Instructor Led Courses: Attendance

An important part of Instructor Led Courses (ILCs) is marking the Attendance of Session participants. This allows Instructors to track who is attending Sessions,  in addition to awarding Scores and/or Credits to Learners. Attendance can be marked manually by an Instructor through the ILC Sessions Report, or automatically using the autofill feature.

For information on Sessions, please see the Sessions section of the How to Create an Instructor Led Course article here.

How to Mark Attendance

If it is not already enabled, a System Admin will need to navigate to Portal Settings and enable the Refreshed Mark Attendance Page toggle to access the updated User experience on the Mark Attendance page and utilize the automated Attendance tracking feature.

Note
This toggle is enabled by default.

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Manually Marking Attendance 

When ILC Sessions do not leverage our virtual meeting integrations, Instructors will be required to manually enter the Attendance on the Mark Attendance page.

Instructors can follow these steps to mark Attendance and Score:

  1. Navigate to the Reports icon on the left-hand side menu bar of the Admin Interface and select ILC Sessions.
  2. From the ILC Sessions Report, the Instructor must select the Session that they would like to mark Attendance for, then on the right-hand action menu, select the Mark Attendance action button.
    Note: An Instructor can use the filter icon on the Instructor column to search their name, this will filter for all Sessions that they are the Instructor for. It is best practice to save this Layout and set it as a default layout so that the filtered results will automatically be applied in the future.
  3. Now, you will be prompted to fill out the Mark Attendance page.
  4. Once the Instructor has completed their Attendance tracking, they must save the Mark Attendance page on the right-hand action menu.

Below is a screenshot of the Mark Attendance page as described in steps 3 and 4.

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Here, you will see all the classes associated with the ILC arranged by Session.

  • The columns display the Class Date & Time, controls to mark a Learner’s Session attendance as present or absent, an Overall Grade, Score, and Credits. Vertically, on the left side is a list of all enrolled Learners.
  • On this page, the Instructor can mark a Learner as present or absent. All Learners will display an unset control box as an indication to the Instructor that action is required.
  • Instructors can mark all Learners as present or absent by using the controls in the header row. Learners marked present will have a green check marked. Learners marked absent will have a red x marked.
  • A Mass Action feature is available in the header row to set Session Attendance, Overall Grade, Score, and Credits.
Note

When a Learner’s attendance is marked as present the LMS will automatically fill in a Score of 100%. If the Absent control box is marked, Absorb will instead set the score to 0%. The score can be updated at any time in this Mark Attendance menu. If the Learner is marked as Present or Absent, the Learner will be marked as Complete for the Session

Marking Attendance with Autofill

If an ILC Venue utilizes a virtual integration with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or WebEx, Absorb now offers a new feature called, Autofill. This option is available to Instructors to reduce manual administration tasks and allows Attendance to be quickly and accurately marked for virtual Sessions.

If a virtual integration is set as a venue upon course build, when an Instructor goes to the Mark Attendance page, an Autofill button will appear at the top of the page.

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When the Autofill feature is used, a call is made back to the virtual meeting provider, retrieving the Attendance reports for all meetings in a given meeting series. From this request, Absorb receives the screen name and email address of the attendees for meetings that occur on the same days that there are occurrences of the Session.

The page will then try to match the Attendance report from the virtual meeting provider to the enrolled Learners in Absorb list via Full Name or Email Address.

First, Absorb will check for Enrolled Users with an Email Address matching the Email Address of the attendees.

If no match is found on Email Address, we will check for a screen name in the virtual meeting provider that matches the Full Name (First Name + Last Name) of the Enrolled Users.

If either of these fields matches, then the Learner will be considered to have attended the Session and the Learner will be marked Present.

When there are unmatched Users (Users that joined the virtual meeting, but we could not find a match between them and an LMS User), the Instructor will be informed and provided with some data to be able to manually reconcile the results of the autofill with the enrolled Learners.

Important
  • Autofill is unavailable for virtual meetings lasting 5 minutes or less, however. Virtual meetings must be longer than 5 minutes for the service to return attendees to Absorb. This is true for Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Webex integrations.
  • Attendance records for the virtual meeting host the Session Instructor(s) are disregarded, even if they are present in the Attendance report.

