Preferred names

When user accounts are created or updated in Brightspace Learning Environment through a Student Information System (SIS) integration, each user's legal first and last name are used. However, some users may want to use preferred names that are distinct from their legal names. For example, a transgender user with a different first name or a user commonly known by their middle name.

From the Manage Users tool, administrators can define a preferred first and last name for a user that appears everywhere in Brightspace Learning Environment, in place of the legal name. For example, the Classlist tool, discussions, their personal navbar, assignment submissions, and reports. A user's legal name is then only visible from the Edit User page.

Note the following:

  • Site administrators must grant the new User Information Privacy > Distinguish Preferred Names from Legal Names permission at the organization level to other administrators that require access to view and modify preferred names. The ability to edit user information is controlled by existing Manage Users permissions.
  • This feature does not include the ability to define preferred user names. More specifically, adding a preferred name does not update an existing username. For example, adding Beverly as the preferred first name does not update the existing Ben.Smith username to Beverly.Smith.
  • Learners cannot define their preferred names, and should refer to their institution's defined process for changing names.
  • Name searches return preferred names instead of legal names.
  • Any existing workflow that updates a user’s first or last name, like SIS integrations, updates their legal names. For users without a defined preferred name, this behavior is unchanged. For users with a defined preferred name, that preferred name is unaffected, because the SIS integration changed only their legal name “behind the scenes”.