While students are learning course content, they are also learning how to manage their habits, behaviors, and learning strategies. Instructor feedback helps students know whether or not their strategies align with what the instructor expects for success in a course.
Students on the right track can use this information to stay on the right track. Students who are not appropriately engaged can be alerted to the issues and encouraged to make changes.
Your feedback matters to students
- Article about a report on the role of faculty members in student success efforts
- Article about positive feedback to students
- A perspective on evaluating student participation
Progress reporting in Starfish
Starfish allows instructors to provide feedback to students at any time of the semester through the Flag and Kudos buttons. At critical times of the year, a subset of Flags and Kudos are packaged into progress reports. See the complete set of alerts and their associated messages available to instructors.
Early Indicators Reporting period: September 5-9 (weeks 3-4)
The Early Indicators report helps students make adjustments early enough in the semester to be successful. Feedback does not necessarily report on graded work. Rather, it can be based on indicators that a student might or might not be appropriately engaged in the course. These indicators vary by course, but examples include regular attendance, logging into the LMS, responding to clicker questions, turning in ungraded work, logging into course supplement material, etc.
Mid-Semester Progress Reporting period: October 16-30 (weeks 9-10)
The Mid-Semester report helps students realistically assess their progress in a course. Some significant graded work should be included in this assessment of student progress. Feedback should be provided to students in time for them to gather additional information before making decisions about their continued enrollment in the course.
Feedback items included on the Mid-Semester Progress Report
In danger of earning less than a C
Unsatisfactory scores on graded work
Keep up the good work
What to expect once progress is reported
Students and their assigned academic advisers receive automatically generated messages once a progress survey is submitted. Instructors can add individual comments to these template messages. Those comments are included in the email to the student and adviser, and are viewable by the adviser in Starfish.
Students who receive warning flags are expected to take action on that warning. They may reach out to the instructor, TA, or academic adviser to seek additional information.
Once a student reaches out to an adviser, instructor, or TA, the flag should be cleared by whoever interacts with the student. If the flag is cleared by someone other than the flag raiser, the person clearing the flag may choose to send the raiser comments explaining why the flag was cleared.
How to navigate within progress reports
- Use the Progress Reporting guide to orient yourself to progress report navigation
- Watch a progress report demonstration from Starfish. Starfish Demonstration: Early Alert and Connect (26 min video). A Starfish produced video demonstrating the basic functions of Starfish, including navigation, tracking (previously accomplished at Penn State through early progress reporting and academic review), and documenting meeting outcomes.
If you are an academic adviser:
- Use adviser-raised flags, kudos, and referrals to alert your students.
- See messages sent to students from adviser-raised flags, kudos, and referrals.
During Progress Reporting periods:
- Reach out to students who have multiple flags and document that outreach.
- Clear flags for students who have responded to the warning.