## Attendance (plugin)

### Problems with Attendance Module

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Problems with Attendance Module

Hi,
I just installed version ver 2.0.2 of Attendance for the first time and am having some problems. I will list them in order of importance, so please answer any you have knowledge about. I am running Moodle 1.8.2 and PHP 4.4.6 on host bluehost.com.

1) I was able to add the Attendance as an activity on the main Moodle page, but was not able to see it in the Activities menus in any of the courses. All I can see are the standard modules and then modulename at the bottom of the menu. Any ideas how to get this into the individual courses?

2) I can probably deal with having everyone take attendance on the main page rather than in their courses since this is a small K-8 school. But I would like to order the students by classes to make it easier for the teachers. Is there any way to order the students by group rather than alphabetically in the attendance list? Is there a way to show only particular groups in the list, not everyone who is enrolled?

3) Whenever I go to export the attendance lists to Excel or another format, I get an error that says "Students Not Found!". Any ideas?

4) Is there an easy way to remove the feature where you can change the status for everyone by just clicking on the code (e.g., clicking on P changes everyone's status to Present) or should I just look through the code any remove that feature? I'm not a php programmer, so any hints as to where to find this would be helpful.

4) I am not able to access the help files for Attendance. When I click on the ? it says "File Not Found". The help files are currently in /moodle/blocks/attendance/lang/en_us_utf8/help/block_attendance and I also put them in the same place in en_utf8 and in /moodle/lang/en_us_utf8/help/block_attendance. Permissions are 0644 or 0744. Where should they be? Also, there is no file updateattendance.html, although this is the one called for by the question mark at the top of the attendance page.

Jan

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi,

I have also added in the attendance function.

I have had no problems adding that same attendance feature to each and every one of my courses without a problem.

I would like to know how to correct the modulenameplural and modulename labelling problem in "add activity" and "activity" block. If you get an answer on that I would appreciate some help on that too.

Patti

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Greetings, Patti!
Did you install the language files in the appropriate language folder? Those files are included with the download, but you usually need to put a copy of the language file in en_utf8 or whichever language pack you are using. This should clear up the [] problem.

atw

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

I think I located the basic language problem that results in us seeing modulenameplural and modulename. The Moodle mods are supposed to be self-contained so you don't have to move any language files "into the right location." However, the packaging of the attendance pieces contains both a mod and a block. The language files for both the mod and the block are contained in the block folder (that is, the blocks/attendance/lang/* folders have both attforblock.php and block_attendance.php while the mod/attforblock/ folder has no lang folders).

As I see it, there are two fixes. You can move the contents of the lang folder into their the base lang folders, or you can follow the "new" format of having self-contained packages by moving (or copying) the language files for the mod into the mod folder. I prefer the latter approach (easier to troubleshoot language issues IMHO), so here is my simple fix:

Copy (not move) the lang folder from blocks/attendance/ to mod/attforblock/

If you are in a UNIX environment, then my recommendation is to navigate to your Moodle installation directory (that is, the directory with admin, auth, backup, blocks, et al.) and type the following commands:

mkdir mod/attforblock/lang
cp -R blocks/attendance/lang/* mod/attforblock/lang/.

This does lead to a duplicate language file in each folder, but is less work than moving half of the language files one at a time!

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hello! I need to bring up that topic again as I have one question concering the following:

(quote by Richard)

There is a second, better, way to accomplish this. Select "Attendance" from the pull-down menu in the "Blocks" block. This will create a block with options to take attendance, report on attendance, or change the attendance settings for you, and an attendance report for students.

Does that mean, I would see the "attendance" here under blocks? I don't see it and I did not understand how:

I only see the attendence here:

Where and how can I create a block called "attendance" what Richard mentioned in his explanation?

I would be happy if someone can help me!

Best wishes,

Hanna

P.S. I am an admin with all edit rights in the Moodle...

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hanna,

First a correction to what I wrote.  Don't hide (close the eye icon) the attendance activity or students won't be able to see their attendance details in any fashion.  I didn't realize it caused a visibility problem for students.

OK, now that I have corrected that, to add the block you must be on the main page for your course and in edit mode.  At the bottom of the left column you should see the "Blocks" block (Blocks are the boxes on the left and right side of your Moodle page).  From the drop-down menu select Attendance as shown in the figure below and it will add the Attendance block.

