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Canvas - How do I use Roll Call Attendance?

Canvas has a built-in attendance feature that instructors can choose to add to their Canvas course. To add Roll Call Attendance to your Canvas course:In Course Navigation, click the Settings link. Click the Navigation tab. Click the Roll Call Attendance link and drag to the top section of available course links. Click the save button at the bottom. When you activate Roll Call Attendance and take roll for the first time, an assignment named “Roll Call Attendance” worth 100 points will automatically be created and displayed in the grade area.To avoid Attendance calculation errors, never delete, rename, or unpublish the Roll Call Attendance assignment.

NOTE: There are reported technical difficulties in changing the point value of the Roll Call Attendance assignment; see the Tips and Tricks below for pointers on successfully using Roll Call Attendance. We discourage changing point values if the course has already begun.


Canvas article: How do I use the Roll Call Attendance tool in a course?

Canvas article: How do I create a roll call seating chart using the Attendance tool?

Canvas article: How do I edit the Roll Call Attendance assignment?

Canvas article: How do I take roll call using the Attendance tool?

Canvas article: How do I run Roll Call Attendance reports in a course?

Tips and Tricks

  • Creating a weighted grade category for the Roll Call Attendance assignment will allow the point value to stay at 100 but will weight Attendance as any desired percentage of the final grade. Using this option can help eliminate problems with changing the Roll Call Attendance assignment point value. Scroll to the “Create Weighted Assignment Group” section of this article for details.
  • If you wish to use a points-based grading system and want to adjust the points for the generated Roll Call Attendance assignment to be other than the Canvas default of 100 points, the steps outlined on this CATL handout must be done before the term starts and prior to the course being published in Canvas.
  • If you do not want Attendance to appear in the Gradebook as a graded assignment, you can edit the Attendance assignment and change the assignment type. Students can still view the assignment, but it will not appear in their grades. Scroll to the “Remove from Gradebook” section of this article for details. Note: Once you have changed the assignment type, you cannot change it back to a graded assignment. Please ensure you do not want to grade Attendance before changing the assignment type.
  • Another option for using Attendance in an ungraded fashion is to set the Roll Call Attendance assignment to be excluded from the final grade. Scroll to the “Exclude from Final Grade” section of this article for details.
  • If your Canvas course has multiple sections combined, the sections will appear separately in the Roll Call Attendance feature. The drop down in the upper left corner will show the different sections. Instructors will need to mark attendance for each section.

24/7/365 Canvas Support is available through the help icon in Canvas, by calling the phone support for faculty, staff and students or email us directly at

Keywords:absent, presence, participation   Doc ID:98793
Owner:Stephanie S.Group:UW-La Crosse
Created:2020-03-12 15:45 CDTUpdated:2020-03-12 15:49 CDT
Sites:UW-La Crosse
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