I was recently asked by our Provost to look into sync’ing up student/user ID photos from our ID database into our LMS (Canvas). This is primarily requested from faculty which teach in large sections and have a hard time putting the face to the name, which can impact attendance and engagement.
From a technical standpoint, it seems straight forward. My questions to the community would be:
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Looks like you can LOCK pictures: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12626-421473703 so that users cannot change them. Not dug into it, but if you can do this via the UI, you can typically do it via the API, and there is probably a setting for it too.
We tend to make profile pics optional because of the privacy issues. All it takes is one creepy stalker for anyone to see why we would do this.
We push our official ID photos into Canvas, but we do let students upload a new avatar image if they want. The process that we have only uploads an ID photo if the user hasn't already customized their avatar. We haven't really had any issues with students uploading inappropriate photos -- in most cases people just want a higher-quality photo than the one on their ID card.
Just a few thoughts- you will probably need to be sure that students have a way to opt out of their picture being automatically uploaded to Canvas or can be taken down. You are getting into FERPA territory..
We bulk upload photos (unless the student cites FERPA and doesn't want it posted - they have to sign a waiver in their admissions packet). We also allow students to upload their own and have not had any issues with anything inappropriate.
One thing that we did run into with the ID's is the students get them taken first week of first year. By the time they are seniors they are four years older and that often doesn't really represent who they are anymore.