Add a field for Pronouns to the Profile Page

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

In addition to many institutions allowing for preferred names of students, staff and faculty, there is an upcoming need to address preferred pronouns.


When addressing the preferred name options in the LMS, please allow for LMS users to indicate their preferred pronouns.









For more information, see Google or Wikipedia's article on gender-specific and gender-neutral pronouns.


Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through Canvas Release Notes (2020-01-18) 

Community Champion

Hi jlstern​ and  @eacote ​

I like the way you two think!

Inclusiveness is important to me, and individuals should be able to disclose what they want to disclose.

Yes, just label it "Pronoun".


Community Novice

Thank you for including this link that best expands and describes the pronouns that are used. This is an important component when considering implementation of this request.

Community Champion

Hi Jeff:

There is always at least one pragmatist in every group, and I say this as a good thing.

The chances are very slim except for the 174 who have voted for this feature, and some of them may also never do their homework. One of those silly inconsistency things about us silly humans.Smiley Wink


Community Participant

Any updates on this idea?

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

As much as I'd love to do this, I think  @Jeff_F ‌ is right 😕 Because of this it's really hard to allocate engineers to this idea.


Community Champion

Hi Chris,

I think you should survey your faculty users rather than taking one down voters comment as the basis for not engineering something that otherwise has a high level of support. You might be surprised. Try to answer Jeff's question.

With the advent of context cards (that you must believe there is some confidence that faculty will review for a variety of reasons), this could easily sit just below the profile picture and serve as a very useful tool to instructors who are reviewing information about a student before responding to a question, or preparing to meet with in person.  Just my thoughts on an easy first step to an implementation. Maybe in further development, you could come up with some simple iconography (similar to a panda next to a name to signify an Instructure employee) that could be integrated into other Canvas tools (next to name, overlay on prof pic thumbnail, color changes for the circle around the prof pic, etc.). And as with many other features, I would advocate that the feature could be turned on/off at the account level for those that may not want this and think that their instructors would not use it.

Thanks for taking the time to consider this request.


Community Contributor

Our institution requests this as well! We've had some students having trouble with professors taking attendance using their (legal) deadname. Since Canvas displays their updated name, we'd like to move faculty towards using that for attendance. Pronouns would be enormously helpful!

Community Explorer

We would also love to be able to offer this to our community, but would also like to be able to take it as part of the feed out of our SIS since we already ask for it there. There's a similar feature request here if folks are interested, that's more general,  and would also allow institutions to go with the institutionally preferred label for the field

Community Coach
Community Coach

A couple comments here *if* this ever gets added...

  • It needs to be optional.
  • There probably needs to be a "pronoun" to go with the first and last name, and then perhaps a preferred pronoun to go with the preferred name (or would someone just be expected to type the pronoun as part of the single preferred name field?).
  • It definitely needs to be included in the SIS Users import.  We generally don't support any changes to names anywhere outside of our SIS.  We need names to be consistent across all of our systems and this is a way to accomplish that.
  • I'd somewhat strongly advise not to have "title" pronouns, like Dr., included.  We've found cases where there has been some bullying type activity (maybe not intentional always) by people sometimes referencing their "Dr." title in discussions or other areas as a way to show their opinions are more "important" or "correct" than others without that title.
Community Novice

This is a critical feature to allow instructors to offer basic respect to our trans and gender nonbinary students.  I see instructure's note that it would be challenging to allocate engineers to this idea.  This is an unsatisfactory response because of the profound meaning inherent in pronouns.  If you could please re-allocate some attention to resolve this concern, this would be much appreciated.

On a related note - if you could please use the term "personal pronoun" or simply "pronoun" instead of "preferred pronoun," this would be helpful - there is a move away from the term "preferred" because it suggests that it is a preference akin to the kind of ice cream someone likes as opposed to being a fundamental part of who someone is as a person.