Sue Frantz

Tips for Diversifying Images in Presentations and Names in Exam Questions

Blog Post created by Sue Frantz on Apr 27, 2016

Susan Nolan, presenting at the Northwest Conference on Teaching Introductory Psychology, offered some suggestions on diversifying the images in your presentations – and I’d add diversifying name used in your exam questions – to ensure that all students see people and names that are both familiar to them and not familiar to them. I teach on a diverse campus where our students or their parents have come from all over the world. I use my students’ names in exam questions. Last term, I had one student, as she handed in her exam with a big grin said, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen my name on an exam!”


Nolan suggested visiting Wikipedia’s most common surnames page. Choose a name, and then, if you’re looking for a photo to use on a presentation slide, search that name in Google images. Be sure to click on “search tools” and then under “usage rights,” choose “labeled for noncommercial reuse.”


Alternatively, you can use a fake name generator, like, well, Choose the gender you’d like or leave it set to random. Choose your “name set,” such as “Arabic.” Click “Generate.” When I just ran it for Arabic, it generated Hafsah Yakootah Khouri. I can use that name in an exam question, or I can do a Google Images search for an image I can use on a presentation slide. Again, be sure to click on “search tools” and then under “usage rights,” choose “labeled for noncommercial reuse.”

Do you give your students case studies of fictional people? Fake Name Generator is a terrific site for creating a fake person. Not only does it generate names, it will generate an entire fake identify, including address (that’s what the “country” field is for), phone number, birthday, MasterCard number, occupation and company, height, weight, blood type, favorite color.