A lab bench with a computer monitor, keyboard, mouse, and oscilloscope.  There is a shelf about the computer monitor with a name tag on the front edge that reads "Dr. R2"
Photo of a Lab Bench in 0201 Everitt Lab with a magnetic name tag attached to the shelf.

One way to make students feel more welcome in a class is to learn their names.  In large classes or classes that meet infrequently, it can be difficult to learn names.  Some laboratory settings can make that more difficult because you generally approach students from the side or behind making it harder to recognize physical traits that may help an instructor recall their name.  

As part of my Engineering Unleashed Fellowship project, the student team suggested using name tags in the laboratory to help students and staff learn names. We explored many different name tag designs, including traditional paper tents and magnets.  Since the shelves above the bench surface are metal, we opted for name tags that were magnetic on one side and had a whiteboard on the other side.  This makes them reusable and easy to swap between sections.  The lockers that students store their equipment in during the semester are also metal.  Therefore, they can store their name tags on the front of their locker between sections, so they double as locker labels as well.  These name tags can be found at your favorite office supply or big retailer for a reasonable price.  We found a set with 96 2"x 4" name tags that we plan to start using in the spring 2024 semester, see photo above.