Photo Roster: Overview

The Photo Roster tool is a Yale-developed tool available to Instructors and TAs to provide enhanced features that are missing from the Canvas People tool, such as providing information like their photo, major, year, college, and email address.

The Photo Roster tool does not replace the People tool when it comes to adding / removing users in your course. For a full description of the differences, please refer to our help article People Tool versus Photo Roster.

If you receive an error when loading the Photo Roster tool, please try a different browser. You may need to adjust your browser settings to allow 3rd party cookies.  

Safari users may need to update their browser to version 13.0 or newer.

Why Use Photo Roster
  • View additional information to learn more about your students
  • Includes photos of your students
  • Download an offline list of your students to communicate with students outside of Canvas. This may be particularly useful in case of any service interruptions.
Use Cases for Photo Roster
  • Connect student names with faces using their photos
  • Practice matching student names to faces
  • Identify student major, expected year of graduation, and residential college information
  • See a top level view of how many of each course role types you have in the course
  • Download copies of your Canvas enrollment as a PDF or CSV file
How do I get started with Photo Roster?

The Photo Roster tool has two main interfaces that you can engage with: Photo View and List View. Toggle the following sections to learn more about each view and how to use it.

Photo View Interface Overview

By default, when you open the Photo Roster, you will be on the "Photos" View of the Photo Roster. The Photo view will give you access to student photos as well as some filtering and printing tools.  

Instructors, staff support, and non-Yale guest users will not have photos in the Photo Roster. Typically, TAs will also not have photos unless they are currently pursuing or recently received a degree at Yale.

Photo View with elements identified A through G
[A] How to switch to the list view

To switch to the list view, go to the "Roster View" heading and click on "List."

The green-highlighted option indicates the current view.

[B] How to see the number of users in each course role

In the upper portion of your Photo Roster, you will see a course role summary banner showing you how many people in your course have each course role. If you are using any filters, the banner will update to reflect the filtered data.

A course role with zero users assigned to it will not display in the banner.

[C] How to download the photo view roster

In the upper right corner of your photo roster, you will see the export options buttons.

  • Click the "Print Roster" button to print a copy of the photo view of your roster (downloads to your computer as a PDF file).  
  • Click the "Download CSV" button to print a copy of the list view of your roster (downloads to your computer as a CSV file).
[D] How to filter the photo roster by section / How to search for a specific user

If you have multiple sections (including discussion / lab sections) associated with your Canvas site, you can use the "Sections" filter to view just the students from a specific section.

  1. To do so, click the "Sections" drop down menu.
  2. Select the section you want to view.
  1. If you are looking for a specific person, start typing the name of the user in the "Search" box.
    1. The photo view will immediately be filtered to display only those users that match your search criteria.
[E] How to practice student names using photo roster "hide names" feature

Students feel more engaged and included when their instructor/TA learns their name.

  1. Practice your students' names using the "Hide Names" toggle button located in the upper center portion of the photo view.
  2. When the toggle is in the ON position (toggle is green), student names are temporarily hidden from the photo view.
    1. To bring the names back, toggle the "Hide Names" slider back to the OFF position.
[F] How do I sort the photo view?

To sort the photo view of the Photo Roster, you will need to select the radio button for the desired sorting option in the "Sort By" menu.  

  • Last Name - Sorted alphabetically from A-Z (this is the default view)
  • First Name - Sorted alphabetically from A-Z
  • Role (users role within the Canvas course site) - Sorted by role alphabetically from A-Z, then by last name alphabetically from A-Z
  • Year (aka expected year of graduation)*** - Sorted by graduation year (seniors down to first years)
  • Major *** - Sorted alphabetically by major from A-Z

*** Instructors, TAs, and guest users will likely not have a Year or Major.

[G] Roster List

Each user in your course site will be listed in the Roster list.  Where applicable, each user will have the following information in their user card:

  1. Photo - for most students, this will be their Yale ID badge photo
  2. Name - this will be the users preferred name
  3. Pronouns & pronunciation recording (optional) - Yale students / faculty / staff can elect to set up this additional information in Yale's NameCoach system. The NameCoach data is integrated into our photo roster for users who have set this up.  

NameCoach is a tool where students / faculty / staff can create an audio recording of the pronunciation of their name. Users can also optionally provide their preferred pronouns as well. NameCoach recordings are visible in the Photo Roster tool in Canvas course sites and in the Yale Directory.

  1. Role - this is the user's role within this course site
  2. Year - this is the student's expected graduation year
  3. Major - this is the student's currently declared major
  4. Email link - you can click on this button to open to email this student from your default email client (NOTE:  this is not using Canvas' Inbox tool)
List View Interface Overview

The List View is a tabular view of your roster which has some additional information that is not available in the Photo View.

[A] How to switch to the photo view

To switch to the list view, go to the "Roster View" header and click on "List."

The green-highlighted option indicates the current view.

[B] How to see the number of users in each course role

In the upper portion of your Photo Roster, you will see a course role summary banner showing you how many people in your course have each course role. If you are using any "Filters", the banner will update to reflect the filtered data

A course role with zero users assigned to it will not display in the banner.

[C] How to download the list view roster

In the upper right corner of your photo roster, you will see the "Download CSV" button. Click the button to download a copy of the list view of your roster (downloads to your computer as a CSV file).

If you need to print the Photo View, go back to the Photo View and click the appropriate button.

[D] How to filter the list view by section / How to search for a specific user

If you have multiple sections (including discussion / lab sections) associated with your Canvas site, you can use the "Sections" filter to view just the students from a specific section.  

  1. To do so, click the "Sections" drop down menu
  2. Select the section you want to view.
  1. If you are looking for a specific person, start typing the name of the user in the "Search" box and the list view will immediately be filtered to display only those users that match your search criteria.
[F] How do I sort the list view?

To sort the list view of the Photo Roster, just click on the column headers for your roster. The roster will automatically sort the users by the column you select.

The first time you click a header, it will sort the column in ascending order.  Click the header again to sort in descending order.  

  • Last Name (this is the default view)
  • First Name
  • NetID
  • Email
  • Role (users role within the Canvas course site) - Sorts by role alphabetically, then by last name alphabetically
  • College (residential college) ***
  • Year (aka expected year of graduation) ***
  • Major ***

*** Instructors, TAs, and guest users will likely not have a Year or Major.

[G] Roster List

Each user in your course site will be listed in the Roster List. Where applicable, each user will have the following information:

  1. Last Name - this will be the users preferred name
  2. First Name
  3. NetID - for guest users, this will just be their login ID (typically their email address)
  4. Email
  5. Role - this is the user's role within this course site
  6. College*** - this is the student's residential college
  7. Major *** - this is the student's currently declared major
  8. Year *** - this is the student's expected graduation year

*** Instructors, TAs, and guest users will likely not have a College, Major or Year.

What will my students see?

Unlike the People tool, which students can view and see a limited display of information about the users associated with the course, students are not able to view the Photo Roster tool at all. The Photo Roster tool in the side navigation does not appear for users with the student / visitor / guest student / auditor role in any course.

For more help with the Photo Roster, please email canvas@yale.edu