Attendance calendar Q#2: Student's classes all at once


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May 26, 2014
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OK, this may be something that relates to Q#1 I posted on this forum, but it seemed it should be a separate thread. Here I am going to ask how to best keep information about which students are in which classes on which days, and then see if anyone has a thought about conditional (dynamic?) formatting in Excel.

I am creating an attendance calendar for students at my international school (a registered UK charity, BTW, so a worthy cause to help out with your awesome advice).

My vision -- an image of which is below (not working yet) -- is that I select the class (actually, an activity, but let's call it a class) and the names of the students populate automatically beneath it. That's in my Q#1 post in this forum.

In this sample image, Beekeeping is the class. There is one student, signed up for only the Thursday section of the class (there might be as many as three sections to the class, I should note). I have figured out how to populate the calendar through a wonky process, but it's OK.

database sample.jpg

I am working on making all the students' names appear on the left when the class name is selected at the top (see other post on this forum).

As visualized, the student's days in the selected class affect a month-long calendar (May in the image) in a way that the calendar can be printed out and the presence or absence of the student marked in by pencil. (This is because not all teachers will have a computer nearby.) At the end of the month the teachers give me their lists and I enter overall absences and lateness.

The best-case would be for the student's days in the class to be marked visually, by (for example) a border on their class days. You can see this in the image. But I know conditional formatting might be impossible, so I am also trying to come up with alternative ways to show this.

The question for this thread is:
Part of this spreadsheet will be the list of students and their classes and days. I wonder if it would not be effective to have one class list of all students with Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Fri columns to the right, and for each day a student has a class -- information which should not change often -- we have a pull-down listing all classes (there are only about 12). Does this seem an effective way to enter this information so it can be used in the calendar? Is there a way to do it with, say, buttons rather than pull-downs, that is more efficient or graceful?

Then, beyond this, perhaps you have a thought about how this information might appear visually in the calendar itself. Should I post this as a separate thread?

Many thanks!


P.S. I am on a Mac using Excel 2008 v.12.3.6; I can update to the newest version at a moment's notice -- I received the 2014 version as a gift -- but have not done so yet because it has not seemed necessary for my little projects.
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