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Canvas provides an attendance marking tool called Roll Call. To enable Roll Call make sure that Attendance is available on your course left-hand menu (full instructions on editing your left-hand menu can be found at How do I manage Course Navigation links?).

To avoid Attendance calculation errors, never modify, delete, rename, or unpublish the Attendance assignment.

Upon entering the Attendance Tool, you will see your class roster. You are brought to the current date but can easily toggle through days or review a specific date by using the calendar in the top right of the tool.

Roll Call panel showing three class participants

You can quickly mark all students as present or unmark all students with buttons at the top. You can also individually mark students with the following:

  • Present green check mark - This gives the student a score of 100%
  • Absent red x mark - This gives the student a score of 0%
  • Late yellow clock hands - By default this gives the students a score of 80% but this percentage can be adjusted to a percentage of your choosing.  To adjust the percentage for Late, enter the Roll Call Settings through the Gear in the top right.

You could use the Late marking in the Roll Call Tool to deduct points from those students who are present in class but may not be actively participating, or from students who arrive late or leave early.

Each time you mark off a student in Roll Call their grade updates by taking the average of all their attendance so far. To prevent students from being notified after every attendance, you can mute the Roll Call Attendance assignment in your Gradebook. Because attendance is treated as an assignment in Canvas, the Roll Call Attendance Assignment, you can also add the attendance grade to an Assignment Group of your choosing which will allow it to be factored in as a percentage of their overall grade.

Canvas Community Resources

VideoCanvas Attendance Tool

What is the Roll Call Attendance Tool?

How do I take roll call using the Attendance Tool?

How the Roll Call Attendance Tool grades

How to run a Roll Call Attendance Report

Related Self Help Guides

More Help

For questions about Canvas, contact CIT via our online service desk or email Weekdays between 8am-4pm, you can also contact us via our real-time chat portal.

For tips, tricks, and updates on learning technologies at Geneseo, visit our Educational Technology ChatTo explore Canvas Guides (created by Instructure), visit