Richard

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Dear Richard,

thanks for the answer! I found it! Very good, thanks!

Best wishes,

Hanna

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

I'm glad you found it since, apparently, I still get my left and right confused!

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

1) It sounds like you might not have installed everything properly. This block requires three things: one, install the activity which goes in the mod folder; two, install the block, which goes in the block folder; and three, install the language files, which go in the appropriate language folder. Perhaps you missed some little part of that?

2) You can use groups, but right now the groups are shown by group number rather than group name. The group function works like other areas using groups--you should force groups in your course settings, enroll students into the groups, and then use the drop down box to see all or a particular group.

3) If your excel export says there are no students, then I would look for a reason why the activity/block is not picking up students. Perhaps you haven't enrolled them into the course, or perhaps they haven't been enrolled into their groups? I can tell you that the export does work properly on my system.

4) In my experience, being able to mark the majority of the students at once (click the P and get them all!) and then change the few who are not present is much less clicking. If you don't want to use the letters at the top, then you can simply click each radio button in the list. If you want to hack it, you can certainly do that. My recollection is that the code is documented well enough. I tend to see that as a feature, though.

5) We were working on some additional helpfiles in another thread. They might not have made it into cvs. Look for other threads in this forum about attendance 1.8 and you might find them. Do you think the permissions problem is creating the [] display? That is interesting.

Hope some of that helped!
atw

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

You are right. I did not install the language file. Where can I find the download?

Patti

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

It is included in the files that contains the attendance block.

atw

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

>3) If your excel export says there are no students, then I would look for a reason why the activity/block is not picking up students. Perhaps you haven't enrolled them into the course, or perhaps they haven't been enrolled into their groups? I can tell you that the export does work properly on my system.

AT,

I'm using Attendance 2.02 on Moodle 1.83+ and I've found that the Excel download from the Report tab just produces a list of student ids. However, the OpenOffice format download file contains all the student and attendance data. Bizarre but a bug methinks.

MArk

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

I thought that got fixed?? I have little need for the download, so I guess I didn't pay attention to it. Maybe we should look again. . .

atw

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi atw,

trying to install an attendance activity and following your point 1 above..i have downloaded the attendance software and now have 2 folders, "blocks" and "mod". you say,one, install the activity which goes in the mod folder - forgive my ignorance but when you say activity what do you mean. I take it the mod folder is the one already on the server. The "blocks" folder, is that one i downloaded and i take it that would go into the block folder on the server. three, install the language files, which go in the appropriate language folder - i have a language folder inside the blocks folder i downloaded. is that the lang folder you refer to?

Thanks for any help

ben

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Ben,

When you unzip the block_attendance_for_v19, it should create a folder (my Mac names it block_attendance_for_v19 Folder--how convenient with two subfolders named blocks and mod. If you look at your Moodle installation, you will see that among the many subfolders in the Moodle folder, you again have folders named blocks and mod. The idea is that you copy the contents of the block_attendance_for_v19/blocks folder into your moodle/blocks folder (so you will have a moodle/blocks/attendance/ folder with all of the files and subfolders copied as well) and likewise copy the contents of the block_attendance_for_v19/mod folder into your moodle/mod folder.

What I wrote above is one of two ways to fix an oversight in the language folder. Moodle has a general language folder with language files. "In the old days" you copied the contents of block_attendance_for_v19/blocks/attendance/lang into the moodle/lang folder, and all will worked correctly. This still works, but is not the preferred way anymore (at least for me).

Moodle now allows you to keep the language files with the mods and blocks so they are self-contained and you don't have to fiddle around with language files. I prefer this method because it is easier organization (to my way of thinking). However, the language folder in block_attendance_for_v19/mod/attforblock is missing (the file attforblock.php that should be in this missing language folder is instead in the attendance language folder). As a result, attforblock does not have its ten (yes, only ten) strings defined. This is very noticeable because the modulename and modulenameplural strings (the labels that show up in the main course page) are defined here.

So, without either following my instructions in the previous post or doing it the old way, you are going to see modulename and modulenameplural where the author intends you to see Attendance and Attendances.

(Personal note, I recommend editing the ...lang/en_utf8/attforblock.php language file and replacing each occurrence of Attendances with Attendance. Some dictionaries say that attendances is the plural form of attendance while others say there is no plural form. I am more comfortable with the latter.)

