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Qwickly Attendance: Home

Using Qwickly Attendance in Blackboard (for Instructors)

What Is Qwickly Attendance?

Qwickly Attendance is a third-party software tool that works within Blackboard Learn to assist instructors with taking attendance and reviewing attendance records for a course. Qwickly Attendance helps instructors take attendance using a screen that looks like this:

Screen Shot of the Take Attendance screen within Qwickly Attendance

 

It also allows instructors to review and edit attendance data for a course using a screen that looks like this:

Screenshot of the Attendance Record screen within Qwickly Attendance, showing a list of students and their presences and absences by date.

 

By default, Qwickly Attendance creates and maintains a Grade Center column that looks like this:

Screen Shot of Grade Center Column containing attendance grade automatically created and managed by Qwickly Attendance.

CLICK HERE to see a brief overview of Qwickly Attendance (1.5 minutes).


Using Qwickly Attendance

To use Qwickly attendance in a course the instructor has to:

  1. Create a link to the Qwickly Attendance Tool, once, inside the course menu of each course.
  2. Accept the default settings of Qwickly Attendance, once, inside each course.
  3. Click on the Attendance link each time attendance is taken.

If desired, the instructor may also:

  1. Review and edit attendance data within a course.
  2. Export attendance data from a course to a spreadsheet.
  3. Change the Configuration Settings that determine how Qwickly Attendance functions

Create a Link to the Qwickly Attendance Tool

In any course, you can access the Attendance tool by locating the Course Management menu along the left hand side of the screen, clicking on Course Tools, then Qwickly Attendance. If you're going to use the tool regularly, you can create a one-click link in the Course Menu:

  1. Inside a Blackboard Course, move the cursor to the Course Menu near the upper left of the screen.
  2. Click on the Plus-sign Icon
  3. In the menu that pops up, click on Tool Link
  4. In the box that appears, enter "Attendance" in the name field.
  5. Click inside the box labeled "Type" to get a pull-down list of tool types.
  6. Click on Qwickly Attendance in that list.
  7. If you want students to be able to check in or to see their own attendance data, click the box labeled "Available to Users."
  8. Click the "Submit" button in the box.
  9. The word "Attendance" will now appear in the Course Menu and will open the Qwickly Attendance tool when clicked.
  10. You can drag and drop the Attendance link to any vertical position in the Course Menu, if desired.

CLICK HERE to see a video of the steps above (<2 minutes).


Accept the Default Settings

The first time you try to use the Attendance tool in a course, the system will prompt you to configure the options that control how Qwickly behaves. Since the default settings work for most instructors in most courses, you don't have to do anything other than click on Begin Set-Up, scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and click on Save Settings. At that point, you're ready to take attendance in your course. You can always go back and change the settings later. 

CLICK HERE to see a video of the steps above (< 1 minute).


Take Attendance by Roster

To take attendance by roster, click on the attendance link in your course and choose one of the attendance-taking methods (Full List, One by One, or Accessibility). Just click through the list of enrolled students that appears, setting each student's presence or absence status, and adding any desired comments.Remember to click SUBMIT ATTENDANCE when you're done.

CLICK HERE to see a video describing taking attendance by roster (< 3.5 minutes).


Take Attendance by Student Check-in

The Check-In feature allows students to log their own presence in the classroom using the Attendance link you created in your course. To start the Check-In process, just click on Attendance, then Check-In, then Start Check-In. The default attendance-taking mode, whether or not a pin-number is used for student check-in, whether or not a timer is set for student check-in, and the length of the check-in window, are options you can configure in your course.

NOTE: If you do not change the Attendance Settings for your course, the Check-In process will have no automatic time limit, and students will be able to complete their attendance logging at any time, until you click on the End Check-in button. You can change Attendance Settings to have the system enforce a time limit automatically.

CLICK HERE to see a video describing the use of the Check-In feature (2.5 minutes)


Review and Edit Attendance Data

To review or edit attendance records, just click on the Attendance link, then on Attendance Record. You'll get a screen that looks like this:

Screen Shot: Qwickly Attendance Record screen

The screen shows you the presence and absence statuses for each student at each time attendance was taken, as well as the total number of attendance points and total number of absences for each student. The left and right arrows allow you to scroll horizontally through the data. The "Filter Username" box lets you search for students by name, if the class roster is lengthy. Information on this screen is editable. You can:

  • Click on an individual cell on the grid to change the presence or absence status of the student during that session.
  • Click on an individual cell on the grid to add, change, or delete comments attached to that status.
  • Click on the name of a column to change the name of that column.
  • Click on the name of the column and delete the entire column.

Export Attendance Data

While not necessary, you have the option of exporting the attendance data in your course in a format that can be used by spreadsheet or database programs. Just click on the Attendance link, then Attendance Record, then click on the export icon, which looks like an up-arrow inside of a box. On the screen image below, the icon is circled in red:

Screenshot of Qwickly Attendance Record Screen, with EXPORT icon circled in red.

Each time the export is run, it will download to your computer a file listing all of the attendance and absence statuses for all students in the course, for all times at which attendance was taken. The data will include the Blackboard Course ID, the Username of the student (usually the Campus Wide ID), the attendance status you entered, and the date and time at which that status was recorded.


Change the Configuration Settings

The default settings for Qwickly Attendance will work well for most instructors in most courses. However, there are a number of configuration options that adjust the behavior of the tool, and these can be set by the instructor for a single course. Just click on the Attendance link then Settings to bring up a screen of options that can be adjusted by clicking on radio buttons or entering brief text.

The Attendance Settings screen is broken into sections, each with its own set of configurable options.

Default Style

If you don't change anything, the Take Attendance process will always start in the Full List mode. You can always change the mode when you are taking attendance. To change the mode in which the process starts, click on the radio button for One By One, Accessibility Mode, or Check In.

View Preferences

If you don't change anything, the Attendance tool will not show you past attendance data when you're taking attendance, will exclude from the roster any student who has been marked unavailable in your course or whose Blackboard account is disabled, and will show attendance grades with two digits to the right of the decimal point. By clicking on check-boxes, you can tell the Attendance tool to show past absences while taking attendance, to include unavailable or disabled students, and/or to round grades to the nearest whole number.

In addition, the Attendance Record screen starts out showing data from oldest to newest, with the oldest data at the left of the screen. You can reverse the order by clicking on the "Newest First" radio button.

Grade Center Integration

If you don't change anything, Qwickly Attendance maintains a Grade Center column named Attendance, worth 100 points, and does not maintain a separate column for absences. Options in this section allow you to:

  • Tell Qwickly to maintain no attendance column in Grade Center.
  • Tell Qwickly to accumulate a fixed number of points per presence (if you grade by total points rather than weighted percentages).
  • Change the name of the Grade Center column maintained by Qwickly Attendance
  • Change the points value of the Attendance column.
  • Turn on a separate Grade Center column for absences. 

Check In

If you don't change anything, the Check-In process will automatically generate a pin number that students will need to log their own attendance, but will impose no time limit (timer is set to zero minutes). Without a time limit, students can check in at any time until the instructor clicks on the End Check-In button. You can change the settings to require no pin number, or to set a time limit in minutes. If you enter a number in the minutes box (recommended), the time limit is automatically enforced by Blackboard/Qwickly, without intervention by the instructor. 

Absence Email

If you don't change anything, the Attendance Tool will NOT send an automatic email to students when you mark them absent. If you turn this feature on, an email will be sent from Blackboard to the student each time you mark a student absent. 

If emails are turned on, the standard text of the message that will be sent each time is displayed, and you can edit this. Variables, enclosed in dashes and curly brackets, can be filled in automatically when an email message is generated and sent. The allowable variables are:

{-absences-} The total number of absences the student has in the course so far

{-date-} The date of the latest absence 

{-course-} The Blackboard Course ID in which the absence was recorded

{-first-} The first name of the student

{-last-} The last name of the student

Attendance Statuses

If you don't change anything, Qwickly Attendance allows you to mark a student as Present, Absent, or Excused. You cannot change these statuses, although you can turn one or more of them off in a course by clicking on the on/off button to the left of each status. Deactivating any of these status is not recommended.

If your attendance policy, as described in your course syllabus, allows for some kind of partial credit for students who arrive late, you can add one or more custom statuses to grade attendance accordingly. For example, suppose you have a policy that says you deduct 1/3 of the value of attending a classroom session for students up to 15 minutes late, and deduct 100% after that. You could create a custom status named "Tardy", giving it 67% for presence and 33% for absence. When you create that custom status, you can set a color for display in the Attendance Record screen and can set the order in which the custom status is listed on the Take Attendance screen. 

If you then mark a student as Tardy, the student's attendance grade for that session will be adjusted downward by 33%. 

CLICK HERE to see a six-minute video explaining how to create custom status labels.


Comprehensive Demo (by Qwickly)

CLICK HERE to watch a comprehensive demonstration of Qwickly Attendance (27 minutes).