NameCoach pronunciation tool now available in Canvas

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NameCoach is a tool that allows students and faculty to create an audio recording to help peers better pronounce their names within officially-provisioned Canvas courses. Provided by Information and Technology Services (ITS), NameCoach is now available on all campuses (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint, and Michigan Medicine) to support inclusive teaching and learning. 

The tool has two parts: NameCoach Recorder, which allows users to record their own name, and NameCoach Roster, which allows students and instructors to listen to and learn the names of others in a Canvas course. Making an effort to learn other students’ names can have a major impact on their experience in the classroom, especially for students with diverse identities. Research indicates that students’ sense of belonging directly impacts their academic performance. 

The ITS Accessibility team conducted extensive testing on the NameCoach Recorder and Roster tool, and provided detailed notes and suggestions for remediation where issues have been found. NameCoach has been receptive to this input and ITS continues to partner closely with the vendor to address issues on a priority basis. 

“This tool is a great example of how technology can positively contribute to student success,” said Sean DeMonner, ITS executive director, Teaching & Learning. “I’m proud of the project team — they have done an excellent job of ensuring that NameCoach is functionally integrated into Canvas and is as accessible as possible.”

While this initial launch of NameCoach is focused on supporting the teaching and learning mission, ITS is working to incorporate NameCoach functionality into other applications used by the U-M community in the coming months.

Additional details, including instructions on how to record a name and use the tool in a course, are on the NameCoach service page on the ITS website.

Author: D. Stephanie Dascola, ITS Communications

Stephanie is a marketing and communications specialist senior on the ITS Communications team. Contact her at sdascola@umich.edu.