Richard

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Thanks for this excellent explanation, Richard!

ps--Should we put this in the documentation wiki? If you don't care to do it, let me know and I will add the text. I think there is a page for the attendance module.

atw

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

To be honest, I am completely ignorant of the documentation wiki. Feel free to take anything I wrote and make appropriate modifications (like fixing the line that has, "and all will worked correctly."--I changed tense in that paragraph and kind of forgot to read it) and post it in appropriate places. I'm not worried about attribution--just helping folks with the small amount of Moodle knowledge I possess in hopes that others will help me with the large parts I don't know!

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Check this:
http://docs.moodle.org/en/Attendance_module

and see if it makes sense. I edited and consolidated your instructions from multiple replies. Hopefully, I got it all!

Do PM if you have suggestions for improvement.

atw

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

concise and understandable. Thanks Richard

Ben

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi,

I have installed the Attendance module on Moodle 1.9, followed the steps given on forum. I am able to see the Attendance activity and block in Moodle. However, it is not automatic ie, when a student takes up the course, attendance is not marked. Is there any setting to be done?

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module
Hi Rashmi,

Actually, the Attendance Module is a "manual" attendance taking system--not automatic. It is designed for a teacher to click on buttons to record attendance. This approach is ideal for our school, because we also maintain a paper attendance book as the final authority. The online Attendance Module allows students to see their own status at any time.

If you need an automatic version for a computer lab, I have heard of ones. You might check the Modules and Plugins database or contact Tom Robb who has built his own version.

With regards,
Don

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Thanks for the info Don.

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

As Don said, the attendance module is a module designed to take attendance during class. If you are looking for a record of students visiting specific pages in a class (or a specific class), that information is available in the "Reports" function (you will find Reports in the Administration block), but not nicely tabulated. Since Moodle collects such data it is certainly possible for someone to create a module that would track an "attendance" record for each document in a class, but I am not aware of one.

But, assuming that you indeed want to take attendance in the traditional sense, here are some instructions on how to get started with the attendance module. After successfully installing the attendance module (including a visit to the admin page to make sure the database is properly set up--I don't know if this mod requires it but I do that as a matter of course any time I install a new or updated mod just to be safe), you must add attendance as an activity to each course you wish to keep attendance in. This is done by first ensuring that you are in the edit mode and then selecting, "Attendance" from the "Add an activity..." pull-down menu. Note that you may only add the attendance activity once per class and it may be located in any of the section blocks. Because attendance is for the entire course, I generally put it in the top box (the one that always shows).

Once you have added the attendance activity, you are ready to start using the attendance module. However, I find the section link that was just added in the preceding paragraph to be the "clunky way" to work with the attendance module. In fact, I hide the link I just created! That way students don't see it cluttering up the section block where you placed it. Of course, we DO want students to be able to view their attendance records, just not with that link. There is a second, better, way to accomplish this. Select "Attendance" from the pull-down menu in the "Blocks" block. This will create a block with options to take attendance, report on attendance, or change the attendance settings for you, and an attendance report for students.

So, time to set up your attendance. The clear choice now is to select "Settings" from the attendance block. This brings you to the letters, descriptions, and grade (points) to assign for the four attendance options. By default these are Present, Absent, Late, and Excused. I prefer the word Tardy to Late (same meaning, of course) and I prefer Tardy before Absent, so I make appropriate changes here to the names, order, and grades.

Next it is time to add sessions. Note that there is a restriction here. You can only have one session per day. Since you can only have one attendance activity installed (which means that I cannot have a lab attendance activity and a lecture attendance activity) and can only have one attendance session per day, if you have more than one class session per day you will have to be creative in taking attendance. And if you have more than seven class sessions for a single class in a week--then you are overworked!

Now head to the attendance tab. Here you see the list of all attendance sessions you have added. You can delete individual sessions by clicking the X to the right of them. (Personal note, it sure would be nice if there was an option to select a few sessions and delete them all at once--I use the multiple sessions option to put my sessions in for the entire semester and then have to go and remove sessions for vacation days one at a time.) You can edit a session (change the date or add a description) with the standard hand icon to the right of the session, or you can take attendance for a session by clicking the green radio button to the right of the session. Sessions where attendance has already been taken do not have the green button, but instead the description is a link that takes you to the screen to modify the attendance record for that session.

