University of Minnesota to Implement Name Pronunciation Software in all System Campuses via Canvas

Apps and Software

The University of Minnesota will be incorporating a name-pronunciation software into the Canvas Learning Center in all of the system campuses / Photo by: AlexiusHoratius via Wikimedia Commons


All system campuses under the University of Minnesota will be incorporating a name-pronunciation software into Canvas Learning Center to ensure that professors and students could correctly pronounce each other's names.

Starting May 7, the NameCoach software will be integrated into Canvas throughout the university's system, said One Stop Student Services Director Julie Selander. The Minnesota Daily newspaper reported that the software will enable professors and students to upload voice recording of their names, which then allows other users to hear their proper name pronunciation.

“We just really feel that there are some strong benefits to build up the student-faculty relationships and the student-to-student connections and foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment,” Selander said. 

The acquisition of NameCoach was made last fall and Canvas users will be able to enter their recording on their profiles or class rosters, the Minnesota Daily says. It adds that the software will also be used to help readers practice pronunciations as they prepare for upcoming commencement ceremonies.

According to Praveen Shanbhag, the founder and CEO of NameCoach, the idea for the innovation came up when his sister's name was mangled at her college graduation.

“We had friends and family there, and we were all excited to see her big moment of recognition, but it was diminished because of this,” Shanbhag said.

Although the proper pronunciation of names may seem trivial, even to those who often come across such situations, many people find that this matter can affect their overall experience in the classroom. The CEO said that correctly pronouncing a person's name can greatly influence their everyday experience.

“Just as there's a subtle but real sense of alienation that happens when your name is mispronounced, there's a subtle but real sense of belonging and familiarity that comes with someone saying it correctly," Shanbhag explained.