Taking attendance is a topic that comes again and again in discussions. Although we at the TLPDC err on the side of generosity given the challenges we all face with COVID-19 and likely absences, we realize that attendance in online classes is a topic of interest! In particular, how can you track attendance in large enrollment classes (particularly those that rely heavily on Zoom or BlackBoard Collaborate)? Some ideas gathered from a recent POD Network listserv discussion in June 2020 include the following:
• Use the chat feature as a "roll call" place for attendance
• Have students "Live Tweet" a screenshot of them on Zoom at random times you select (to keep them on their toes) during class with a running hashtag (eg. #ENGL101June26th)
• Did you know that you can get a csv file of who attended a session by visiting the
host's Zoom web page? Selecting "Reports" on the left, then under "Usage Reports"
on the center of the page, select "Usage" and then select the relevant meeting. From
there, click on the number of participants of the meeting of interest. A new screen
comes up with "Meeting Participants"
and you can select "Export with meeting data" or "Show unique users" to download in csv format. We recommend that you download the latter as there is one entry for each participant even if the student left and came back to the meeting. Are you interested in looking at this feature or talking about teaching strategies with Zoom? Contact Erika Brooks-Hurst and she would be glad to help!
• Use a shared document for an in-class exercise, such as a Google Doc, as a way of tracking participation. The document can have two columns: The first with the students' names and the second with some kind of quick short written activity. This will allow you to see in real-time who is contributing, who may not be in the room, and who understands the content/task. You could make this a regular part of your class to maintain an attendance record and check for feedback from students. For STEM classes, students could also contribute a submission of exercises/calculations etc. as well.
• Share your screen. Have a slide with a QR code on it that students can use the camera function to take them to a Google form. You can populate the form ahead of time with their names or have them write in their names. This creates a time-stamped Google sheet. Are you interested in using QR codes in your classes? Contact Ken Griffith for ideas and help!