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!
To add class sections
, click the "Add" tab (second from left) at the top of the page (if you left the attendance page, select any of the three links from the attendance block to return to the attendance page and gain access to the "Add" tab). You have two options here, to add a single session or to add multiple sessions. The single session is self-explanatory so I will go straight the more useful option, how to add multiple sessions. Choose the date for the first session you wish to add followed by the date for the last session you wish to add. Next select the days of the week on which the class meets. The final option, frequency, may look confusing but it is actually straight-forward. This is an option that you only need to concern yourself with if your class doesn't meet every week. If your class meets every week (the normal situation) then you want a frequency of 1 week which is the default. If your class meets every other week, then you want a frequency of 2 weeks, and so on. When you click the "Add multiple sessions" button, your sessions will be created and you will see a message indicating this.
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