There are several ways to track attendance in Canvas.  It is important for Instructors to choose a method that best serves their needs and does not interfere with teaching time.

    1. Manual: Create a single assignment in Canvas to record a single score for attendance. Track student attendance manually (on paper) throughout the term, then record each student's attendance score at the end of the semester. You have the option to hide or mute this assignment in Canvas until the end of the semester so it doesn't confuse students. 
    2. Incremental: Create multiple assignments in Canvas to record incremental scores. Example: One assignment for each week's attendance. Track attendance manually through the term, and record an attendance score in a corresponding assignment area for each student, each week.
    3. Canvas Attendance tool: Use the built-in Roll Call/Attendance tool in your course navigation menu. The Roll Call/Attendance tool in Canvas feeds directly into the gradebook and adjusts each time you take roll.
      • From the course Navigation menu, select Instructor Settings, enable the tool by going to the Navigation tab and dragging the Attendance bar to the visible area. Save changes. See the Canvas Guide How do I reorder and hide Navigation links?
      • The Roll Call Attendance tool is triggered the first time you take roll in Canvas. After the first Roll Call, an assignment automatically appears in the Assignments index, with a default value of 100 points. The ongoing grade feeds directly into the gradebook and tracks a % of attendance grade.
      • Tardies are expressed as a percentage of an absence. By default, a tardy is worth 80% of an absence. You can change this tardy value from within the tool.
      • All students in the People tab are automatically added to the Roll Call assignment.
      • You have the option to work from a seating chart or create award badges for participation. 
      • The Roll Call Attendance tool tends to be more valuable for instructors than it is for students—students can only see their attendance grade % and not the details of their attendance record.
        • Instructors must stay up-to-date in order for this grade to be accurate.
        • Instructors can back-fill and correct as needed.
        • Users/Instructors frequently use a clip-board sign-in sheet and transfer the student attendance log to Canvas after class in order to avoid interruptions.
      • You can export student attendance records as a .csv file. Each day’s entry for each student is listed as a separate line.
      • Students receive a grade change notification from Canvas every time you take roll. To prevent this from happening, you can mute the Attendance assignment. Remember to unmute the assignment at the end of semester.

For additional information, please review these Canvas guides:

Additional info from Boston College Canvas help guide