The addition of photo rosters to SPIRE last semester has been a personal boon to me in terms of learning my students’ names as quickly as possible. The catch is that the photos of students aren’t always the best depiction of how they currently look (they’re usually taken during their freshman orientation). I’ve taken to using a pen on the photos; adding features like hats, glasses, piercings, longer hair, and a spectrum of facial hair styles in order to “update” them as a reminder to myself of what the students sort of look like today. Quick tip: Boston Red Sox hats are not useful as a unique identifying feature.
Don’t have access to photo rosters for your own courses yet? Take the FERPA quiz and earn your security certificate to activate this feature in SPIRE: