Qwickly Announces New Attendance Mode Aimed at Online Courses

Qwickly Announces New Attendance Mode Aimed at Online Courses

April 14, 2020

Qwickly Attendance Pro, part of the Qwickly Attendance Family of products, continues to add new capabilities, making attendance recording and participation tracking a quick, easy process for schools using Blackboard Learn, Canvas, and D2L Brightspace. 

Qwickly Attendance Pro provides advanced reporting capabilities, with features like student groups, consecutive absence reporting, and more, that drill into attendance data by class, by student, by instructor and by specific time period. 

By popular demand from clients, Qwickly has developed a new attendance mode, Online Activity Mode, aimed specifically at streamlining the process of taking attendance for online and hybrid courses, while complementing other existing attendance tracking modes in the platform. Online Activity Mode was designed to comply with federal aid guidelines surrounding what constitutes attendance in an online course. According to the Federal Student Aid Handbook (2019-20), section 5-60; “Documenting attendance when students are enrolled in distance education courses:” 

“In a distance education context, documenting that a student has logged into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate academic attendance by the student. A school must demonstrate that a student participated in class or was otherwise engaged in an academically related activity, such as contributing to an online discussion or initiating contact with a faculty member as a course-related question.

Examples of acceptable evidence of academic attendance and attendance at an academically-related activity in a distance education program include:

  • Student submission of an academic assignment,
  • Student submission of an exam,
  • Documented student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction,
  • A posting by a student showing the student’s participation in an online study group that is assigned by the institution, 
  • A posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the student’s participation in an online discussion about academic matters, and
  • An e-mail from the student or other documentation showing that the student initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.”


How it works



In accordance with these guidelines, attendance for online courses is often tracked by looking at the different academic activities a student has been asked to complete during a specific time period. For instance, say that during the week of March 3rd, an assignment, quiz, and discussion are assigned for a student to complete. A student may be counted as attending that week if they complete one or more of these items. However, the amount of work required by an instructor to look through all of these types of assignments is tedious, time-consuming, and still requires an entry point.

Online Activity Mode addresses these issues by allowing instructors to automatically derive attendance statuses for students based on academic activity within the learning management system course. When using Online Activity Mode, an instructor selects the relevant activities that students should have completed during a given period of time. Online Activity will then automatically check to see if students have completed the assigned activities and will record attendance, based on the completion of assignments (along with notes about the activity of the student), in the Qwickly Attendance record.

Deborah Spiro, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President of Distance Education at Nassau Community College, was looking for a product that would streamline the attendance taking process for online and hybrid courses at her institution. Their objective was to “automate [the online attendance] process within the LMS.” When asked about her experience with Online Activity Mode, Spiro said, “Qwickly devised a really simple, three step solution. The instructor would choose the date range, the academic activities (such as an assessment in Blackboard, a discussion, an assignment), and then Qwickly did the rest. [Online Activity Mode] provided the attendance data by automatically marking [students] present or absent based on that activity. [Online Activity Mode] has been so helpful. Faculty have wanted to come on board with online [classes] just for this tool alone to manage the efficiency of what would be a mundane chore.” Hear more about Nassau Community College's experience with Online Activity Mode.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about Online Activity Mode for Qwickly Attendance Plus and Qwickly Attendance Pro, or watch the "Introducing Online Activity Mode in Qwickly Attendance Pro for Blackboard and Canvas" on-demand webinar.



Online Activity Mode is part of Qwickly Attendance Plus and Qwickly Attendance Pro, which currently integrate with Blackboard Learn, Canvas, and D2L Brightspace via LTI/REST API.

Existing Attendance Tracking Options

In addition to Online Activity Mode, Qwickly's attendance platform provides a number of other options for tracking student attendance and even grading participation in a class. There are a number of other modes that are already popular in hundreds of school deployments, such as modes for manually marking a student's attendance status by a traditional list or one-by-one view, a student Check-In Mode that allows students to check-in from the standard Learning Management System App or web browser, and an integrated Card Reader Mode that allows students to swipe, tap or scan their school ID cards.