Adding an attendance roster to Blackboard course

One of the feature highly desired but natively absent from Blackboard 9.1 is an attendance roster. As SUNY Jamestown Community College transitions from Angel to Blackboard, faculty are noticing the absence of this prized features. Here is a work around to the problem using a Google spreadsheet.

Here are the steps I used to add an attendance roster to my Blackboard course:

Get file CSV file from Blackboard

  1. Log into your Blackboard course.
  2. Open the Grade Center -> Full Grade Center.
  3. Select Download from the Work Offline dropdown menu.
  4. Select User Information Only.
  5. Select Comma.
  6. Select My Computer.
  7. Click Submit button.
  8. Click on Download button.
  9. Copy file to a Google Drive folder.

Create spreadsheet

  1. Begin a new Google spreadsheet.
  2. Give the spreadsheet a name.
  3. Select from the menu File -> Import…
  4. Choose your uploaded CSV file and click Select button.
  5. Select Replace spreadsheet.
  6. Select Comma.
  7. Click on Import button.
  8. Make necessary adjustments to your spreadsheet.
  9. Copy the URL of the spreadsheet through the word edit, e.g., https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1oic47nEqivuf6ZnI1GPiMMpXWZxwxoVdC60bMOkTkTo/edit

Add link to Blackboard

  1. Return to your Blackboard course.
  2. Mouse over the “+” sign on the upper left corner of your course, and select Web Link.
  3. Add title.
  4. Paste in URL.
  5. Leave Available to users unchecked.
  6. Click Submit button.

You now have an attendance roster available from your Blackboard course. If you have suggestions for improving this idea, please add them to the comments below. also, please share ideas that you use for solving this problem.

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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