Ability to update name displayed in Canvas Student App


The ability to change the displayed name through canvas via web browser and add pronouns is an awesome feature. However, the inability to change the name displayed through the app makes the app unusable for trans individuals. The mental toll it takes to have to sign in daily and see an incorrect name is debilitating for folks with gender incongruence and contributes to our overall feeling of social dysphoria. This also poses a safety risk as displaying a transgender individual’s birth name publicly makes us feel unsafe and unwelcome in academic settings where our birth names are unfortunately tied to every part of our lives on campus. From my own personal experience, having my birth name displayed on campus has lead to my peers, TA’s, and professors refusing to use my preferred name which contributed to me withdrawing completely from my past major and nearly dropping out of school all together. After being publicly outed repeatedly, I no longer felt safe using public restrooms or locker rooms on campus. I worry about how this will affect my younger, trans students who are in high schools that are switching over to canvas as well. Another feature that puts trans folks at risk for harassment is the “people” tab where a public roster is displayed if the instructor does not opt to hide this tab. Changing both the app and the public roster would make canvas an amazingly inclusive platform.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open
Community Contributor

I think this is already possible through the Student and Teacher apps, Stefanie.

This applies to both students and teachers.

  1. To update your username in the Canvas Student app, in the Dashboard, tap the three lines at the top left corner, and tap the gear at the top right corner of the slide-out panel to go to Settings.
  2. Select Profile Settings > Edit Username.
  3. Enter a new username you want to use, and tap OK when you're satisfied. This is the same thing as editing the name in Account > Settings > Display Name from the desktop. (The username that you've set in the Canvas Community is unaffected by this setting.)
    (Make sure to choose an appropriate name so that students can respect you as a teacher. We don't want negative course evaluations due to you choosing a bad username! We all need to respect each other as well, without any harsh criticism.)

This only applies after you have at least one course with you being in the Teacher role.
Repeat step 1 in Canvas Student, but after selecting Profile Settings, there will be a pencil icon at the top. Tap it to edit your username and profile picture.
(If you edit your profile from Canvas Student (even though you may be a teacher in another course), you can create a Panda Avatar as well.)

There is no way to edit the username from the Canvas Parent app at the moment.

Community Member


It is possible through a web browser, however, when I follow the steps you described above, it is not an option in the canvas app.

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.

Community Member
Problem statement:

Currently, there does not seem to be a way for students to add or change their pronouns in the Canvas Student app. Currently, students can only do this through a browser but our students only access Canvas on their iPads through the Student App.

Proposed solution:

To make it more inclusive and available, it would be best to add the same functionality that exists already on the website into the Canvas Student app.

User role(s):