Why You Have Low Student Attendance Online and How to Deal With It

How will you motivate your students to come to class?

As many classes moved online, a lot of learners went offline, how will you increase student attendance?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, chronic absenteeism is already one of the major problems faced by schools. 

And now, with classes being held remotely, more students than ever fail to attend their classes. They fail to log in, check-in, complete their assignments, and the like. 

With these, many educators and stakeholders are desperate to look for ways to increase their student attendance. But really, how?

Much more than how, why do these students fail to attend their classes? Is it that hard to sign in or check-in for their attendance to be checked?

Table of Contents

Why Students Fail to Attend their Online Classes

Although remote learning is the most viable means of education today, students still fail to do it. There are hundreds of reasons why students can’t attend their online classes. 

These include the following:

No Electronic Device and Internet Connection

Not all students have access to an electronic device. Given how modern and technology-driven the world is today, many of them still can’t afford to have one. 

And even when they have, access to a strong and stable internet connection is only available to cities and first-world countries. Students living in rural areas, especially those in far-flung places, can barely connect to the internet. 


Sad to say, poverty is one of the major reasons why students can’t attend classes both online and offline. It is still the largest hindrance why students fail to get proper education and land on a high paying job. 

Not everyone is born with a silver spoon. A lot of families can’t afford to buy a laptop, a cell phone, and the like that their children can use for their online classes. To top it all, not all can afford to pay the dues for an internet connection. 

Family Responsibilities 

As classes shift online, more or less, students are given responsibilities at home. They are tasked to do chores or help their parents make money, making it impossible for them to attend their online classes. With this, the rate of student attendance slows down. 

If life has been hard before the pandemic, it is even harder now. And, it is not surprising to learn that students are forced to work to help their parents. In other cases, students are the one who stays at home to take care of their siblings, thus, they miss their classes.

Students Get Lazy

Let’s admit it, we all feel lazy at times when we are at home. And our students aren’t an exemption. 

Students think that it’s okay not to check-in since their classes are done online. They think that their attendance doesn’t matter anymore. 

Instead, they spend their time scrolling through their different social media accounts. Others choose to play, watch tv, or do any other activities not related to education. 

They start to get lazy checking in, doing their assignment and accomplishing their school tasks. They lack the motivation to attend their online classes because of the wrong notions that they have.

How to Handle Low Student Attendance Online

What will you do if your students seldom attend their online classes?

Another reason for low student attendance is that teachers fail to motivate their students to attend their classes. In one way or another, they fail to establish a routine that will force their students to check in regularly. 

At times, teachers forget to communicate properly and consistently to their students too.

How will you ensure that your students will regularly check-in for their attendance? And even if they check-in, how will you track their attendance easily?

Here are some tips on how you can keep track of your student attendance during your online classes:

Manual Checking of Student Attendance

Even when your classes are done online, you can still check your students like you used to before. You can still use your student attendance record book, but doing so will take a lot of time. 

Also, students can just leave without you even noticing it, primarily when you handle more students that you actually can. With this, you can give the student attendance management system a try. 

This system accurately records your student attendance without requiring too much time and effort from you. Furthermore, a single click can already generate the report that you need. 

Use Google Form for Self-Reporting Attendance

A great way to check your student attendance is by creating a Google Form that you can share with the whole class.

With this, your students can simply fill in the form and their response will be automatically submitted. The good thing about using Google Form is that the software automatically reports the time and date that the form has been submitted. 

Just make sure that you have different forms for your different classes to make it more organized. This will also lessen the possibility of students not attending their classes but have signed in. 

Video Call By All Participants

If feasible, try checking your student attendance through a video call. Require all of them to join with their cameras turned on as you check their attendance. 

This is the best option, but of course, this rarely happens too, as not all students have a stable internet connection. So, one way to make this happen is to ask them to open their camera at the end of the class and turn it off once you have checked their attendance. 

Having all your students during an online class is hard, what will you do?

Random Questioning During Discussion

Another good way to check your student attendance is by randomly calling them to answer your questions during class discussions. This ensures that they won’t be dropping out since they do not know when their names will be called. 

This option also makes them more active and can motivate them to focus while you are discussing them to answer your questions once they are called. 

When answering your question, they can either have it live or they can simply chat it. What matters is that you’ll be able to check their attendance precisely. 

Timed Assignments 

Checking your student attendance through timed assignments is another good option. Unlike regular assignments, require your students to submit their work within a given time frame. 

Do not accept assignments beyond the allowed time to make sure that they are attending your class on time. 

If the platform you are using doesn’t support this feature, try looking for other ways. For example, you can have the submission form deactivated for a while or send back assignments that are passed past the time to notify them that their works are no longer accepted.

Conduct a Short Quiz After the Discussion

This tip is very effective, and implementing it is very easy. Besides, your students will be forced to be active and attend class, not unless they want to fail. 

A lot of online classroom platforms allow this one. Some of them even go as far as collecting the timestamp and email id of the students and the answers to the quiz.

With this in mind, prepare your quiz ahead of time. Then you can just share it with your students as you finish your discussion. 

Class Discussion During or After the Class

Conducting class discussion during or after the class is like hitting two birds with the same stone. Why? You have checked your student attendance and have engaged your learners as well. 

This technique doesn’t apply to all topics and subjects, so make it limited either at the beginning or at the end of a class. Either of the two will ensure that your students are participating, and they represent during your class.


A student’s attendance is one of the most important aspects of education. This ensures that they are present during class discussions, and they are able to learn something out of the lesson.

And while maintaining high student attendance online is challenging, responding to it and ensuring that your students attend your classes is a must. So, give all your best always in all ways. 

Related Questions

How can I check my student attendance online?

To make it easier for you to check your student’s attendance during your online classes, make use of apps or software to do the job for you. Maximize what technology has to offer while choosing the best system that works for your needs. 

Is checking the student attendance necessary even when classes are online?

Yes, it is. Checking your student attendance during online classes is a must to make sure that your students are making it to their classes. This also ensures that they are participating in your class. 

Access more tips on how you can increase your students’ attendance during remote learning in All Digital School. 

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