and grades.

    More on archiving your course