In what ways does your course require attendance and/or participation?
Use clicker apps on smart phones and tablets to gauge where students are and aren’t understanding course concepts. A side effect is recording attendance.
Administer daily in-person or online quizzes about the readings and homework that students need to complete before coming to class.
Give group quizzes occasionally so that students learn to interact with their peers on something that matters.
Grade class discussions (individual or group), and provide a discussion rubric so students will know what level of participation is expected of them.
Award points for attendance.
Send text messages to absent students to let them know you’re aware of their absence and to offer assistance.