Colorado State University has added a new tool to its Canvas Learning Management System that will help faculty and students learn how their names are pronounced and their gender pronouns.
The tool, NameCoach, was procured through a collaborative effort among the Office of the Provost, Office of Inclusive Excellence, the Office of the Registrar and CSU’s Student Success Initiatives.
NameCoach is based on the same concept as dictionary sites that provide audio files for proper pronunciation, but it was designed with students and instructors in mind. It allows instructors and students to record and upload an audio file with their name pronunciations, and it also gives users the option of sharing their pronouns. If an instructor chooses to enable the tool for a course, student participation should be optional and not as a part of a graded assignment.
Once an instructor enables NameCoach in a Canvas course, a student’s uploaded file can be accessed by a teacher or teaching assistant, and the instructor’s uploaded file can be viewed by their students.
This resource is intended to help CSU be more inclusive and welcoming to students, and instructors are being encouraged to test it in their courses this spring. The addition of NameCoach is intended to be another way to reinforce a positive academic experience at CSU where instructors and students feel connected, respected and affirmed.
Shannon Archibeque-Engle, associate vice president for inclusive excellence, said the effort to acquire a tool like NameCoach was initiated by CSU’s former Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. She credited the efforts of many who made it a reality, including former Assistant Vice President for Inclusive Excellence Kathy Sisneros, SIS Support Manager Marianna Walsh, Pride Resource Center Director Maggie Hendrickson, Asian Pacific American Cultural Center Director JoAnn Cornell, former Vice President for Enrollment and Access Leslie Taylor and Assistant Vice President for Student Success Ryan Barone.
“I think this is an example of the best parts of CSU – that dedicated professionals work together to support our students,” Archibeque-Engle said.
Activate NameCoach in Canvas
NameCoach is easy to activate by following online instructions. Those who have specific questions about its functionality in Canvas can contact Learning Management System Coordinator Kevin Nolan (firstname.lastname@example.org). Instructors can also learn about other methods of inclusive curriculum design by visiting The Institute for Learning and Teaching’s site on Inclusive Pedagogy.