aPlus+ Attendance brings tightly integrated manual or automated attendance features to Canvas. aPLus+ Attendance allows instructors to take attendance manually using custom statuses, automatically via Zoom integration, or by providing a secret code that students can enter on the Canvas website or app.
As with any integration, CIRT recommends scheduling a consultation to discuss considerations and implications for aPlus+ Attendance before using it with your course.
aPlus+ Attendance is available to all instructors in all courses, but it must be activated in COURSE SETTINGS > NAVIGATION.
Once aPlus+ Attendance is activated, it should be available to instructors and students in the Canvas course menu (on the left-hand side of your screen). The first time that you select this aPlus+ Attendance (and periodically afterwards), you will be asked to authorize the LTI. Select Authorize to continue.
You will then see the Attend LTI load screen.
If you get a message at this point, please read it carefully.
Common Error Messages
Common messages include:
- Oops, your browser is super secure…..
Just click on the link below that message in order to open the LTI in a new window.
- Course start dates missing
This means that the system was unable to determine the start date of the course. Please check the course settings to ensure a term has been selected, or a start date manually set.
Setting Up aPlus+ Attendance
When the aPlus+ Attendance tool is first opened for a course from inside of Canvas, the instructor will be prompted with the Attendance Setup screen. If you are not, then you can access it by selecting Attendance Setup from the top menu (circled in red).
For more information concerning the options available to Canvas instructor during set-up, contact CIRT for help.
You will be prompted to create a new timetable.
Leave the defaults as they are, and select Create and add sessions.
Now go ahead and create your sessions for this timetable.
Creating and Editing Sessions
Navigate to Sessions.
And select + Add Sessions.
You may edit single sessions by selecting the dropdown arrow on the session.
You may edit multiple sessions by selecting their checkbox and selecting Edit Selection… Make your changes then select Apply Changes.
You have several options when editing your session:
- You can choose a date when your session will take place.
- You can also choose a time for the session (or “no set time”) if you are creating an open-ended session
- Check the holidays box to prevent sessions from occurring on holidays. You can add your own holidays in the extra holidays field.
- You have the option to repeat sessions weekly and specify and end date.
- You can choose a location for your session or choose to use the location of your default timetable.
- Duration of sessions can be set in minutes.
- You can add staff to your session (these includes teachers or teaching assistant who will not be graded if your attendance if linked to the gradebook).
- Label your session with a unique phrase or identifier.
- You can record points for attendance if your attendance is linked to the gradebook.
Once you have finished editing your session, you can validate the information to be sure that there are not overlapping or competing sessions. After validation, select Create Sessions and your sessions will be created.
Understanding the Menu
The aPlus+ Attendance Menu includes several options for instructors to track and monitor student attendance and participation. The menu is located at the top of the attendance tool.
- Students: An overview of student attendance in a given timetable. This list can be downloaded using the download icon in the upper-right hand corner of the tool.
- Sessions: A calendar overview of sessions or meeting times that can be manually configured to meet the needs of the class. Instructors can add their meeting times and set the attendance recording options.
- Tools: Advanced options including attendance recalculation, session adding, and timetable deletion.
- Reports: Data reporting for previously attended sessions. The data can be filtered using the “attendance summary” options at the top of the screen and can be downloaded as a CSV file.
- Import: Import attendance from other classes or import manually created CSV files. Instruction for how manually created files should be formatted are available in the aPlus+ Attendance Instructor Guide.
- Codes: See the secret code that attendees must enter in order to receive credit for attending a session. Code entry can be set in the “sessions” tab.
- Attendance Setup: Return to the initial aPlus attendance screen and choose your global attendance settings including the option to record attendance in the gradebook.
- Canvas Sync: Re-initiate the sync between aPlus+ Attendance and Canvas.
aPlus+ attendance includes several ways to record student attendance, including manual entry and secret code registration. A detailed overview of how to navigate these recording tools is located in the aPlus+ Attendance Instructor Guide.
Manual Entry by Status
On the “students” screen you can navigate to previous sessions, or change the number of days included in this view by altering the view settings. To enter attendance, select the session that you would like to record attendance for by clicking on the column header (circled in red).
Your session will now be ready to record attendance against. The attendance statuses include Attended, Absent, Sick, Withdrawn, and more.
As a best practice we recommend using the following procedure if taking attendance manually, to save time:
- The Fill blanks option allows you to set all attendance at once. For example, if the class was fully present except for one student then you could begin by marking everyone to Attended and adjusting just the single student who was absent.
- Adjust attendance for an individual student.
- Add any notes that may be relevant for a student’s attendance status.
Entry by Secret Student Code
aPlus+ Attendance allows attendance to be taken quickly by having students enter a secret code that the instructor provides at the start of class. Codes can be given orally, written on the classroom whiteboard, or provided over Zoom or other communication apps. The instructor can control the time window for when the provided code will be accepted, and students enter the codes via Canvas.
- Select Codes
- Select Code entry as the Entry Method
- Take note of the unique code generated for this session, and provide it to your students
- Select how you would like to control the time window (the allotted time in which students are allowed to use the code, which can be set in minutes)
Recording Attendance via Zoom
To utilize the Zoom feature of aPlus Attendance, please ensure the following:
- Both the instructor and the students need to be logged into using using a UNF licensed account (an email ending in unf.edu). Zoom attendance tracking will not work reliably if logged into personal accounts, or not logged in at all.
- Your Zoom sessions will need to be scheduled (as opposed to using your Zoom personal meeting link).
From within your attendance session, select the Zoom button. If this button is not shown, please contact CIRT via email (email@example.com) or telephone (904-620-3927).
Select the Zoom session that you would like to retrieve attendance from. Note that this does not have to be the exact same time as the scheduled session in aPlus+.
aPlus+ will attempt to map the participants to students who are on the roster for the aPlus+ session that you selected. This will be based on the students’ email if they were logged into Zoom when they joined, or their name. You may wish to require students to register with their primary school email when setting up Zoom meetings to make sure that a match can be found.
Select Record as Attended to mark the matched students as attended in the session.
Note that if a student has an existing attendance status set, then it will not be overwritten. This it to protect against any manually set attendance such as ‘late’.
Note that sometimes you may see multiple entries for a student. This can be caused by waiting rooms, or a student dropping off and rejoining.
Students will be marked as attended (or to the status that is setup for your school). The time that the student joined and left the zoom meeting is also shown, along with a comment noting how many minutes they attended total. This total does currently include multiple sessions if a student dropped and re-joined.
The intent of populating the times and minutes joined to make it easier to eyeball a session and make manual adjustments as needed.