[Attendance] Attendance tool needs space for notes about students' names, pronouns

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Problem statement:

For f2f classes, taking attendance in Canvas is a daily routine at the start of class, and thus becomes a de facto tool for learning students' names early in the course. However, many students do not use the name appearing on the roster for them: they use their middle name, or a nickname, or a chosen name that aligns with their gender expression, and so forth. Also, for students to feel safe and respected in class, they need for teachers to learn the pronouns that students wish others to use to refer to them quickly. Teachers need quick access to reminders of this information at the beginning of each class, especially early in the semester, to encode it in their interactions with students. I track this info in my gradebook notes, but that's not the tool that I have in front of me at the start of each class: instead, Attendance is the first thing I and many others view at the start of f2f sessions.

Proposed solution:

Add a column in the proposed grid format for attendance, similar to the Notes column in the gradebook, where this info (preferred name, pronouns) could be entered by the teacher for individual students. Students who are called by their preferred name and referenced by their preferred pronouns are more likely to stay in class, remain engaged in class, and have higher levels of success.

User role(s):


Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open
Community Participant

In a world of inclusion, it only make sense to be able to edit a student’s name. 


The roster should include the display name(preferred name) and their pronouns. Many schools do not allow students display name to be changed unless they go through a process. Our registration system syncs with canvas and a student can set their preferred name in that and it will populate in canvas as their display name. 

This seems like it would be a simple change for Instructure.