A quick note on attendance session descriptions. I used to spend a lot of time editing each one to give the appropriate description for that class period. But then I discovered that the students don't see the descriptions I entered--all they see is "Regular class session" regardless of the session description. Thus I do not recommend spending the time to name the sessions unless you will get confused without them.

You will note that the column headings in the page for taking attendance are links. If you click one of these column headings, all students will have their status changed to the status you selected. Thus, if everyone is absent (God forbid!), you merely click the A and it will change everyone's status to absent. If Little Johnny is the only student absent, you would logically click P to set everyone to present and then go down to Little Johnny and change his status to A. Enter remarks as appropriate (I enter the reason for an absence if known or the minutes late if someone is tardy) and click OK to complete taking record.

Finally, you have the reports. This is, again, obvious. One of my colleagues prefers to take record on paper and transfer it to Moodle. She suggested printing the monthly report before the start of the month and then taking record on this report. It has an added advantage because you have each student's picture with the record sheet. Of course, that is only useful for students who actually put photos of themselves in for their picture.

A final note here. If you added the attendance block as I recommended, you may wonder what it looks like for students. It is completely different--showing a summary of their attendance record and having a single link for them to view the details of their personal attendance. Another reason why I think the attendance block should always be added when you use the attendance module.

And unlike my previous post on how to install the attendance module, short and succinct could never be used to describe this message

Good luck!

Richard

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Richard!!

This is fabulous stuff! Shall we put it in the wiki??

atw

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Sure A.T., knock yourself out. You did a fine job of formatting and editing last time. I actually would have taken the initiative to put it in the wiki myself, but I figured it would be better to get a second opinion on the usefulness of my rambling prose. Well, that and I would have to figure out how to format stuff in the wiki .

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

I read up a little on wikimedia and added the information from my post on usage to the document about the attendance module. Please feel free to edit and refine it further.

Richard

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi guys,

having a couple of probs uploading these files. I ftped (with filezilla  - cpanel seems to only allow you to upload individual files) the attendance folder inside the block folder into moodle/blocks and then the mod folder into moodle/mod. then i go to look to copy the lang from attendance to attforblock via cpanel and it's not there. Also moodle says that it cant find the db - cos it's not there. Has this got something to do with the ftp process whereby it only ftps files?

thanks

ben

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi Ben,

Your description of the download process has me a little confused (and thus I suspect that may be the problem). The download is a single (zipped) file. Select the appropriate version from http://moodle.org/mod/data/view.php?d=13&rid=1062 and then unzip it. The unzipped file should have the folders and files that you say are missing.

Richard

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

just reread my post above - confused is the word. will get back to tomorrow
ben

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

OK Richard - all sorted and have now got a course attendance bloc working. one thing - not sure if you broached how to upload a class list in your "how to" description..

Thanks

ben

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Enrolling students in the class by uploading them is something I have less familiarity with. However, there is a good FAQ on how to do it here. External database or flat file would be the easiest way to go I think.

Richard

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module--Language problem resolved

Just a follow-up report. As of June 20 I believe, the language problem with the Attendance module has been resolved! The download now has appropriate language folders in both the mod and the block. Also, the problem I noted about session descriptions not being visible to students has been resolved.

Great work Dmitry!

Richard

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module--Language problem resolved

Ok I am trying to install this module for our school, I have followed the instructions provided here but, I can't get the module to show up anywhere, let me also state that this is the first time I have ever tried useing Moodle and I am a novice at best.  I never got anytype off message that some stated they got about it being installed.  Can someone help me please?

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module--Language problem resolved

Please disreguard previous post, the module started working, however is there a way for it to do a daily vs. once a week?

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module--Language problem resolved

Greetings, Tim!

You can set up the sessions however you want. If you want daily, that should work. I have some that are twice a week and some that are three times a week. You should be able to create whatever you need when you first set it up!

atw

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module--Language problem resolved

Very nice...installed on a matter of a few minutes on my ubuntu server. Thank you very much.

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi Thulasi,

The attendance module is still being worked in order to be Moodle 2.0 compatible. I don't think it should work in its present form.

I suppose that a news annoucement will be posted into the forum when a test version is ready.

Take care!

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi Luis,

Thanks for the reply because, I was struggling from yesterday to fix the problem.

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

The attendance module is not working it showing out of date for moodle 2.0.2 can any one help me

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Just browse to this URL (look into the attachment section).

