by Chris Fulton, Centre for Teaching and Learning Enhancement
One way to easily take attendance in a class is to have students answer a Moodle question using their mobile phones. The advantages are:
• It saves time,
• Attendance records are saved automatically,
• Attendance records are available to the student and the instructor,
• Provides feedback on the class,
• Can facilitate class engagement for learning.
An advantage of using Moodle to take attendance is that when a student answers an attendance question on their mobile device, a record is automatically created in Moodle, which is accessible to both the student and the instructor. The attendance record for the whole class can easily be exported from Moodle to a simple report in Excel.
“In addition to being used to check attendance, the questions can also be used to stimulate student learning, assess student engagement and provide class feedback to the instructor.”
For example, a generic reusable question that checks students understanding can be used as the attendance question. This type of formative assessment is sometimes called an exit ticket. Examples of a short answer and multiple choice questions exit ticket questions include:
• How well did you understand today’s material? (Multiple Choice, Very well, Well, OK, Some, Not at all)
• How well did you understand XXXX? (Multiple Choice, Very well, Well, OK, Some, Not at all)
• What was the main idea discussed in today’s class? (Open Response)
• What point in today’s class would you like clarified? (Open Response)
Alternatively, the question could focus on assigned reading or problems for that day’s class (entry ticket).
• How well did you understand the assigned readings? (Multiple Choice)
• What was the main idea(s) in today’s reading? (Open Response)
• What is XXXX; Who is YYY. (Open Response)
• Which of the assigned problems was most difficult? (Open Response)
When a student responds to a question, regardless if the answer is correct or accurate, a mark is immediately recorded in Moodle. Moodle can be set up to display and remind each student of their attendance records by turning on completion tracking and adding a progress bar in the block function tool.
A summary of results from the entry or exit ticket questions can be viewed by teachers and discussed in class.
Download the quick start guide (pdf) below to learn how to set up attendance questions for your course. After creating one question, save time by duplicating it for the other classes or sessions.