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There is a Moodle attendance plug-in that can be used to keep track of class attendance.  To add the attendance module, go to your course in Moodle and turn editing mode on.  

Set up

Add an activity and select "Attendance."  If desired, you can change the name and grade total.  Click on "Save and return to course".  You should see a new attendance item in your course.  Click on the attendance item to set up your preferences.

First, create sessions by clicking on the "Add" tab.  Sessions are the times you want to keep track of attendance.  Common settings:

Check create multiple sessions (unless you want to create a single meeting time)

Set the start session date/time, duration, and the end session date/time.  

Then set the day(s) the class meets

You can ignore description (or enter something descriptive about these meeting times)

Click the "Add sessions" button

Now click on the "Sessions" tab to view the days and times you have set up.  You may need to click the "All" link at the top of the sessions table to see all your sessions.  From here you can delete sessions (for Fall or Spring break for example) or modify meeting times by clicking on the update button for a session.

Click on the "Settings" tab to configure attendance codes (e.g. present, late, etc.) along with grade point values.  When done, click "Update".

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You only need one attendance activity per course. You can set up as many sessions as you want within the one activity.

Taking Attendance

Click on the attendance activity from the main page and click on the "Sessions" tab.  Click on the green circle to take attendance for the corresponding session.  There are options to view a listing or a grid of students.

Other Notes

A gradebook entry is automatically created for attendance.  If you use the gradebook, but don't want to count attendance as a grade it is possible to assign a zero weight to attendance. 

When a student clicks on the attendance block, they can see a record of their own attendance.  They cannot modify the attendance or see other students' attendance records.

It is possible to use the attendance block to keep track of class participation for a class meeting by replacing attendance codes with participation levels.

Troubleshooting

If the number of points that attendance is worth is changed, sometimes the gradebook does not recalculate.  To force an update, change a point value in the attendance settings area (e.g. change present from 2 to 3 points) and then set the point value back to the desired value.  This forces a recalculation of the grades.