Using the Attendance Module in Moodle

The attendance module in Moodle is yet another excellent tool for learning management. Unlike other Moodle modules, the attendance feature is still simplistic and is surprisingly simple to setup. With this module you can do some of the following.

  • Take daily attendance
  • Track overall percentage of attendance
  • Contact students about attendance
  • See students attendance in other classes

This post will provide a step-by-step procedure for setting up the attendance module in Moodle.

1. Log in to Moodle, select the course, and turn editing on

2. Click “add activity” select “attendance” and click “add”

2.jpg3. For the grade option consider the following

  • If you give points for attendance set the type to “points” and select a grade category
  • If you do not give points for attendance select “none”
  • After making a decision about these two options click “save and display”


4. Click “add session” and complete the following

a. Start date of the semester
b. Time of the class
c. Check the box “Repeat the session above as follows” because we want to use the attendance module more than once
d. Check the boxes for the days the class is held
e. Make sure class repeats every 1 week if this is how your class works
f. For “repeat until” select the last day of the semester
g. Click “add”
h. NOTE: You can have multiple sessions in a day if you repeat these steps. This is valuable for teachers who see the same students several times in a day.

4.jpg5. The next page shows the attendance there are five different views

  • All-see every session of attendance in the course
  • All-past-see session before the current date
  • Month-See the current month sessions
  • Weeks-See the current weeks sessions
  • Day-See today’s session
  • NOTE moodle will remember the view you select for the next time you log in


The next step is for customizing the features of your attendance. The example below is from one school but you can modify the settings however you want

6. Click on settings

a. Delete the “excused” column as it is not applicable in our example school
b. Change the number of points for being present from 2 to 1
c. Change the value of late from 1 to 0.65
* The school’s policy is 3 tardies is one absence
* Students should lose 1/3 of a point for be late or about 0.33
* When this happens three times it is the equivalent of losing a full point
* 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3 = 1 absence


7. Click on “sessions” and take attendance by finding the day you want and clicking on the green circle


  • After taking attendance click “save attendance”


  • You will return to the previous screen and the green circle will become a green arrow.

7c.jpg8. To check a students attendance do the following

  • Click “reports” and click “summary”
  • below is some of the information on this page
    • Taken sesssions-days attendance was taken (useful to know if you took attendance)
    • Points-number of points earned (1 per session)
    • Percentage-points earned divided by total points
    • Total number of sessions
    • Points over all sessions
    • Percentage over all sessions
    • Max possible points
    • Max possible percentage

You can view attendance on individual days by selecting any of the following

  • All
  • All-past
  • Month
  • Week
  • Days

8_censored.jpg9. If a students attendance is not acceptable and you want to send a message through moodle do the following

a. Go to “reports”
b. Off to the right hand size are check boxes select the student(s) you want to send a message to
c. Click “send message” in the lower left of the screen
d. Enter your message and click “send message”


9b.jpg11. To check the attendance of a student in their other classes that use this module do the following

  • Click on a student’s name (Do not click on their picture)
  • Click on “all courses”



The attendance module provides teachers and administrators with a tool to see how students are doing not only in their class but across the campus. This assumes that everyone uses it. As such, modules such as the attendance module in Moodle requires support of all the teachers in order to reach full functionality.

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