We have a lot of problems with full name system, and asking why OpenEdX has that instead of the usual separate fields we got the answer
“chose to use full name to avoid issues with internationalisation issues where some cultures don’t share the concept of first and last name.”
We used to work with Canvas, which like nearly all LMS, has the “normal” account system with First Name and Surname : we simply enrolled our students through a csv and had no problems with the dashboard used for our students and sent to our partners.
We you have ten students, you can rectify your grades dashboard one your own, but when you have 300, with 20%+ from all over the world, and most names do no match your database, you cannot sort out which is the first name and which is the familiy name, this is a total nightmare.
so with OpenEdX we have chaos, even when we explicitly ask students to enroll with FIRST NAME Last Name 80% of students do not follow this requirement.
This causes havoc, as
- our dashboards to teachers become unreadable even when alphabetically sorted,
- they do not match university database when we need to issues grades. So we loose interoperability. Mail is not a solution, because students use their personal mail or (convently so) use Facebook/Google login
as we have 3000 students from 30 partner universities, this really creates a lot of chaos and hours of work + complaints from our partners and of asking students to modify their profile enter a correct name, monitor if and re-ask when this is not done…
I see the full name is culturally correct, and of good intentions for cultures which do not have the same concept for personal name and no first name / family name (which cultures btw?) but we if we could work work with that with a small number of enrollees, we cannot if we want to go to scale and do massive.
And even for cultures which do not have the same concept for their name, their members do have to have things like a passport and a bank account…
Another problem is that we issue official credits (ECTS) and that the mixup in names does not allow us to issue proper official certificates - this problem impacts all enrollees, not only our partner’s -.
With “honor” certificates that do not offer any check on identity, we could go on writing down anything : forward, backward, indistinguishable first and last names…. but if we need something that has any legal value => we need to identify with minimum mixup who is the recipient and match the civil register.
Anyone has an idea on what to do to move forward ?