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 Novice

Dear Renee and all,

I would like to echo Jonathan Morgan-Leamon's comment. This is an issue of

profound importance. While I appreciate that technical complexity and

thoughtful/thorough implementation are important considerations, please

know that this is an issue of basic human dignity and respect, and that the

prioritization of this issue will be an important way for Canvas and

Instructure to convey a commitment to equity and inclusivity.

Kind regards,

Jan Habarth

Community Participant

I'm with Jillian, Jonathan, and Jan on this. It's essential for faculty to avoid misgendering their students. I've now sat through three meetings with administrators telling me about examples of other schools they've found who have added pronouns in Blackboard, and I have to tell them this isn't on Canvas's roadmap at the moment. They're all surprised that there's no supported solution, and I am, too.

Community Novice

Dear Canvas team,

I am writing to respond to this Instructure comment which came through my email alert early this morning: 

This idea was considered when developing our product plan for Q4 2019 and is not expected to influence development within Canvas at this time.

 This idea will remain open for vote.

 If this idea is in the top 10% by vote next cycle it will be reconsidered.

I am writing to strongly encourage the Canvas/Instructure team to reconsider requiring top 10% voting in order to enact a change that would convey basic respect and dignity to our trans and gender nonbinary students.  Sometimes important changes should not be based on a popularity vote, but instead based on best practices recommended by experts in a given field, or based on known harm caused to a group of people.  I hope you will listen to our arguments about the harm caused through misgendering, and provide us with the tools that we need in order to convey respect to and communicate effectively with our students.

Kind regards,

Jan Habarth

Community Contributor

Well said Jan. 

Community Participant

In addition to the comments made above, if you'd like to learn more about the topic of pronouns and why they're important I've found Resources on Personal Pronouns to be a helpful reference.

Community Explorer

This is also very important to UChicago, and we'd love the ability to pull in this data from our SIS, as we already have it there. Agreed with Jan Habarth's comments above.

Community Participant

Also very important here at UC Santa Cruz. Would like to be sure this can be populated through the SIS feed from our student information system.

Community Member

Well said Jan!

Jan is a faculty member here at Palo Alto University (PAU), and she reached out to us in Academic Tech at PAU to see if we could help, and we decided to go ahead and work on seeing if we can make this happen by developing this as a community development project, if possible.

We've reached out to a developer to work up some specs for this project, so we'll be chatting with Instructure through the developer and getting more input from all of you about what the technical specs for this feature might look like.

PAU is willing to contribute some developer time and/or money to the project to benefit our students, our faculty, and the larger Canvas community, and we'd love to work with all of you in the community to develop this feature 🙂


Hi everyone!

My name is Dani Morris and I work with Atomic Jolt. Palo Alto University has reached out to us regarding adding a field for pronouns to the profile page on Canvas. We want to post our use cases document to the community and welcome any feedback you have for us before we move forward in this process.



Personal Pronouns in Canvas Use Cases



It is important that Canvas users can specify the pronoun that people use to refer to them. Many student information systems have a place to specify pronouns. In addition, users may want to specify their pronouns in their Canvas profile. Palo Alto and other universities have discussed a request that Canvas add a pronouns field to user profiles. Palo Alto has asked Atomic Jolt to add a pronoun field either by modifying core Canvas or by using a global javascript. 


Use Cases. Atomic Jolt proposes to add support to Canvas for the following use cases:


User specifies their pronouns in Canvas

When a user edits their Canvas profile page they can specify their pronouns in a text box.

326221_pa-pronouns1 (1).png

View someone’s personal pronoun in Canvas

When viewing a user's profile their pronouns are listed in parentheses after their name.


View pronouns in a course roster (people view)

When viewing the people list page user pronouns are listed in parentheses after user names.


View pronouns on the people sidebar

When you click on a person and pop out their user profile sidebar, their pronouns are listed in parentheses after their name.


Community Explorer

Hi Dani, thanks to you and PAU for spearheading this important work!

How would you like feedback from other schools in the community? Is posting in the comments the right way to go?