This document explains how users within the University of Wisconsin System (except for UW-Madison) can configure personal pronouns for their Canvas user accounts. This document also answers frequently asked questions about pronoun use in Canvas.
Canvas offers users a gender pronouns selection option. This option can be used to indicate how you would like to be referred to in class, in online discussions, and anywhere else Canvas displays your name.
If you opt in to this system, your name will now show up as Name (pronouns) wherever your name displays - e.g. Vic Herbert (They/Them).
The Canvas system is currently limited to pre-configured options and does not offer a write-in option. You can choose from the following:
The following table provides some examples of how to pronounce and utilize various pronouns in different parts of speech.
|Pronouns||Pronunciation||Subjective||Objective||Possessive Adjective||Possessive Pronoun|
|Ae/aer/aers/aerself||Ay/air/airs||Ae wrote||I like aer||Aer assignment is submitted||That seat is aers||Ae loves aerself|
|Ey/em/eir/emself||Ey/em/air||Ey wrote||I like em||Eir assignment is submitted||That seat is eirs||Ey loves emself|
|Per/pers/perself||Pur, purs||Per wrote||I like pers||Pers assignment is submitted||That seat is pers||Per loves perself|
|They/Them/Their/Themselves||They/them/their||They wrote||I like them||Their assignment is submitted||That seat is theirs||They love themselves|
|Ve/ver/vers/verself||Vee/vair/vairs||Ve wrote||I like ver||Ver assignment is submitted||That seat is vers||Ve loves verself|
|Xe/xem/xyrs/xyrself||Zee/zem/zeers||Xe wrote||I like xem||Xyrs assignment is submitted||That seat is xyrs||Xe loves xyrself|
|Ze/hir/hirs/hirself||Zee/heer/heers||Ze wrote||I like hir||Hir assignment is submitted||That seat is hirs||Ze loves hirself|
|Zie/zir/zirs/zirself||Zee/zeer/zeers||Zie wrote||I like zir||Zir assignment is submitted||That seat is zirs||Zie loves zirself|
To choose, change, or remove your pronouns:
For more detailed instructions, please see How do I select personal pronouns in my user account as a student? from the Canvas Student Guide, or How do I select personal pronouns in my user account as an instructor? from the Canvas Instructor Guide.
The Canvas pronouns function will display anywhere your name displays in Canvas. This includes previous semesters’ online discussion posts, and screenshots of Canvas content, which may still be visible to your previous instructors and classmates. Your pronouns will auto-update in every Canvas location whenever you change your pronouns in the system.
The pronouns you select to display in Canvas will only display in Canvas. Your pronouns configured in Canvas will not necessarily display in your other campus systems and changes in those systems will not impact your account’s configured pronouns in Canvas.
Digital Learning Environment administrators consulted with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion staff at each UW System campus to establish the list of options available to DLE users. This list also includes options available to UW-Madison users and those drawn from similar lists at other institutions. Given the restraints of Canvas and the usability of screen readers with drop-down lists, we have restricted the list to its current form, but plan to regularly audit this configuration to better serve DLE users.
Policies for name and pronoun use vary by institution. If you have any questions about your institution’s policies, please reach out to your local staff, listed by campus in the directory linked below.
If you would like technical assistance with Canvas, please contact Canvas Support, available 24/7, via the Help menu in Canvas. Support options include chat, an email form, and phone.