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Following the attempt to Autofill, the Instructor will see how many Learners matched, and how many could not be matched. Clicking the ‘View unmatched attendees’ link in the warning message will open the following view:  

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On this window, Instructors can see the screen names and email addresses of the unmatched attendees, as well as an option to download this list as a .csv file. With this information, they may be able to manually mark Learners present.

ADVISORY

Clients who currently utilize Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or WebEx virtual integrations will need to reauthorize the integration to be able to take advantage of the Autofill functionality. Additional permissions are required for Absorb to be able to securely request attendance from these systems.

The WebEx integration has a limitation where autofill can only request the most recent 100 attendances from the WebEx API. When using WebEx, it’s recommended that Instructors attempt to mark their attendance following each class in a Session for best results, then manually complete their attendance tracking.

Microsoft Teams and Zoom do not have a limitation on the number of attendances returned and will return all attendees for all classes within a Session.

 

Marking Attendance with Forms and Barcodes

Admins can make the attendance marking process more efficient through the use of pre-configured Forms with scannable Barcodes. Admins can also print sign-in sheets for a Session and import the resulting attendance using an integration with the Professional Services team. This section outlines the use of Forms and Barcodes for ILCs, please see the Forms and Barcodes article for additional details on these features.

Enabling Forms and Attendance Tracking
  • The forms feature must be toggled on in the portal settings for admins to utilize the feature.
    Enable Forms Toggle.png
  • An integration is required to facilitate the process of uploading attendance data - please reach out to the Professional Services team for more details (estimated turnaround time: 2-3 weeks).

 

When the Forms feature is toggled ON the following default roles will have Forms enabled:

  • Admin

  • System Admin

  • Support Admin

  • Multiple Client Admin

  • Internal Sales Admin

In the Roles report, permissions can be configured to provide the ability to View, Modify, and Generate Forms:
Forms Permissions.png

 

Form Configuration

Form configuration is available under the Setup menu on the left-hand side of the Admin Experience.

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The Forms Report displays a grid with the configured forms. The following actions can be performed on this page:

  • Add Form, when no Forms are selected.
    Forms Report - No Selection.png

When a Form is selected, the following actions become available:

  • Edit Form

  • Delete Form

  • Deselect

Forms Report - 1 Selection.png

Forms can be configured to include the following section types:

  1. Rich Text: this section type can be used to add images, formattable text, barcodes, and more.

  2. Summary: this section type can be used to include additional information in the Form.

  3. Data Table: this section type can be used to display information in a tabular format.

Note: Data Tables and Summary section types can include empty fields. These are useful if information needs to be manually entered into the form.

 

Add a Barcode to a Form

  1. Navigate to the Forms Report.

  2. Click Add to create a new Form, or select an existing Form and click Edit.

  3. Click Add Section to create a new Section.
  4. In the Section window, select the Rich Text section type.

  5. In the text field, enter the relevant data in this format *{{variable}}*. You must replace "variable" with your own value or ID. Please do not use the default "variable" in your barcode.

  6. Highlight and apply the Libre Barcode font to *{{variable}}* including the asterisks.

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Generate and Print a Form

  1. In the ILC Sessions Report, select an item.

  2. Click Generate Form in the Actions menu on the right-hand side of the screen.
    ILC Session Report - generate Form.png

  3. Open the Form dropdown and select the desired Form Template.
    Generate Form Modal.png

  4. Select Generate Preview.
    Form Preview.png

  5. Select Print to print the Form. Select Back or Cancel to exit the preview.

 

Marking Attendance Best Practice

It is good practice to enable the Mark Attendance Reminder Email at the Course level to remind Instructors if there are outstanding attendance records to be marked.

You can enable this by navigating to Edit Instructor Led Course, expanding the Messages tab, and toggling ON Send Mark Attendance Reminder Email. Once you have toggled this ON, you must also navigate into the Session and toggle the Mark Attendance Reminder Email ON at the Session level. Doing so will also allow you to specify when the email will be sent out.

The default template for this email includes a link to the LMS for the Instructors to follow.

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