Most teachers have this pressing challenge in their classes – “How to take attendance for online classes“
Attendance is a part and parcel of every classroom session. You might have heard of roll-calls where the teacher calls out your name to mark your presence.
This is easier in the case of a physical classroom, where you will be right under the teacher’s eyes and the teacher can mark your presence even if you missed out on your roll call.
But, in an environment of virtual education, where both the teacher and student cannot see each other directly, marking attendance is altogether a different story.
In fact, attendance management in an online course is one of the biggest challenges faced by teachers. Thankfully, there are ways to counter it and in this blog, we will shed some light on how to take attendance for online classes.
Related Post: What is Blended Learning
How to take attendance for online classes?
As said earlier, attendance plays a key role in an online class. Teachers need to keep a track of the student’s strengths in the class. This is to ensure that their efforts do not go in vain.
Here are some of the ways to manage attendance tracking in an e-learning course.
This is an old-school method that is still relevant in e-learning. You can simply mark the attendance using an attendance register by checking who all have joined the session. This takes a considerable amount of time since you are marking manually. There are also chances that the students might drop out from the session as soon as they get their presence noted. You might have heard of ‘proxy attendance’. The same student tends to mark attendance for his friends is termed as a proxy. This can happen in manual attendance. In such cases, the actual attendance and registered attendance do not match and leads to confusion. These are some of the drawbacks of the manual attendance technique.
Reporting through Google Forms
You can simply create a Google Form and share it during the session for the students to self mark their attendance. All they need to do is fill in some mandatory fields like the name to submit the form. Using this method, the proxy attendance can be eliminated to a certain extent since the form is sent to the personal email address of the student and many of them might not share their credentials with their friends.
This method is useful in the case of live face-to-face classes where the tutor and the students are present online with their cameras ON. You can easily have a headcount of the people present and filter the absentees. But this method is practically not possible if you have a large strength of students since it takes a lot of time to mark attendance this way.
Another option is that you can also rely on the attendance data provided by the LMS platforms. You can easily track the number of students who attended a particular session and even measure their engagement percentage during the class.
- Further Reading: Student Analytics for online teachers
Most teachers find it difficult to maintain decorum in the classroom for the entire session. Students may be technically present but may not be actually in front of their monitors. To have a quick solution to this problem, you can have a rapid-fire questionnaire session in between the class. This will make the students alert and make them participate actively in the course. It also has a two-way benefit; it makes the student attentive in the class and also makes the class more interactive, thereby improving the efficiency of the course.
You can use a tool like Jotform Poll Maker to create your own polls online.
Attendance tracking software
Attendance tracking software is a part of most modern LMSs including Learnyst. The software creates profiles for every student and tracks the attendance through the number of logins they have made to the registered courses. This is an automated solution to eliminate the manual task of teachers having traditional roll-calls.
How to take attendance for online classes using Learnyst?
Learnyst is one of the fastest-growing LMS platforms in the e-learning sector. The platform has a plethora of features to make the online class more interesting for the students and also to make the entire teaching activity easier for the teachers. One of the recent updates released by Learnyst is attendance tracking. You can now generate a list of students who have attended your class along with their basic details. Here is a step-by-step guide of how to capture attendance using the Learnyst Attendance Tracker.
1. First, go to the admin dashboard. Under the list of courses, select a course for which you need to mark attendance.
2. Click on the LIVE class option to create a LIVE session of the selected course.
3. As soon as you start your LIVE class, your students will be able to view the class after logging into their accounts.
4. Go to the Reports section after your session is complete to view the attendance.
5. Under the Report sections, click the LIVE class attendance report to get a detailed report of the students who attended your session.
From this report, you can get an overall view of your student’s attendance across multiple courses.
Further Reading: Attendance Tracking using Learnyst
Other applications for attendance management
A vast majority of attendance management applications come as a package with the LMS platforms. But for those teachers who do not use an LMS for their courses, do not worry. We have listed here some third-party applications for attendance management.
In this app, the student can self-report their attendance after every class. You can easily track the attendance using the ‘missing attendance display’ to see when they have missed the class. The app also gives an automatic notification if a student has not reported attendance for more than 10 days.
This is another app wherein the teacher can get up-to-date data about student attendance. Tracking is made easy using this app and you get the complete report with just a few clicks.
Unlike the rest (which are smartphone applications), this app is completely web-based. The attendance report can be generated instantly in this app. Being a web-based application, this app can be interlinked with your LMS software (in case it does not have an in-built attendance tracker).
This app primarily works on the ROL Cloud Technology which gives it a great advantage in generating instant attendance reports. This app does not even need a full-time internet connection and the auto SMS option lets you share the attendance report with the parents.
Check out Learnyst and its attendance tracking feature today by signing up for a free 14-day trial.