Sergey Vidusov updated the stable version of the module (2.1.0) to be Moodle 2.0 compatible. Beware: if you installed a beta version before you should delete the old attendance tables before installing the new module.

Best regards!

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

So happy this is available for 2.0. Installed and having no problems.

Two questions:

1) When I click on sessions, the dates are day, month, year which is confusing for teachers here in Japan. Can that be switched in a php file to month, date, year? Where would I look?

2) I have groups set in my classes, and in the Attendence module, but when I try to take attendence I have the entire class list to look through. I can choose from separate groups, see picture, but the entire class list is still shown. Can this be fixed?

Thanks,

Jeff

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Please I want to know how her knee and installed the update in detail because I tried very much

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi, I find two zip files in this URL. Which is the appropriate folder among the two that would allow me to add an attendance module in moodle 2.0 version?

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi,

Has the attendance Module for Moodle 2.0 problem resolved?

thanks

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Is this functional on Moodle 2.0?

The Moodle 2.0 docs references discussions from 2008 and does not timestamp any discussions or information [is it current, is it old? Read about a dozen pages and guess ]

This discussion seems to have a resolution, but the posts are from May. A 'new' update was in July 2011. That zip file doesn't have the directories referenced in the readme.txt file. One of the github locations that is supposed to be 'current' has the project listed as 'unresolved'

Quote: Place the "attendance" directory in your blocks directory, "attforblock" directory in your mod directory

It doesn't have 'attforblock' directory. Assuming root of the zip is 'attendance' there is a block_attendance.php file - Is that supposed to be the one called "attforblock" ? Should that directory be created as 'attforblock' and the file moved into that directory, or does it depend on another block from a different location?

Sorry for all the Q's, but it's frustrating trying to guess on versions, knowing a mistake can corrupt your installation.

If anyone can shed some light on this, I'd sure appreciate it- and I know lots of others would welcome the information.

Thanks.

- John

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Installed the 'attendance_fixed.zip' code from the #CONTRIB-2196 into Moodle 2.0.5 (http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/CONTRIB-2196)

Here are the errors:

## mod_attforblock

componentname_capabilities array is deprecated, please use capabilities array only in access.php files
• line 3300 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to debugging()
• line 3397 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to load_capability_def()
• line 515 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to update_capabilities()
Legacy type admin in access.php was renamed to manager, please update the code.
• line 1703 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to debugging()
• line 3471 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to assign_legacy_capabilities()
• line 515 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to update_capabilities()
Legacy type admin in access.php was renamed to manager, please update the code.
• line 1703 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to debugging()
• line 3471 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to assign_legacy_capabilities()
• line 515 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to update_capabilities()
Legacy type admin in access.php was renamed to manager, please update the code.
• line 1703 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to debugging()
• line 3471 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to assign_legacy_capabilities()
• line 515 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to update_capabilities()
Legacy type admin in access.php was renamed to manager, please update the code.
• line 1703 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to debugging()
• line 3471 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to assign_legacy_capabilities()
• line 515 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to update_capabilities()
Legacy type admin in access.php was renamed to manager, please update the code.
• line 1703 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to debugging()
• line 3471 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to assign_legacy_capabilities()
• line 515 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to update_capabilities()
Legacy type admin in access.php was renamed to manager, please update the code.
• line 1703 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to debugging()
• line 3471 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to assign_legacy_capabilities()
• line 515 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to update_capabilities()
Legacy type admin in access.php was renamed to manager, please update the code.
• line 1703 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to debugging()
• line 3471 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to assign_legacy_capabilities()
• line 515 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to update_capabilities()

Any ideas?

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Updated/replaced the May 2011 code with the July 2011 code and got these errors:

Errors going into course to edit:

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$intro in /[mydir]/course/modedit.php on line 146 Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$introformat in /[mydir]/course/modedit.php on line 147

Warning: require_once(/[mydir]/mod/attforblock/renderhelpers.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /[mydir]/blocks/attendance/block_attendance.php on line 29

*******

- John

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

There is a beta version that works ok in Moodle 2.x. Please, take a look into this thread.

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Re: Problems with Attendance Module

Hi Luis,

Thank you very much for that link. I just found it a short time ago. I have posted the 'Notice' results when choosing to 'Take Attendance' in that thread a few minutes ago.

But at least it seems to be working

Now, thanks to your message and link, others following us will be able to find it, too!

- John

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