Attendance Requirements

Academic Activity in the First Two Weeks

UNLV, like all higher education institutions who accept federal funds, must confirm student attendance within the first two weeks (14 days) of class. Specifically, UNLV must show who has and has not attended class and completed an academic activity within those first 14 days, and must return federal funds for students who do not attend. The most common way to collect and provide this data is to take attendance; however, for a variety of reasons, many faculty do not formally take class attendance. This page offers guidance on several simple options using UNLV-provided tools to make this process easy for UNLV faculty.

Most of the options can be integrated into your existing teaching practice and may offer pedagogical benefits too. The first four options do not require students or faculty to purchase anything. Whichever academic activity you choose, it must be done within the first 14 days of class. If you already have one or more of these items happening in WebCampus within the first 14 days of class, you do not have to create any other options. Faculty are encouraged to consult with Instructional Technology Services in OIT if they would like assistance with designing or implementing one of these solutions in their teaching practice.

Instructional Option Time/Work Requirement Benefit to Student Notes
Take attendance Varies/Minimal if your class has 25 or fewer students. None directly; though attendance strongly correlates to student performance. Depending on the size of your class, this might be the easiest option. Process is manual.
Quiz/Test Varies/You must build the quiz in WebCampus. Simple quizzes are automatically graded. Varies; a well-designed assessment can give you useful insight into where students may struggle in your discipline. A simple test on the syllabus content or a short quiz that provides insight into how much the class knows about the subject can be useful.
Submit an assignment Varies/You must design and grade the assignment. A well-designed assignment can yield good learning outcomes. Assignments can vary widely – as can the time needed to grade them.
Post on a graded discussion board Varies/May involve a large investment of time. Students can benefit from online discussions; however, they must be thoughtfully set up and graded with clear criteria. Perhaps more ideal to smaller classes and online classes. Discussion boards may become difficult in large courses.
Student Response Systems (clickers) High/If you only use to take attendance, it is minimal; however, more questions mean more work. It takes time to integrate the use of the clickers with the course content. Well-designed clicker questions can improve student engagement and can also guide class conversations by informing your pedagogic strategy. Not recommended unless you wish to use the clickers throughout the semester. Students must purchase the clickers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do all these solutions involve WebCampus (Canvas)?

WebCampus is the supported Learning Management System (LMS) at UNLV. It is widely used across campus and all classes appear in WebCampus, even for faculty who do not use it. These options integrate into most existing courses and enable relatively easy reporting.

When should the student process be completed?

Students must complete an academic activity (attend class, complete work online, etc.) within the first two weeks of class.

When should the faculty process be completed?

Faculty must complete the recording of a student’s academic activity in WebCampus within the first two weeks of class.

When will the student activity be reported to Financial Aid?

The data will be pulled from Canvas on Monday, September 9 and reported to Financial Aid on Tuesday, September 10.

Can I use another technology to collect and submit this information?

For the pilot, we ask that you use one of the options offered above. In the future, UNLV may consider other technologies to capture, track and store this data.

Can I take attendance on paper and turn that in?

While you can take attendance on paper if you wish, the data must be placed into WebCampus for reporting purposes. Taking attendance on paper and transferring it to Canvas later will take more time.

What should I do if a student has an emergency at the beginning of the semester and has to miss the first two weeks of class?

Faculty must decide how to handle these situations on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure of how to approach a situation, please speak with your department chair.

How does the data get from WebCampus to Financial Aid?

OIT extracts the data from WebCampus and provides it to Financial Aid.

Who reports on this data?

For now, Financial Aid will use it as part of meeting federal reporting requirements. Advising may also use the data as part of an early warning initiative.

Who should I call if I need assistance with WebCampus?

You should call or contact the IT Help Desk with any questions. You should also refer to this document which offers a more thorough exploration of your options.