[Gradebook] Nickname for students with same name

At the University of Wisconsin - Madison, we frequently have courses with over 500 students. With those numbers, we frequently get two students with the same name. When you're working in the gradebook, or in Speedgrader, there is no way to confirm which student is which.


Additionally, with a large population of foreign nationals, many will adopt Americanized names (e.g. "Frank", in lieu of "Zhang").


For these two reasons, (and there may be others) I would like to see a "Nickname" option for each student. A field (my thinking) in gradebook that could be toggled on/off as needed. Once the field is on, it is left blank for the all students. But, the instructor can custom populate that field for each student. Whatever is shown there would be used "in place" of the student's official name within the Gradebook, or SpeedGrader. If this field is left blank, then the official student name is employed as-is.

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Problem statement:

When integration is run to from our SIS to Canvas, student nicknames/preferred names aren't put into Canvas in addition to their legal names. We have many students that go by significantly different names in the classroom than their legal name. It makes grading harder when you know a student by their preferred name and not legal name.

Proposed solution:

If nicknames/preferred names can't be transferred with legal names during SIS integration, allow instructors the ability to manually add nicknames to students and to have this show throughout the course (grading, assignment submissions, discussions, etc).

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