This document details various ways to take attendance with Top Hat
Top Hat allows you to take attendance in a synchronous face-to-face, online course, or hybrid courses. There are several ways to initiate an attendance session, but the outcome is the same:
Depending on your course and use case, here are a number of ways to use Top Hat to take attendance.
Many professors begin each of their lectures by taking attendance with Top Hat. Here’s how you can do this:
Next, you have three options:
The data collected while taking attendance with Top Hat will be stored in the gradebook where you can review, manage or export it to an Excel spreadsheet.
You can use Top Hat for taking attendance without linking your Canvas and Top Hat courses. Any attendance data gathered in Top Hat will have to be manually entered or manually downloaded from Top Hat and uploaded into the Canvas gradebook. To take attendance:
To enable hybrid attendance, instructors must first navigate to their Course Settings.
When you enable hybrid attendance in your course, students will see the question, “Are you attending class in-person?”, below the attendance code field. Yes is auto-selected, so remote students will need to select the No response.
Note: Students submitting the attendance code via SMS text message cannot indicate whether they are attending class in-person. Please see Student: Attendance from Top Hat for full details on how to submit attendance as a student:
Instructors can find records for any attendance sessions launched in Top Hat, using the Top Hat Gradebook.
Secure attendance adds an extra layer of certainty to student attendance submissions.
Like regular attendance, students need to submit an attendance code to be marked as Attended. However, students also need to be present in the classroom. Top Hat determines presence based on geolocation alone, or geolocation and proximity.
Note: if a student is marked as absent, they can still submit responses to questions in class. Their absence will not affect the student's course average because grades and attendance are completely independent.
Geolocation works on web browsers, iOS apps and Android apps by sending coordinates to Top Hat’s servers. Top Hat uses the geolocation of students that submit the attendance code to confirm their location, which determines if they are in the classroom. Top Hat checks both geolocation and proximity when students use Bluetooth-enabled iOS or Android devices. Proximity determines how close a device is to other participating devices in the class.
Note: Some students may have geolocation disabled on their device for privacy reasons.
Once enabled, launching an attendance session will automatically launch secure attendance.
Note: When you take Secure Attendance, leave attendance open for 2-3 minutes to allow Top Hat to establish the location.
The attendance session will display Secure Attendance Enabled when launched, if configured properly. It will display:
When you are ready to stop taking attendance, select the Finish button in the lower right-hand corner of the window.
Students will be marked as absent If they enter the correct 4-digit attendance code, but fail the location check (geolocation and proximity). When you end your attendance session, Top Hat will show the number of students who were marked absent because they failed the security checks.
You can review this list of students by clicking the blue show list of students who failed security checks button. If you would like to change their attendance status for this session, select the Attended button associated with the student.
Note: You can also adjust student attendance statuses at a later time in the gradebook. Please see Professor: Gradebook Attendance Tab for more info.
To add an attendance comment in the Gradebook:
In the Attendance Report you can view the details of each student's entry for the session including
You can also export attendance comments as a .csv file. Select Export Comments at the top of the report.
As with regular attendance, students can use their laptop, smartphone, or tablet to submit the attendance code.