When an instructor exports their Canvas gradebook for work offline in Excel, there is a discrepancy with how the apostrophe in the last name is interpreted. Excel does not interpret the apostrophe whereas Canvas does. This causes a sorting misalignment and increases the potential for errors when editing grades alphabetically.
- In Canvas, “O’Keefe” sorts before “Odell” (The apostrophe is interpreted as being a character that is alphabetically before the letter D)
- In Excel, “Odell” sorts before “O’Keefe” (The apostrophe is not interpreted, or is interpreted to come after the letter Z.)
Since Excel is more widely used, we propose that Canvas development team consider this for development. The workaround is to sort assignment submissions and the gradebook by SIS ID, but many instructors are not in the habit of asking students for their SIS ID on paper-based submissions. In addition, it is much easier to sort alphabetically than ask both instructors and students to remember to solicit/provide this information in submissions.