cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Last name, first name as separate cells

Last name, first name as separate cells

(3)
I've just used my exported gradebook to determine the grade distribution for a 150-student class. To determine the distribution I sorted the data in order from highest to lowest final score, and then went back to alphabetize the data so I could submit the grades ... only to realize that the student names are (first name last name) in the same cell. This means I have to alphabetize *manually*.

 

This is terrible database design. Why isn't the last name in as a separate cell to enable automatic alphabetizing? Is there a workaround in the short run? Not that it will help me today as I enter my grades, but ... And the ability in Canvas to search on a student name is a poor substitute for sensible database design.

70 Comments
Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

 

This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

usypher
Community Member

Yes, absolutely, we need this. I exported the student quiz statistics to (manually!) regrade a quiz question (because you can't do this automatically when you use pools, see my post on that). And the exported file (Excel) is also sorted by first_last in the same cell. I guess it's the same issue of "exporting," but it's ridiculous that Canvas itself cannot even sort the same way in its exports vs. it's  gradebook. Such a hassle in a large class!

wilsonco
Community Member

I need to be able to sort by first name.  Whether it's in a new cell or not, I don't care.... BUT!  I cannot tell if there are 2 John's in the class.  I like to know upfront if there are any duplicates.  The only way is to copy everything out and try to recreate lists and sort that way.  Unaccaptable. 

jbuchner
Learner II

You can do that in excel, but not in Canvas. Find Duplicates in Excel - Easy Excel Tutorial 

wilsonco
Community Member

Yes - sorry I mean to update for others.  I ended up doing that as well.  Thanks!

marianna_pinter
Surveyor

This vote is for having the first and last names in separate column. . . .In canvas shell I am using I can put 1st name 1st, but it still lists alphabetically by the last name.

marianna_pinter
Surveyor

This is exactly why it is a big issue. I have had the unpleasant task to separate first and last names of 150+ student manually thanks to canvas.  

marianna_pinter
Surveyor

That's an interesting view. I have never been bothered by features I don't use. I consider that different fields require different options. Also faculties have different ways to teach requiring different features. If I don't use a feature, it canbe still there for others to use. But lacking this basic feature made me put in an extra hour this semester; which is pretty bad. . . I think if faculties could choose the LMS they use, then your approach would make perfect sense; but this is unfortunately not the case.  

rjtaylor
Community Member

I'm staggered that this isn't a default option. It's ridiculous that when you export the Grades list you can only sort by first name, but if you sort the list in Canvas it sorts by surname. 

I turned on the feature "Gradebook - list students by sortable name", but nothing changed. What should be different when I go to Grades?

marianna_pinter
Surveyor

The great majority of the user requests here in the community site falls in the it-should-have-been-there-by-default category; still, canvas does not follow up to fix these issues. It seems to me that canvas is on its own trajectory, and users' concern cannot reach that.. . .4 years were not enough to fix this particular developer mistake.

blove
Surveyor

I like to download grades, manipulate them, and sort them in different ways (by an average of exams scores, for example), but then I'd like to sort by last name.  I can't do that with the names in one column.  This seems like a no-brainer feature.  C'mon, canvas.

marianna_pinter
Surveyor

I had the "pleasure" to separate 270+ students' first and last names this semester manually . . . it's Stone Age.

brett_glynn_dal
Community Member

The University of Melbourne is currently considering adding Fist Name and Last Name as customer grade book columns to alleviate this issue for instructors when exporting, however, this takes up screen real-estate for Instructors and is not sortable in the Gradebook.  This is ALSO partly being done because you can ONLY sort in the grade book by sortable name and not first name or SIS_ID (which is student number in our case).

Either way while this is not a trivial change  as it has a lot of touch points, its probably one that is needed to avoid a lot of workarounds by users.

laszewski
Community Member

I find it disappointing that such an important feature is in voting since 2015. This is very disappointing. So more than 250 people wait for this feature. What do universities have to do so this gets added. Apparently voting is useless ...

laszewski
Community Member

why cannot a second option be added for the export, e.g one that is as-is and one that separates the firtsname and lastname. This should be trivial to implement and does not cause any backward compatibility issues

marianna_pinter
Surveyor

Apparently canvas does not listen these forums. And universities are likely bound by contracts, which are comfortable to canvas.

brett_glynn_dal
Community Member

The real issue here is the seperate fields would need to be added to the system, then institutions would need to populate the data as the current situation the first name and last name are all in a single field. Once that has been done and people have had time to adjust other systems then some time down the track the old fields removed.  

This is actually a pretty big change as there are a lot of touch point (pretty much anywhere you see the students name) would need to be updated in the code.  Its painful and I think it need to get fixed but its not trivial.

marianna_pinter
Surveyor

In the case of my institution, the fields seem separated already; canvas just should keep them as is. It's a pretty basic feature, which should have been provided without asking for it since 2015

laszewski
Community Member

My university asked me to use this forum to add a request for this. They had no response other than that and have us manipulate excel spreadsheets which as you see from this threat is something CANVAS should do and not us, especially as I have to do this procedure multiple times throughout the semester.

It looks to me like that the CANVAS support provided to universities seems poor if an obvious enhancement such as this can easily be automated, according to our CANVAS team, even without modification to the core database. E.g. if an excel spreadsheet is exportable, than why is canvas not doing the firstname lastneme separation from the spreadsheet if we press another option.

Also, why would our university not have the ability to already have this as you seem to think you have it since 2015 . and others in the thread including myself do not. 

laszewski
Community Member

What I am proposing is not to change this everywhere, but just fix it in the spreadsheet. According to our university CANVAS team this can be done easily. E.g. while manipulating the spreadsheet. So why not have two options 

* export grades as currently

* export grades while adding a little program that takes the spreadsheet and prior to presenting it to the user separate firstname from lastname